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Chris Burns 70 Chevelle

Hi all, apologies for the long delay in my site info updates. I started putting a bit of stuff on Instagram, but I will keep my site up-to-date with the help of Shaun at SK Digital.

A year or so ago, I was approached by Chris Burns (from the deep south) to discuss building an extreme 70 Chevelle road car; I told him how I would do it, he had his requirements & we agreed on the building design.  It will be hard to imagine from the early pics you see of the start of the project, but it will be – Jet black (with the usual SS white stripes), chopped 1”, on a full Speedtech chassis with independent rear suspension, huge Baer 6-pot brakes all round, full black custom leather interior, huge custom 3-piece billet wheels, electric power steer & 5-speed manual.

First things first, with any major American build, we strip it completely, remove any unnecessary panels/parts, the shell (off the chassis) gets sandblasted, or acid dipped (depending on the build criteria), and then epoxy primed. Then a parts list is created based on the rust & damage that’s usually found with an American import. The new chassis was then fitted to the shell with all the necessary mods carried out (mainly to the rear floor due to the IRS).

The front wheel houses are done, this is how big they need to be to clear the 315-40-18” tyres when they are turned to full lock & in full bump. They will “fade away” somewhat when they’re painted black & the engine bay is filled up. The Ring Bros billet hood hinges are mounted & the front sheet metal has been 90 % fitted & aligned. The electric power steer pump has been mounted, next is fabbing a 5 gal water-meth tank to fit in the front – somewhere….

I had Steve Schmidt supply a “broken-down” 423-in Smallblock engine, less a few critical parts that Landon Motorsport here in Tauranga will spec & obtain. They will finish the entire engine with  Link EFI, a Whipple blower with water/meth injection – to remove the need to use a bulky intercooler, as this engine will fit beneath a stock SS hood.  The blue adapter between the blower and the throttle bodies was 3d modelled & printed; this is a work in progress while I work around throttle actuation, air intake ducting etc. There will be lots of other subtle body mods to the sills, valances, wheel arches etc.

I then used wooden mock-up wheels  (18 x 12” & 19 x 12.5”) that have adjustable offsets & used tyres, then placed them in the position read to get the look we wanted. Custom billet wheels & tyres were then ordered, and I could then proceed with the custom front & rear wheel tubs. Also, an under-dash brake booster assembly was mounted & a full custom driveshaft tunnel & firewall were fabbed.

Phil at PG Hydraulics has designed the steering box mounts and associated RH drive steering components/location.

Chris decided he wanted the twin-tail light look of the 71 rear bumper (as opposed to the single OE  1970 ones) to match the 70 twin headlights. I adapted the 71 bumper over; it was such a poor fit that I ended up cutting & wedging it to get the desired contours to match the rear sheet metal curves & to get it to fit nicely & tight to the body. The bumper is now also “bolt-less,” with no external hardware visible; the mounts are integral to the bumper. It's off now for the legend Terry Sims to wave his wand over it, then off to the chrome plate.

This project was started in late December 2022.


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