Hot Rods initiated construction with a solid foundation. They began with the frame modifications, narrowing the rear ’rails 1 inch per side. They boxed the frame completely, laid in a stronger upper rear shock mount, fabbed a tubular crossmember between the ’rails for the transmission mounting point, and relocated the Rat 11/2 inches to the rear. The plan here was to have everything under the car tucked out of sight and above the framerails. To literally seal that notion, Hot Rods built bellypans to close off the underside of the Chevelle completely. Hot stuff! Did they seek cleaner aerodynamics or just a cleaner car build? Though it appears to be riding on air, the Chevelle is equipped with a purely mechanical suspension system fitted with Hotchkis tubular control arms, hollow antisway bar, QA1 coilovers with 450 lb/in coil springs, ’66 Chevrolet spindles, and a 604 power steering box from Sweet Manufacturing in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The 9-inch axle is situated by Hotchkis control arms, QA1’s with 350 lb/in coilover springs, and matching antisway bar.
Before gliding over to the haberdashery, Hot Rods fitted the Chevelle with an American Autowire harness and assembled the audio schedule from a Kenwood head unit, surrounding it with JL Audio speakers and punctuating it with a couple of wicked amplifiers. “It’s a pounder,” Ryan says. Hot Rods smoothed the original dashboard and fitted it with Auto Meter gauges in a stainless steel engine-turned panel. This theme winds throughout, including the shift ring and door trim, laminating the remainder of the dash, and the custom-built console. That simple oasis collects the Vintage Air HVAC controls, a Lokar shifter, power window switches, a glovebox, and even a cupholder. Then the sled trucked over to Interior by Ed in Mitchell, Indiana. Those boys did up the stock-frame seats in faux leather, depicting the deluxe stripes from the ’67 models, and they continued with the door panels. The design is still quite evident in the fit and finish of the trunk, which has since become a detail magnet with amps and woofer encased in the engine-turned stuff. The two-tone steering wheel is a vintage item. CHP