Combining Traditional and Modern Details to Create One Killer Chevelle

By Tommy Lee Byrd   –  Photography by the Author

There’s something about the color red that draws people’s attention, young and old. Bright red enhances the affect, but sometimes dialing it back a few notches makes all the difference in the world. Take this 1967 Chevelle convertible, for instance—with its deep red hue and burgundy top—it’s slightly more subdued but very classy. The car means business, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. Buzz Comstock can attest to that, as he owns this fine Chevrolet. With a big-block for power, and a TREMEC five-speed transmission following closely behind, it’s hard not to enjoy the ride.

Hailing from Dahlonega, Georgia, Buzz got the urge to build or buy a muscle car a few years ago. After a lengthy search, he found this recently finished Chevelle from Robert Carter at Automotive Sandblasting and Restoration (ASR). The ASR shop is located in Alcoa, Tennessee, which isn’t a terribly long distance from Buzz’s Georgia residence, so he traveled north to check it out. Happy with what he saw, Buzz made the purchase and started having fun with the ragtop immediately. He had a few ideas to change the car’s appearance, but it would be a gradual process, so the car wasn’t disassembled for a long period of time.

When ASR built the Chevelle, it wasn’t such a quick and easy process, as the body was placed on a rotisserie while the chassis was refurbished and updated to modern standards. After a complete disassembly, the frame was cleaned, sandblasted, then powdercoated. Up front, the suspension is completely restored with the original stamped control arms in place, but the original springs were replaced with a pair of QA1 coilovers along with 2-inch dropped spindles to lower the ride height. Bolted to those spindles is a pair of Classic Performance Products (CPP) brakes, which consists of 13-inch slotted-and-drilled rotors.

Rolling stock consists of Boyd Coddington Junkyard Dog wheels (17×8 up front,  18×10 out back). Kumho rubber grips the road while large sway bars on the front and rear keep body roll to a minimum. The rearend is a 9-inch from Currie packed with 3.70 gears and a limited-slip differential. A pair of UMI rear control arms keeps the well-equipped rearend steady; the CPP drop coil springs give the Chevelle a cleaner profile while increasing handling capabilities. A pair of CPP 11-inch discs roll behind the rear wheels.

Between the ’rails is a well-dressed, 427ci big-block Chevy. The N.O.S. block is equipped with a GM forged crankshaft and a set of dimple connecting rods attached to the forged pistons. Atop the block is a pair of aluminum cylinder heads taken from a Chevrolet Performance 572ci crate engine. The rectangular-port heads are massive in all aspects, flowing enormous quantities of fuel and air. A pair of chrome-plated Chevrolet Performance valve covers hides the Crane roller rockers, which mount to 7/16-inch studs and feature a 1.7 ratio for additional valve lift from the Lunati camshaft. Add to that an Edelbrock intake manifold, a Holley Street Avenger carburetor, and a set of Hedman Hedders Elite headers, and Buzz has a reliable big-block with plenty of steam. Andy Dossett built the engine, which makes close to 600 hp on pump gas. The TREMEC five-speed manual makes for lots of fun around town, and it keeps the big-block happy on the highway as well.

From the start, this Chevelle needed lots of rust repair—normal for a convertible living in the Southeast. The crew at ASR started by sandblasting the body, which revealed a few more problems and prompted the quarter-panels to be replaced, along with the floorpan and trunk pan. The hood was replaced as well. With the panels welded in, the Chevelle was handed to Woody Myers for prep and paint. He massaged the panels and treated the body to several rounds of block-sanding and priming. John Crow did the honors of applying the Axalta Lazer Red basecoat and several coats of Chromabase clear.

The deep red hue looks amazing, and the burgundy top offers the right amount of contrast. Beneath the German canvas is an immaculate interior restored to factory specifications. Mic’s Upholstery installed the CARS Inc. interior components, while ASR installed the Vintage Air controls in the dash and the power window switches in the console. The final touches feature an ididit tilt steering column and a Billet Specialties steering wheel, while a Hurst shifter pokes through the original console.

Buying a completed car worked out well for Buzz, as he got the car he wanted and didn’t have to fork out tons of cash for the additional modifications. A quick transition, his Chevelle looks awesome and performs great, so who could blame him for buying a car that’s already complete? We can’t.

TECH CHECK
Owner: Buzz Comstock, Dahlonega, Georgia
Vehicle: 1967 Chevelle Convertible

Engine
Type: Big-block Chevy
Displacement: 427 ci
Compression Ratio: 10.5:1
Bore: 4.250 inches
Stroke: 3.760 inches
Cylinder Heads: Chevrolet Performance 572ci castings
Rotating Assembly: Forged GM crankshaft, dimple rods, forged pistons
Valvetrain: Crane roller rockers, 1.7:1 ratio
Camshaft: Lunati hydraulic flat tappet
Induction: Edelbrock intake manifold, Holley Street Avenger carburetor
Ignition: MSD distributor, Taylor plug wires
Exhaust: Hedman Hedders Elite headers, 2-1/2-inch exhaust, MagnaFlow mufflers
Ancillaries: Billet Specialties Tru Trac pulley system, chrome Chevrolet Performance valve covers
Output (at crank): 600 hp, 550 lb-ft of torque (estimated)

Drivetrain
Transmission: TREMEC TKO five-speed manual
Rear Axle: Currie 9-inch, 3.70:1 gears, limited slip

Chassis
Front Suspension: QA1 coilovers, 2-inch drop spindles
Rear Suspension: UMI boxed control arms, CPP drop springs
Brakes: CPP disc brakes with 13- and 11-inch drilled-and-slotted rotors

Wheels & Tires
Wheels: Boyd Coddington Junkyard Dog, 17×8 and 18×10
Tires: Kumho 235/45-R17 and 275/40-R18

Interior
Upholstery: Mic’s Upholstery using a CARS Inc. interior kit
Material: Red vinyl
Seats: Original buckets
Steering: Billet Specialties steering wheel, ididit column
Shifter: Hurst
Dash: Original with Vintage Air controls added
Instrumentation: Original
Audio: Original-style radio
HVAC: Vintage Air

Exterior
Bodywork: Woody Myers
Paint By: John Crow
Paint: Lazer Red, Axalta base/clear
Hood: Original SS
Grille: Original SS
Bumpers: Original

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