Spend a few moments with Dave Koch and his folks, and you'll quickly learn why Dave thrives on high-performance Chevrolets. Long before the days of blister-packed speed parts, Dave's dad Don was busy building and buzzing small-block Chevys to the moon at most of southern California's then-booming dragstrips. These high-revving engines were largely cobbled out of Corvette parts and over-the-counter components from mom-and-pop speed shops. Through the '60s Don and his wife Marion wrenched laboriously into the nights and filled their weekends with fender-to-fender competition at local (and now defunct) dragstrips including Lions, San Fernando, and Fontana.
In the '70s Don switched his ambitions from drag racing to roundy-round competitions at Saugus Speedway and San Marin. His cars of choice were small-block-powered second-gen Camaros; all the while Dave hung out in the pits and absorbed what it took to field a competitive race car. To this day, Dave is a firm believer in using a combination of select performance parts, tuning for the track, and keeping the look unassuming.
When the time came for Dave to build his ride, he decided to forgo the circle-track route and instead opted for a Saturday night special, only it would serve double-duty at the strip and as his daily driver. For this assignment he recruited a '67 Chevelle, knowing from day one that he wanted to maintain the car's clean outward lines, have a completely understated appearance, and improve the suspension and drivetrain, and that he wanted the biggest, rowdiest Rat motor resting under the hood.
Starting under the car, he removed the standard third-member rearend in favor of a narrowed 9-inch housing. The rear coil springs were axed in favor of a custom Firestone Airbag setup and the front coils chopped. For the body he contracted family friend Danny Kaskus to smooth it to perfection and hose it down with several layers of PPG Silver Metallic.
Yep, there you have it, a killer streeter that doesn't beg for any attention from the local PD-especially crucial because most weekends in Ventura County are spent rumbling through local towns with his better half, Denise. If you ever find yourself behind the Koch family at a traffic light you'll not only detect the high-octane fragrance and hear the sweet melody of a big-inch Rat; chances are you'll be spitting out asphalt when the light turns green.
The business office of this Chevelle is remarkably original except for the Auto Meter instruments and John Klaus stitched factory seats. The Hurst shifter actuates a Muncie four-speed trans with a 2.20 Low gear and a 1:1 High gear.
Rolling Stock & Binders
The wheels on Dave's Chevelle are original American Torque Thrust rims (produced during the late '60s) that measure 15x7 up front and 15x10 on the rear (custom widened). Front tires are Dayton P215/65R15 and the rears are P275/60R15. Vehicle braking has been drastically improved with a full set of Wilwood four-wheel disc brakes and an adjustable proportioning valve.
Below the black matte-finished valve covers lurks a 468ci Rat prepped by RK Machine in Ventura, California, and assembled by Dave. Inside is a Scat crankshaft, Crane roller rockers, 13.5:1-compression slugs, and a huge solid-roller Isky camshaft. Helping the heavy breather is pair of LS7 rectangular-port heads with 2.30-inch intake valves. Carb of choice is a 950-cfm Holley HP on top of a Weiand manifold, while a set of Hooker headers expels the fumes into a custom-built 211/42-inch system fitted with remote exhaust cutouts. It should be said that with this much compression it won't run on pump gas and needs a constant supply of Trick Racing Fuel. Moving down the line, shifting chores are allotted to a Muncie four-speed that was assembled by Ron Worthen with M22-style Liberty gears. The rearend is a 2-inch-narrowed 9-inch with 4.56:1 gears, and a Detroit Locker.
The free-flowing dual-exhaust configuration is custom-built by Rick Stout at Muffler Time in Camarillo, California. The system is comprised of a set of DynoMax Ultraflow mufflers and a wild, hand-fabricated air/electric hidden exhaust-cutout arrangement that uncorks the works at a flick of a switch. The Chevelle rests on stock front coils that have been cut, and at the rear the springs have been replaced by a pair of adapted Firestone airbags. Shocks are Monroe Sensatracs.
The unassuming and mirror-straight silver panels are the work of Danny Kaskus from Oxnard, California. Coats of PPG Silver Metallic makes the body glisten.