With the Goodguys‘ show season firmly upon us, we were sitting around the desk wondering about what it takes for a car to win one of the 12 coveted Goodguys awards. These special awards recognize the nation’s finest cars, trucks, and the best autocross racer in the land of Goodguys. For that reason, we decided to do a little research on one of the 2016 winners, and get some input from the people involved with a car that earned one of these awards. We chose to contact the guys at the Roadster Shop, to find out just what it took for Tom Demrovsky’s ’67 Chevelle to win Goodguys Muscle Machine of the Year in 2016.
All images courtesy Goodguys and the Roadster Shop. When Tom Demrovsky found this stalled project at the Roadster Shop, he knew he had found the perfect car to build.
When it comes to high end cars built with a no-holds-barred attitude, there are many reasons those projects come to fruition. For some, these rolling works of art are purely assembled as a financial investment. Some guys even have these cars commissioned as a “what if” blending of many different ideas involving traditional styling with creative and modern upgrades.
The Choice Was Obvious
For Tom Demrovsky, the end goal of his vision was to create a modern interpretation of an American classic. Tom told us, “I fell in love with the rear design of the ’67 Chevelle years ago. I thought what they did with the taillights and the how the car looked from the rear doors back make it one of the most beautifully-designed cars ever.”
An engine with 800 horsepower was the goal – mission accomplished.
Because of that love for Chevy’s ’67 Chevelle, as soon as he found out that the guys at the Roadster Shop had a project ’67 that had stalled, he contacted them to see if together, they could come up with an arrangement to finish the car. Quickly, Tom was officially declared the new owner, and he and the Roadster Shop guys had to come to another agreement, outlining the parameters to which the car was to be built.
It's the details that make or break a show winner. Items like tucked bumpers to align with the body lines are just one example.
Tom also told us, “I gave them fairly liberal guard rails, but there was guidance. My guidance was that people should not be able to tell that it was “redone”, especially when it came to the interior. I dislike aftermarket looking seats and dashes, so I was particularly picky about aftermarket add-ons to the body and the interior. I wanted those areas to look as stock as possible.”
We spoke with Phil and Jeremy Gerber of the Roadster Shop, and they expanded on what Tom told us, “Tom wanted us to build a car that has at least 800 horsepower, handles like a modern European car, and looks 100-percent period correct.” We’re here to tell you that what they have assembled is nothing short of amazing.
I dislike aftermarket looking seats and dashes, so I was particularly picky about aftermarket add-ons to the body and the interior. – Tom Demrovsky
The car has completed the “show circuit” for 2016, and was even named the Goodguys Muscle Machine of the Year. That prompted us to ask if winning that accolade was the main purpose for this build, and Tom said, “We discussed that as the project kicked off, but it was far from a requirement. In fact, I had no intention of even entering it in any contests. I was just going to attend one of the Goodguys events as a place to pick up the car. I built the Chevelle to drive and enjoy, and what ended up happening is that it started to be recognized as one of the premier Chevelle builds. Since winter was approaching here in Ohio, I allowed Roadster Shop to showcase the car at more events, and it took awards everywhere it went.”
Speaking of those awards, we actually wondered what it takes for a car to win something like a prestigious Goodguys-titled award? To find out, we asked Phil and Jeremy what they thought, “To win the Goodguys Muscle Machine of the Year, the car (in our minds) needs to blend classis musclecar looks with modern refinement and performance. That is really what this Chevelle is all about. It retains the classic, iconic lines of the ‘67 Chevelle, but we have refined all the details left from the 1960s. On the performance side, the car needs to be as capable as it looks, and prove what it can do on the Goodguys autocross track.”
How To Be A Goodguys Winner
According to the folks at Goodguys, the Muscle Machine of the Year is selected by using the regional “finalist” method. This award is chosen by the Goodguys staff from a group of finalists chosen from various events in different regions of the U.S. This method benefits participants from all regions of the country: North, South, East, and West. This way, the award is not limited to those in a certain region or event.
To win the Muscle Machine of the Year, the Chevelle, aptly named “Onyx”, is an extremely refined version of a ’67 Chevelle. One look, and you have to agree that this build took the lines of what is arguably one of the best looking Chevelles ever produced, and subtly enhanced them.
A flawless paint job begins long before the paint is applied.
Blending Of Perfection
If you were to choose one word to describe the exterior of the Chevelle, the only things that come to mind is spectacular, deep, flawless. Okay, that is more than one word, but the black paint that covers the expanse of sheetmetal is all that and more. Tom said, “The color was never a question. Black and red are favorites of mine, and it’s a combination that never goes out of style, it’s timeless.”
Underneath is a Roadster Shop Fast Track chassis that provides the low, aggressive stance, as well as enhanced performance handling. The 9-inch rear features Strange components, and is supported by a four-link. Stopping is paramount, so huge 14-inch Brembo brakes make their presence known through the spokes of the Roadster Shop-designed three-piece Forgeline RS6 wheels.
The work of art referred to as the interior is the result of Avant Garde Designs of Palm City, Florida, who handled the incredibly detailed interior that further blends today’s level of refinement and attention to detail with the iconic style of the ‘67 Chevelle. At a quick glance, the interior looks mostly original, yet each portion is custom manufactured. Tom reiterated, “I personally dislike interiors that don’t look era appropriate, so the use of carbon fiber, bolt in aftermarket seats, or a custom dash was out of the question. I wanted a car from the ‘60s, not a car that was from the ‘60s but wanted to be from 2017.”
Tom wanted us to build a car that has at least 800 horsepower, handles like a modern European, car and looks 100-percent period correct. – The Gerber Brothers, Roadster Shop
But like any hot rod, the engine filling the space under the hood is the area where most hot rodders will place their focus. In the case of Onyx, the supercharged LS3 was built by Wegner Motorsports, and supports 860 horsepower with the inhaling duties being forced by a 2.8-liter Whipple supercharger. Behind that is a row-your-own-gears Tremec T56 Magnum shift box.
Claim Your Prize
Maybe you’re interested in competed for one of the coveted Top 12 awards awarded by the Goodguys’ Association, and since anyone is eligible, if you check out this link, you can learn all you need to know about entering your ride.
Each Top 12 award winner will first and foremost, claim bragging rights as a champion. They will also receive a beautiful billet aluminum award, a custom-wrapped Snap-On tool box, have their car feature in the Goodguys Gazette and Yearbook, and receive an exclusive invitation and travel accommodations to the season-ending Goodguys 20th Southwest Nationals in Scottsdale, Arizona.
So what are you waiting for? If going after – and winning – one of the top car show awards in the country is on your bucket list, now’s your chance. If you’re ready and need to find out more about competing for one of the Goodguys‘ awards to solidify your car as a champion, there’s no time like the present.