Sometimes, restorations need to be "un-done" to fix marginal work and to bring a restored car to a new level. This was the case with the 1969 Chevelle "SS 496" convertible built in the V8 Speed & Resto Shop, a car that had been restored a couple times previously, but needed a total re-do with some upgrades to really be a standout.
The bass-boat green and white '69 Chevelle SS clone arrived in the shop sporting incorrect stripes and gauges all over the interior. The 454 under the hood ran OK, but the engine compartment was a complete mess. The car looked straight, but we feared it had some secrets. After we blew the car apart, it was off to the media blaster to see the truth.
We weren't wrong in our suspicions, as the car had inches of body filler toweled over shoddy repairs and rusty panels. This car was treated to a complete 1-piece center floor section, a trunk floor kit, and new quarter panel skins. The new fenders and hood completed the sheetmetal, as we were able to reuse the doors.
The chassis was stripped, media blasted, epoxied, and re-shot in satin black before a pro-touring style suspension system was installed along with oversized Baer brakes.
The "496" part came in the form of a Fast Times Motorworks
build of the 454 that came in the car, only now swinging a 4.25" stroke crank and .060" over pistons. The Holley
aluminum heads were opened up and port matched to the Weiand
intake manifold, and the combo was good for over 550 horsepower and 570 ft. lbs. of torque on pump gas. Oh yeah, we hid a 150 hp NOS nitrous oxide kit under a reproduction dual snorkel air cleaner housing. The whole goal for the engine was to look somewhat stock, so we painted the aluminum heads orange, ran v-belts, and stock SS 396 style valve covers.
Our buddy Ben Hermance
designed the look of the car to be subtle and timeless. The exterior of the car was shot in its original Butternut Yellow, and a complete OPGI
leather interior kit was installed. The V8 crew installed a hidden DVD stereo system.
Everything kept an original look, but you could tell something was going on with this car. The lowered stance and 17" V40 wheels from Vintage Wheel Works looked at home on the car and retained a period correct subtle appearance.
The car made it's debut at the SEMA show in Las Vegas, and everyone loved the color combo and "just right" stance thanks to the OPGI lowering springs. On the road, it makes tons of torque at any rpm, and the nitrous system is always waiting to push the car to mid 11 second quarter mile runs. The stainless MagnaFlow
exhaust rumbles cleanly, and the big brakes and hydroboost system haul it down effortlessly.
The whole story of the SS496
was documented in video, including tons of tech and how-to's. You can watch 'em all at for free at http://www.v8tvshow.com/ss496