Pro Touring 1970 Chevy Chevelle

By Nick Licata   –   Photography by John Jackson

Joe Rasnick is one of those guys whose imposing frame might be a bit intimidating to some at first sight, but at an impressive 6 feet 8 inches, his size doesn’t define his personality. He’s pretty easy-going until he sets his sights on something, and that’s when focus takes over. “I have always wanted a ’70 Chevelle—big-block powered, of course. When I was a young high school kid, I remember seeing the guys with cool cars getting the cool girls, and that’s pretty much what got me interested in cars,” Joe laughingly says. “Today, it’s mainly about having the car I’ve always wanted.”

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008 Close up of engine components in a 1970 Chevelle SS with Goodfellows branding

Read More: Bob Updike’s ’70 Chevelle

To fill that desire, Joe made the trek from Florida to the Barrett-Jackson auto auction in Scottsdale, Arizona, in hopes of finding just the right ’70 Chevelle. While on the hunt he met AJ Schwichtenberg, owner of Goodfellows Classic Cars located in nearby Phoenix. Joe did not come away from Scottsdale with an auction car, but his meeting with Schwichtenberg got the ball rolling on having a Chevelle built by his team at Goodfellows. Schwichtenberg has been in the auto restoration business for years and is one of those guys who’s highly connected when it comes to finding solid vintage cars waiting for a second chance. Needless to say, it wasn’t’ long before Schwichtenberg found a prime example with solid sheetmetal and a promising future.

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002 Frontal view of a silver 1970 Chevelle SS against a stone garage dusk light

“[Schwichtenberg] and I discussed the build direction and said he’d have the car done one year from when the chassis showed up at his shop,” Joe conveys. “So, we ordered a full chassis from Art Morrison; the build was on.”

The aforementioned Art Morrison (AME) GT chassis features a four-bar rear suspension system with Strange coilover shocks on all four corners, while up front tubular control arms, Strange coilover shocks, Wilwood spindles, and C6-style knuckles ensure the Chevelle carries the proper muscle car stance along with incredible handling capabilities. Stopping power is provided by 14-inch Wilwood disc brakes at each end commanded by a Wilwood master cylinder and hydroboost for a light, effortless braking pedal.

016 Rear view of a 1970 Chevelle SS with desert landscape in the background

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A set of 19- and 20-inch Forgeline GZ3 wheels offer modern style with an edge of vintage flavor and are wrapped in Nitto NT5 G2 rubber creating a recipe for a high-g, asphalt-gripping driving experience designed to put every ounce of that AME chassis to good use. The Goodfellows gang stitched in a set of rear tubs in order to fit the massive tires and wheels that didn’t exist when the portly Chevy rolled off the assembly line back in 1970.

007 Detailed engine bay of a silver 1970 Chevelle SS with modern upgrades

Read More: Jason Schultz’s ’71 Chevelle

Goodfellows’ trademark muscle car builds revolve around completing cars with reliable, modern powerplants, and Joe’s ’70 was no exception. Commanding attention underhood is a fresh 755hp Chevrolet Performance LT5 dressed with Goodfellows valve covers, custom air intake tube, fronted by an attractive Wegner accessory drive system. The Custom Goodfellows 2 ¼-inch headers flow into a 3-inch stainless exhaust finished off with a pair of SpinTech mufflers creating a distinct resonance of power.

012 The center console and automatic shifter in the interior of a 1970 Chevelle SS

Getting that power to the ground efficiently is a Goodfellows-modified 8L90E automatic transmission, while out back resides a Strange 9-inch rearend stuffed with 3.50 gears, Truetrac posi, and robust Strange 33-spline axles—all at the ready with plenty of strength to withstand Joe’s heavy pedal foot while able to conquer any road situation.

010 Interior view through the window of a 1970 Chevelle SS with automatic shifter

A look inside reveals a custom, personalized interior design reminiscent of the original with black loop carpet, leather door panels, leather-covered stock dash, and custom seats skillfully crafted by Armando’s Custom Upholstery out of San Jacinto, California. The stock dash hosts Dakota Digital HDX gauges, displaying crucial engine vitals. Atop the ididit steering column sits an original GM steering wheel, complementing the interior’s cohesive aesthetic. Staying true to the stock theme, an authentically styled Pioneer head unit takes charge, orchestrating the powerhouse of Pioneer amps and speakers throughout. It’s seamless integration beside the Vintage Air control panel that maintains a period-correct vibe with a touch of modern finesse.

003 Aerial view of a silver 1970 Chevelle SS's front end and hood stripes

Read More: Totally Custom Pro Touring-Style 1967 Chevy Chevelle

The exterior is where the Chevelle really shines as the Goodfellows skilled crew sculpted the sheetmetal to perfection, meticulously accentuating the original bodylines and ensuring every gap reflected their dedication to perfection. Tom Stafford, the maestro with a paint gun, laid down an exceptional coat of Matrix Cortez Silver pigment followed up with bold, black SS stripes casting a performance theme that commanded additional attention.

005 Silver 1970 Chevelle SS showing rear end with dual stripes parked by a garage

Goodfellows, known for next-level fabrication skills, retained the Chevelle’s original spirit yet skillfully shaved the driprails and tucked the bumpers to create a heightened visual aesthetic. The experts at Royal Plating restored the factory trim and bumpers beyond their former glory prior to Goodfellows installing LED taillights and Oracle headlights infusing modern illumination technology front and rear.

014 Twin aftermarket amplifiers mounted in the trunk of a 1970 Chevelle SS

“The sequence of events unfolded precisely as Schwichtenberg had predicted: the completion of the car occurred 13 months after the chassis arrived. But what took me by surprise was clinching the Goodguys Mighty Muscle Award in Scottsdale the first time I took it to a show,” Joe excitedly says. “That achievement truly underscores the exceptional craftsmanship exhibited by Schwichtenberg and the skilled team at Goodfellows. Beyond that, the car drives just like a late-model hot rod and the horsepower is absolutely exhilarating. It’s the most exciting car to drive and, let me tell you, I drive it a lot, which is the point of it all!”

006 Side profile of a silver 1970 Chevelle SS parked in front of a stone garage

TECH CHECK
Owner: Joe Rasnick, Fort Myers, Florida
Vehicle: 1970 Chevelle

Engine
Type: LT5
Displacement: 376 ci
Compression Ratio: 10:1
Bore: 4.06 inches
Stroke: 3.622 inches
Cylinder Heads: A356 T6 aluminum
Rotating Assembly: Forged steel crankshaft, forged aluminum pistons, forged powdered-metal steel connecting rods
Camshaft: Hydraulic roller (0.551/0.524 lift, 116.5 LSA)
Induction: Eaton 2.65L supercharger, factory with Goodfellows custom intake tube
Assembly: GM
Accessory Drive System: Wegner
Exhaust: Goodfellows 2 ¼-inch headers, custom 3-inch stainless exhaust, SpinTech mufflers
Wiring: Custom by Victor Hebert at Goodfellows
Ancillaries: PRC aluminum radiator, Eddie Motorsports hood hinges, Goodfellows custom valve covers, Tanks Inc. stainless fuel tank
Output: 755 hp at 6,300 rpm, 715 lb-ft at 4,400 rpm

Drivetrain
Transmission: GM 8L90E
Torque Converter: Stock
Driveshaft: TAD Driveshafts (Phoenix)
Rear Axle: Strange 9-inch, 3.50 gears, Eaton Truetrac posi, Strange 33-spline axles

Chassis
Chassis: Art Morrison GT
Front Suspension: Wilwood spindles, AME tubular control arms, Strange adjustable coilover shocks, 1-inch splined sway bar
Rear Suspension: AME triangulated four-bar suspension system, Strange adjustable coilover shocks, 1-inch sway bar
Brakes: Wilwood 14-inch rotors, six-piston calipers front and rear, Wilwood master cylinder, Wilwood proportion valve, hydroboost

Wheels & Tires
Wheels: Forgeline GZ3 19-inch front, 20-inch rear
Tires: Nitto NT5 G2 305/30R19 front, 315/30R20 rear

Interior
Upholstery: Black leather, custom door panels by Armando’s Custom Upholstery (San Jacinto, CA)
Carpet: Black double loop
Installation: Goodfellows (Phoenix)
Seats: Custom leather
Steering: Ididit steering column, GM steering wheel
Dash: Stock with leather cover
Instrumentation: Dakota Digital HDX
Pedals: Clayton Machine Works
HVAC: Vintage Air
Radio: Pioneer head unit, Pioneer amp, Pioneer speakers (two 4×6, two 6×9)

Exterior
Bodywork & Paint: Tom Stafford at Goodfellows
Paint: Matrix Cortez Silver, Black SS stripes
Grille: Stock
Front Bumper: Factory tucked
Rear Bumper: Factory tucked
Headlights: Oracle
Taillights: Stock with LED
Side Mirror: Billet Rides
Plating: Royal Plating (Tucson, AZ)

Click on this issue’s cover to see the enhanced digital version of Pro Touring 1970 Chevy Chevelle.acp april 2024

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