In 2014, a retired Fire Chief from Charlotte, NC came to Fabbit Customs with his 1966 Chevelle SS. He had owned the car since the early 1970s and always dreamed of transforming it into something more. Fabbit Customs is a full-service custom shop that works out of a 150-year-old riverfront cotton mill in Shelby, NC. They specialize in modernizing classic cars, adding the convenience of modern technology and advancements while maintaining classic styling.
The owner knew he wanted the car to sit on a Schwartz Performance frame. Normally, this seems like a simple request, but this is an original SS 396 bucket seat car. Although they have no issue with removing old parts to make space for new, many people do. From there on out, this element dictated nearly every decision for the build. From there, the discussions flowed towards engines, brakes, transmissions, wheels, tires and more.
A lot of time was spent ensuring the body was straight with tight gaps and razor-sharp lines. The color is called Speedway Blue and is a Toyota truck color. It is very close to the original color of the car but adds a little pop to it. All original badges and trim were used to help keep the original character. The only real modification required was to enlarge the transmission tunnel to facilitate dropping the body lower on the frame to help give it a good stance. Even the rear wheel tubes were left untouched and care was taken to measure and squeeze the largest rubber possible without rubbing. The bottom of the car received a heavy coat of color-matched bedliner, along with the inside of the trunk.
As for the engine, they decided on a 480 horsepower LS3. While some try to hide the LS engine, the decision was made to build off of it and minimize the appearance of wires. The first step was to remove the fuel rail and design something a bit more pleasing. Next, the firewall was smoothed. Then, almost everything was painted black with just a few pieces left of aluminum to add some contrast. All the wires and hoses were tucked away as much as possible and hidden with braided covers. The inner fenders were sprayed with bed liner along with the low lying areas of the hood to mimic a hood mat.
The interior seats were recovered with TMI foam and covers that add extra bolsters to help keep you planted when cornering. They are outfitted with three-point retractable belts to keep safe without drawing unwanted attention. To keep a period-correct look, they completed a factory radio delete plate and relocated the radio to the A/C control space. Then, they relocated the A/C controls to the ashtray space. They also decided to get rid of the rectangle center A/C vents and replace them with round ones to match the factory ones on the ends. The brand of gauges was an easy choice, but finding the perfect balance was a bit harder. Ultimately, the blue glow of the AutoMeter Cobalt series proved to be the winner. The area was filled and every gauge had a purpose, even dropping a Cobalt clock into the factory location in the center console. To stay with the black and blue theme created in the engine bay, everything in the interior was sprayed either blue or black. The black was alternated with both gloss and flat, as well as many areas receiving soft-touch clear to help soften the look.
1966 Chevelle SS
- Power is provided by a 480HP LS3
- GM Performance harness
- 4L65 Transmission
- Schwartz Performance Frame
- Moser 9” Rear
- Ride-Tech Coilovers
- Wilwood Brakes
- Vintage Wheel Works V45 18” wheels
- Nitto 555 tires
- 245/45-18 front
- 285/40-18 rear
- Sound from Alpine and Rockford Fosgate
- AutoMeter Cobalt Speedometer (Model #6289)
- AutoMeter Cobalt Tach (Model #6298)
- AutoMeter Cobalt Fuel level (Model #6114)
- AutoMeter Cobalt Water temp (Model #7955)
- AutoMeter Cobalt Trans temp (Model #6157)
- AutoMeter Cobalt Voltmeter (Model #6191)
- AutoMeter Cobalt Oil pressure (Model #6121)
- AutoMeter Cobalt Clock (Model #6185)