THOROUGHLY MODERN MALIBU (OKAY, CHEVELLE SS)

LS9 CHEVELLE 2

This legendary 1970 Chevelle SS doesn’t sport a big block under its cowl hood.  No, it’s all modern muscle with a 628-horse LS9 providing the motivation.

THIS CLASSIC HAS THE HEART OF A ZR1 VETTE!

In today’s world of muscle mini vans, traction-controlled SUVs and high-tech imports that do everything but turn the steering wheel for you (yet!), the idea of what a powerful vehicle is has evolved from the generation when a 450-horse 454-cubic inch Rat motor provided a definitive description.  Modern mix of almost unbridled power and torque coupled with cup holders and heads-up displays offer a worlds-apart image of  what performance used to be.  But there is no denying the allure of all the modern power platforms now coming out of Detroit.

 

Looks like a factory install!  D&P Classic Chevy transplanted this new-generation LS9 supercharged mill into the engine bay where a Rat once resided!

Looks like a factory install! D&P Classic Chevy transplanted this new-generation LS9 supercharged mill into the engine bay where a Rat once resided!

Darryl Nance has always had a soft spot for mixing up the old with the new.  Not that he’s some engineering geek that grew up among the best of the original muscle cars and can’t put down his smart phone.  Not an apt description at all.  In fact, this Baby Boomer,  who’s a retired police officer, gets on the rev limiter when talking about all the 1950s and ‘60s iron taking up space in his shop.

 

One of the most notable rides to fit the description of retrofication (or retromod), is Darryl’s 1970 drop-top Chevelle.  As asked in the story about the car on the company’s website, “What do you get when you mix a 1970 Chevelle SS convertible and a Chevrolet Perfornance LS9 crate engine?”  The no-holds-barred answer says it all: “A scary fast Muscle Car that blends the best of the old with the best of the new!”  Enough said.

 

If you’re concerned that there was no consideration given to preserving a rare classic, rest assured that this ride was not a numbers matching original, which lent it perfectly to the project.  A customer wanted a classic ride with all the nuance of a late-model machine.  And the heartbeat of a Corvette ZR1 was just the right tranplant for this 44-year old icon.

 

The car has a lot of modern components to support its new 628-horse ZR1 engine, such as an upgraded air conditioning system, power disc brakes and power steering (with a tilt steering column), complete leather interior, satellite radio, power windows, and probably a 12-volt outlet for a cell phone adapter!

 

Awards and magazine features aside, the best things about this rejuvenated muscle machine are its timeless looks and an owner who wants to drive it!

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