Building The Car That Never Was: ’66 Chevrolet Chevelle “L-79” SS

 

It’s always nice to run across a well-built car. While it might not be completely obvious at first, the longer you walk around them the more things you’ll begin to notice. If you look long enough you might be able to spot more of the rarities that the common looker may have completely miss. A subtle change on the wheel selection, modern drivetrain and EFI, and new interior are all prime examples. This is what makes Russ Welch’s 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle a killer combination.

“The inspiration of this build was from the 1966 Chevelle L-79 SS option, which was never produced.” states Kent Waters of Kent Waters Originals. ”There are rumors that a couple might have made it through the assembly line at General Motors. But with no solid evidence to prove this, it’s hard to believe it was produced.” 

 

The yellow ’66 Chevelle was a completely restored clone when it was taken on delivery at Kent’s shop in Gainesville, Georgia. Since that day, every square inch of this car has been completely redone minus the yellow paint. The factory A-Body frame was scrapped and replaced with a Roadstershop Spec Series Chassis that was disassembled and then sent to powder-coating. Georgia Powdercoaters handled this task and coated the parts on the car. Kent and his team decided that a bronze and titanium color would be the best option for the build. The result is a killer-looking combination that has a modern look but retains that vintage flare that they hoped to accomplish.

To continue the L-79 theme, the crew took a Mast Motorsports LS3 and topped it with a Chevrolet Performance carbureted-style aluminum intake manifold. The engine was then fitted with a throttle body and EFI to boot. With the notorious Hugger Orange paint and the vintage Holley Performance Products valve covers, the modern Mast LS3 would go unnoticed by the average looker. Concept One was responsible for hanging the all black accessories off the front of the block that utilizes an integrated power steering reservoir for that cleaner than factory look. The Bowler Tremec TKO 600 5-speed transmission will manage to keep the “R’s” down at highway speeds. Hooker LS manifolds were chosen in place of headers and mated to the custom built 2.5-inch exhaust system, which will make the engine noise minimal.

 

Yellow 18-inch Mobsteel steel wheels painted to match are the current plan. They will definitely look the part with old school ’66 Chevelle moon caps. Wrap the wheels with Nitto Diamond Back Redline tires and you have the ultimate vintage looking modern wheel and tire combination. Wilwood 13-inch, six-piston brakes will be responsible for the stopping power behind this hot rod after it hits cruising speed. 

 

The interior was ditched and replaced with a factory replica setup, but this time it was produced in all-black leather in place of the cheaper vinyl material. A Vintage Air unit was utilized to keep the cab cool and comfortable while driving the Chevy around town. 

Miraculously, it has only taken a mere six months for Kent in crew to transform the Chevelle from a stock restoration into its current configuration. This is an impressive feat considering the amount of customization the Chevelle has undergone. The ‘66 will be unveiled at the Shades of the Past Hot Rod Roundup in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee on September 7th. Keep your eyes pealed for a full feature of this beautiful machine in the near feature.

About the author

Brian Havins

A gearhead for life, Brian is obsessed with all things fast. Banging gears, turning wrenches, and praying while spraying is just a few of his favorite things.
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