The drive from his grandparents' Inglewood, California, home to the High Desert weekend house was a long one for Scott Davies in his single-digit years. His first memories were of sleeping on the floorboards of Grandma's '67 Chevelle through the late-night drives home. They got the Chevelle after Scott's Uncle Dennis crashed her previous car, a Corvair, racing on the street. Think Grandma had a pretty cool ride? Gramps had a '70 El Camino SS at the time. They were a hang-out-in-the-garage type of family who were often given offers to buy the Chevelle. Scott says, "There was no amount of money she would entertain. She gave them all the same response, 'It's not for sale. This will be my grandson's car.' I knew from the beginning I would have this car someday."
With a family including a mother, father, uncle, brother, and sister, there was still no debate on who would get it. Scott was the only one on their list who was excited about cars and didn't have a history of crashing theirs.
When Scott was ready to drive, Dad got him a Chevy LUV truck to drive to school and tinker on. He quickly moved up to a '69 Chevelle he built at home and through the high school auto shop program as a street/strip car. He loved his weekly trips to LACR (Los Angeles County Raceway) in the big-block–powered ride. When we asked what happened to the car, he answered, "I got married." It wasn't with a complaining tone; he just had more important things in his life at the time. He knew in the back of his mind he would have another car someday.
That day came in 2001. Grandma and Grandpa kept their word and handed down the Chevelle to Scott. It had the original era-appropriate gold paint with a vinyl top and only 43,000 miles on the clock. Scott was happy to drive it as-is for a while, but there was one thing that kept him from really enjoying it: four-wheel drum brakes. Having shoes all around was fine 45 years ago when nearly everything else was. These days, with everything else having two- or four-wheel discs, keeping a six-car gap on the streets was difficult and unpleasant.
Scott benched the car for a disc brake upgrade. The Classic Performance Products catalog had a kit for stock wheels and a larger kit on the same page. Good marketing guys! Scott picked the larger brake kit then went on a search for the perfect wheels. The Budnik M5 wheels he ordered were going to take 10 weeks to produce so Scott thought it best to keep busy.
He enlisted Cy, his father, to help him scrape the underside of the car to rid it of the factory undercoating. The stuff was falling off a little each day anyway. That took weeks of eight-hour days, but there was still time left on the 10-week clock. He repainted the whole underside with Dupli-Color Satin Black paint and Gloss Black highlights on the bracing. Having CPP right across town, Scott got all of the suspension and brake goodies right away. Well, that got him one day closer to the wheel date. Scott ripped out the gold interior parts, dash, and carpet, exposing the bare floors and wiring. He rewrapped each run of wires and lined the entire interior, including the roof, with Dynamat.
The minute the wheels came, the car went off to Miracle Design paint shop in Santa Ana, California. Their usual work was repairing typical minivan fender benders on an insurance claim, but that's not why the owner got into the business. The owner himself labored on the Chevelle in the back while the regular guys kept on with the minivans. The body had been untouched until then, giving them the best platform possible. Only seven weeks later the car rolled out with fresh paint and re-dipped bumpers.
The powdercoated dash, leather seats, and black interior parts were ready to go in. Just a day or two later Scott was on the road. He is a car show guy—not so much the huge mega shows but the local meets and fundraiser type of events. He and his buddies crash the Elk Lodge in Buena Park, California, every Friday as well as a half-dozen other shows around the Los Angeles/Orange County area.
The now 76,000-mile motor is still in place with a couple bolt-ons. Plans are to change that soon though. The 300hp 327ci Gen I small-block Chevy will be replaced by a 600-plus horsepower stoker LS3. The only question is: build it with a carburetor or fuel injection? He may move onto bigger things, like autocross and some dragstrip action, but for now he's happy cruising the streets in this rockin' grandma car.
Engine & Drivetrain
The original 327 has never been unbolted from its mounts in the '67 chassis. The factory rating of 275 hp gives way for an extra quarter thanks to some bolt-on performance parts. The factory Q-jet found the junk pile first along with the iron intake. Scott put an Edelbrock dual-plane RPM intake and Demon 670-cfm carburetor in their place. The old breaker-point ignition can't compete with today's electronic replacements, so Scott invested in an MSD Pro-Billet distributor, 6AL-2 box, and Blaster SS coil to spark the mix. More weight left the building with the removal of the stock iron exhaust manifolds and the addition of 15/8-inch headers.
The factory Powerglide two-speed automatic is still hanging in there unmodified, for now. The rearend has already gotten its upgrade with a 1-inch narrowed 9-inch from Currie. No more one-leggers or slow revs for Scott, the Detroit Truetrac gear-type posi and 3.70:1 gearing take care of that.
Wheels & Brakes
The inspiration for the build was the CPP Big Brake kit. The 13- and 12-inch rotors with two-piston calipers surely wouldn't fit inside the factory 14s. Budnik M5 wheels in 18x8 front and 18x10 rear would fix that problem. They are wrapped in Hankook V12 Evo 245/40-18 front and 275/40-18 rear.
The father/son dream clean team scraped and brushed for hundreds of hours to rid the undercarriage of gross factory undercoating and grime. They refinished it with satin Dupli-Color spray paint for a clean surface. With everything fresh and clean, the front got CPP tubular upper and lower control arms, 2-inch drop spindles, a 1 1/4-inch sway bar, and QA1 double-adjustable coilovers. The rear received CPP torsion bars, a 11/8-inch sway bar, and more QA1 double-adjustable coilovers.
What looks better than gold paint with a gold interior? Red paint with a black interior. Scott stripped it down to the wires and lined the entire interior with Dynamat then sent it off to paint. When it got back, Scott installed the freshly powdercoated black dash in along with the rest of the interior. General Motors skipped the tach option on this car, so a 33/8-inch Auto Meter column mount tachometer was mandatory. Since Scott wanted the car setup to drive more than race, he installed a complete Vintage Air system for comfort.
There wasn't really anything wrong with the factory gold paint and vinyl top, but it's dated, to say the least. Miracle Design of Santa Ana, California, brought it down to the metal and re-shot it with Deep Red Pearl. All of the factory emblems and side trim were removed while the bumpers and window trim were spruced up and replaced.