Most hot rodders will tell you that you can’t have too much horsepower. A recent graduate from the D&P Academy of high performance muscle cars is this beautiful 1969 Chevelle SS owned by Jim Dillard. Jim had driven the car for years in it’s “driver” quality condition with it’s factory 396 engine. The car had never been restored but had apparently had a hard life. After tiring of “the old car thing” and breaking down on a regular basis Jim decided to take the plunge and have D&P build the hot rod he always wanted. Darryl & Jim sat down and discussed the possibilities and a build plan was developed. Jim wanted the car to be fast, handle well, be comfortable, and most of all fun to drive and dependable. Jim said he wasn’t a big car show kinda guy but he wanted a real world car he could drive and beat on if he wanted to. A complete body-off the frame restoration was begun.
During the build process it was determined that the chassis was tweaked pretty bad from a previous collision and the decision was made to replace it with a good used frame. For power D&P started with a GM Performance 502 cubic inch big block crate engine. A number of improvements were made to the engine which included more compression, a Comp Cam, re-worked GM aluminum heads, Air Gap Intake, and a few more goodies to bring the 502 up to 620 horsepower. The transmission selected was a Keisler Tremec 5 Speed with a hydraulic clutch. A set of GM Performance valve covers were smoothed and painted to match the car. The suspension was upgraded front and rear with components from Global West. A set of upgraded power 4 wheel disc brakes from CPP were installed. For cooling D&P had U.S. Radiator build a heavy duty aluminum unit. A March Performance serpentine pulley was installed on the big block along with a set of thermal coated Doug’s headers. The original 12 bolt differential was freshened up with all new internals and 3:73 gears for good out of the hole performance.
While the mechanical work was in progress the D&P paint shop crew took care of the needed paint and body work resulting in the beautiful, bright red finish. All the trim was obtained from Original Parts Group along with a factory appearing custom leather interior. Jim selected a retro set of billet aluminum wheels. For comfort D&P rebuilt the factory a/c system and updated it to modern standards. A set of flowmaster 40 series mufflers were installed behind the headers. Needless to say this bad boy is loud and in your face. The result is a fast, nasty sounding muscle car that attracts a crowd where ever it goes. Oh yeah it handles good, it’s comfortable and it’s a lot of fun to drive.