Going fast and looking good are what most muscle car enthusiasts thrive for, and Pat McNeil’s ’69 Chevelle is a prime example. If you recall, we first featured his Butternut Yellow Chevelle a few years ago (“The Cow That Jumped Over the Moon,” Oct. ’09 issue). Since then, we’ve learned that he and Mike Saiki from Motivational have once again upped their game, this time with a more potent 496ci big-block that sings to the tune of 765 hp and 638 lb-ft of torque!
Obviously, this was the perfect opportunity to try out Chris Alston’s Chassisworks’ latest gStreet suspension. It’s a complete bolt-on system designed for A-bodies that allows you to configure your ride from a corner-carver to a dragstrip brawler with minimal changes. All you need to do is choose between the air-spring or coilover shocks, spring rates, and whether to go with the single- or double-adjustable VariShocks.
We wanted to focus on straight-line antics, so to help transfer the newfound power we opted for the double-adjustable VariShock coilovers with the 2-inch drop spindles, which would help keep the chassis lower to the ground without sacrificing the factory geometry and suspension travel. When it came to the spring rate, Saiki swapped out the 600 lb/in for more drag race–friendly 450-lb/in VariSprings; this rate would offer the best weight transfer to the rear and help keep the tires planted.
For the time being, we’re focusing on the front components, but be sure to follow along next month as we complete the project. For round two, we’re planning to install the remainder of the gStreet suspension, including the upper and lower control arms, VariShock’s double-adjustable coilovers, spherical rearend bushings, upper braces, and antiroll bar.
A dirt-free undercarriage...
A dirt-free undercarriage is the perfect way to start a project and, as you can see here, Pat McNeil’s Chevelle is extremely clean.
The chromoly upper A-arms...
The chromoly upper A-arms feature billet cross shafts and provide additional header clearance over their factory counterparts. Chassiworks also offers the bushings in polyurethane, and to keep the suspension more solid feeling, this kit has polyurethane bushings and comes with ball joints.
Like the uppers, the lowers...
Like the uppers, the lowers are also chromoly and feature polyurethane bushings and come with ball joints.
Because of the drag race intentions,...
Because of the drag race intentions, the kit came with a specially valved double-adjustable VariShock with low-friction COM-8 spherical bearing lower shock eyes. The springs are 9-inch, 450 lb/in.
The forged 2-inch drop spindle...
The forged 2-inch drop spindle features a 2-inch-taller upright to improve negative camber gain and cornering ability. The benefit of a drop spindle is to conserve the factory geometry and travel, while lowering the car 2 inches from the factory ride height.
With the front suspension...
With the front suspension installed, on went the factory disc brakes.
To help keep the 765 hp secure...
To help keep the 765 hp secure to the frame, Mike Saiki installed Chassisworks’ new billet Direct Fit motor mounts. The 5914-A20-V8 kit retails for $239 and comes complete with the frame adapters and billet engine mounts.
There you have it: The kit...
There you have it: The kit looks right at home in this immaculate A-body. We should also note when selecting springs, iron-headed small-blocks for corner carving are recommended at 600 lb/in and you’ll want to add another 100 lb/in for big-blocks. For drag racing, the 450 lb/in worked well for us, however, most combinations will vary, and this is something you may have to experiment with.
|The Goods |
|Part Number ||Components |
|5704-A10 ||gStreet upper control arms (pair) |
|5706-A20 ||gStreet lower control arms (pair) |
|VAS 508-103 ||shock spacers, set of four |
|VAS 16XM1-425 ||VariShock coilover, ball-stud upper, COM-8 base, 41/4-inch travel (option) |
|VAS 21-09XXX ||VariSpring coil spring, 9-inch length (option) |
|5711-A20-2T ||drop 2-inch and tall spindle |
|5914-A20-V8 ||Billet V-8 mount, ’67-72 Chevelle A-body |
|Total ||$1,487 |
|Available Springs |
|Rate (lb/in) ||Part Number |
|450 ||VAS 21-09450 |
|500 ||VAS 21-09500 |
|550 ||VAS 21-09550 |
|600 ||VAS 21-09600 |
|675 ||VAS 21-09675 |
|750 ||VAS 21-09750 |
|850 ||VAS 21-09850 |