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Common Looking ’67 Chevelle Hides Many Surprises

Published May 19, 2016

It may look like a common 1960s two-door, but this Chevelle is a real 1967 SS that once had a highly revered 396-cubic inch big block L78 engine under the hood. Car buffs are probably traumatized by the words “once had.” Heart sick that it still doesn’t have the original stock engine, they are probably wondering what could have happened to it. Was it bad and had to be discarded?

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the 1960s Chevelle SS, the L78, which generated 375-horsepower, was considered one of GM’s most aggressive engines when it appeared in the 1966 Chevelle. Chevrolet dropped it from the Chevelle the next year, but many believed that some were retained and were used to power a limited number of ’67 Chevelles.

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Randy Mason and his son, Tim, did the restoration of this Chevelle. A major fan of Chevrolet going back to his early days, Randy revitalized two Covairs, constructed and raced hotrods, pumped gas at his dad’s service station, sold cars for a number of Chevrolet dealerships and served General Motors.

Tim manages a restoration shop called HCC Performance.

The fact that this Chevelle no longer has that stock 396 L78 is 10-1967-chevrolet-chevelle-lsxbecause Randy exchanged it for a General Motors Performance Parts LSX454 427-cubic inch big block that generates 620-horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque.

Randy had boosted a black 1967 Chevelle with an L88 when he was in high school. He raced it successfully against drag strip competition and it was his personal ride. Through the years, he has owned a 1965 Malibu, a 1969 Camaro Z/28, and an original 1970 454 Chevelle SS. However, his favorite has always been that 1967 Chevelle.

15-1967-chevrolet-chevelle-interiorSo around 2002 when a new neighbor appeared next door with a 1967 Chevelle at a time when Randy decided to build hotrods again, he saw a chance to re-construct a replica of his favorite car.

He offered to buy the car from the neighbor, but was rebuffed. He inspected the car and the two talked about it and Randy discovered that it was a genuine “138” Chevelle or a true, original SS without an original air conditioner, heater, and radio, often referred to as a “delete car.”

Randy asked the man to call him if he ever wanted to sell it. A few 19-1967-chevrolet-chevelle-radioyears later, in 2005, he got the call.

The plan was to keep the car as visually original as possible. Hidden, but mated to the LSX454 engine is a TREMEC TKO 600 five speed manual transmission and the original rear has been exchanged for a General Motors 12-bolt rear-end. Other changes include Hotchkis control arms, springs, and sway bars, factory GM disc brakes, 15-inch steelies wheels with dog dish caps and redline tires.

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The air conditioner is hidden beneath the dashboard and the stereo source units are in the trunk.

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The result is a classic that looks mild and may not excite at first sight, but has a lot of hidden high-tech goodies that elicit wows and dropped chins once people discover them.

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Chris Riley
About Chris Riley

I have been wrecking cars for as long as I've been driving them but I keep coming back for more. Two wheels or four, I'm all in. GearHeads.org gives me a chance to give something back to the automobile community.

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