Mike Owens’ 1970 Chevelle Is A Tribute To His Father

1968-1972 Chevelles and GM A-bodies are viewed by many as the perfect Pro-Touring platform. Chevelles also make great family cars. Mike Owens’ 1970 Chevelle evolved into a racing tribute to his father as well as the perfect cruiser for his own kids.

Mike and his dad had dreams of restoring an LS6 Chevelle together. Mike’s dad was also big into racing vintage Formula 2 cars. Sadly, Mike’s father passed away from cancer.  Owens picked up a nice 1970 Chevelle SS396 and wrenched on it for a while. Then the project kicked into overdrive.

Being stock, Mike’s Chevelle obviously needed a little work before it could hit the big track in anger. Since he’s a busy guy, Mike chose Smitty’s Custom Automotive in Tiffin, Ohio to sculpt his vision into reality. Since there as no rust repair or paintwork to consider, the Chevelle moved straight to the upgrade phase at Smitty’s. The long list of hardware includes a brand new 6.2L LSA engine from Lingenfelter Performance Engineering. In stock form, these supercharged engines pack 556 horsepower with 580 lb-ft of torque. More recently, Mike’s engine has received a bigger camshaft and hot cylinder heads. The current output is around 650 HP at the wheels. It’s nice that LSA engines easily fit under the hood of any A-body. Bowler Performance Transmissions supplied the Tremec T-56 six-speed. A Ford 9″ axle assembly finishes off the drivetrain equation while big Wilwood disc brakes slow the car on demand.

As you might expect, the chassis is all Ridetech. StrongArm™ Control Arms and MuscleBAR™ sway bars work in unison with Instinct Electronic Coilovers.  Owens really sings the praises of the Instinct adaptive suspension design. “Instinct is incredibly responsive. It reacts to anything you do very quickly such as big throttle, brake and steering inputs. You can feel it constantly adjusting itself. On the street, Instinct is really comfortable”. While Chevelles will accommodate wide tires in stock form, Smitty’s “tubbed” the rear wheel wells and notched the frame to accept extra wide 335mm wide rear tires and 18″x12″ Forgeline GT3C wheels.  Matching front wheels and tires measure 18″x11″ and 315, respectively.  As you might imagine, Mike’s Chevelle has some serious grip.

The interior features a mix of old and new components including the first-to-market set of Sparco QRT-Carbon seats and Dakota Digital Gauges. With a busy schedule, Mike appreciates that the family can come along for a ride in the car. With Father’s Day around the corner, it’s nice that we are able to share a Ridetech Ride that was built to honor the memory of a man who enjoyed road racing and shared the car hobby with his son.  Mike Owens gets to carry on that legacy with his own kids. 

Have you ever seen a Chevelle look more planted and composed under full cornering loads? Heres Mike out on track. His fastest lap time on NCM’s road course was a 2:46. Mike speaks highly of his Instinct Electronic Shock Absorbers. Photo by Kaleb Kelley – Short Shift Media
The stance on this Chevelle is just perfect. We really like the subdued black finish on Mike’s Forgeline GT3C wheels.  They complement the black SS stripes for a vintage look.
The engine bay is all business. Specs include a supercharged LSA V8 from Lingenfelter Performance Engineering. Radiator and intercooler are by C&R Racing.
In race trim, Mike runs a variety of decals from his favorite speed equipment brands. Does the Bud Light sticker make the car faster? The sticky B.F. Goodrich rear tires measure 335mm wide.
1970 Chevelle Dashboard
The interior of Mike’s 1970 Chevelle is a mix of restored parts and cutting edge technology. Specs include Dakota Digital Gauges, Alpine and Kicker audio and the world’s first set of Sparco QRT-Carbon seats.

For a complete line of Chevelle and GM A-Body suspension systems and parts, click HERE 

One thought on “Mike Owens’ 1970 Chevelle Is A Tribute To His Father

  1. Lea Crenshaw says:

    Great story & great build. I hope me & my dad can fully restore my 66 fastback 2+2 to be equally as impressive with Ride Techs help!!!!!!!!!

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