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