Stick And Go
Brent was looking for a substantial handling upgrade, so improved rolling stock was mandatory. To that end, he mounted up a set of Intro Pentia wheels measuring 17x8 inches up front and 18x10 out back. Nitto was tabbed to provide a quartet of its sticky 555-series tires, coming in at 255/40ZR17 up front and an appropriately wide 285/35ZR18 to bring up the rear. Braking prowess comes via a Baer Track system, which comes complete with a master cylinder and prop valve-along with 13-inch drilled and slotted rotors grabbed by PBR two-piston calipers up front, accompanied by 12-inch discs in the rear.
Much of this particular '70 SS Chevelle's interior-namely the dash, gauges, and steering wheel-was in decent shape. The carpet, headliner, and door panels were replaced through Year One. The stock seats, on the other hand, were a no-go. "I wanted something that wasn't far off from the factory look, and comfortable," says Brent. A set of '96 Honda Accord buckets fit the bill and was covered in imitation black leather by Dixie Upholstery of Jefferson, Georgia. The AM radio in the stock hole sits front and center, but real listening pleasure comes from the Kenwood CD/stereo tucked away in the glovebox and the matching speakers in the stock locations.
When it came time to select a powerplant, Brent Walker didn't have to look any further than the 396 fat-block residing under the SS' hood. Brent entrusted the two-bolt main Rat to Garland Smallwood of The Machine Shop, located in his hometown of Gainesville, Georgia. The engine's 3.76-inch stroke crank and rods were retained; the holes were bored 0.030 over and filled with Wiseco forged pistons to create a 10:1 compression ratio. A Comp Cams hydraulic-roller setup works the valves; specs are 0.540/0.560 inch lift, along with 242/248 degrees duration at 0.050 inch. Brent's friend Billy Dunn came up with a set of LS6 cylinder heads and, once pocket-ported by Smallwood, they were added to the mix, fitted with 2.19/1.88-inch valves and a full Comp valvetrain, including 1.7:1 Magnum roller rockers. Induction is via a 750-cfm Speed Demon carb perched atop an Edelbrock RPM Air Gap 2-0 manifold, while ignition is actuated by an MSD 6AL box, Blaster 3 coil, and Pro Billet distributor. Flowtech headers and a Flowmaster exhaust system take out the junk. The radiator is stock; the Nissan Sentra electric fans, not so much. All that big-block grunt is transmitted through the Chevelle's original Turbo 400 tranny, rebuilt and fitted with a B&M cooler and a Holeshot 3,200-stall converter. Brent's friend Terry Pruitt rehabbed the car's original 3.73:1-geared Posi 12-bolt, which is spun by the car's stock driveshaft. Power output is estimated at 475 hp, certainly enough to keep things interesting.