JASON MULLIGAN September 28, 2021 All Feature Vehicles
Who would want to drive a performance car built from 50-year-old parts based on even older technology? This is exactly the same thought that crossed Greg Heinrich’s mind. He loved the styling and looks of his 1970 Chevelle, but since he owns a Chevrolet dealership filled with brand-new cars, he figured he could keep the muscle car attitude and upgrade the engine, suspension and interior to underscore the beauty that lies underneath.
THE INSIDE IS A DIFFERENT STORY. THE ENTIRE DASH BEZEL HAS BEEN RECREATED AS A CUSTOM BILLET ALUMINUM PIECE…”
To create the perfect pro-touring muscle car that featured power, reliability and modern luxuries cloaked in classic sheet metal, Greg turned to Ironworks Speed & Kustom out of Bakersfield, California. His instructions to owner Rodger Lee were to completely modernize and upgrade everything for performance and comfort, except the body. The jet black exterior was in pristine condition, so only a few minor upgrades were scheduled. A quick glance at the rolling stock or inside at the interior offers a hint to the power and performance that lies beneath.
The guys at Ironworks started from the ground up, outfitting the car with one of their 1968-72 Chevelle chassis that adds rigidity and upgraded suspension for better handling. The front suspension consists of C6 Corvette components along with a Detroit Speed rack-and-pinion steering setup to an ididit column.
A set of Ridetech triple adjustable shocks provides improved cornering and ride comfort as opposed to the old A-body suspension that could give even the most avid boater sea legs. Fourteen-inch Wilwood brakes help bring things to a quick stop. Out back, a 4-link setup wraps around a Ford 9-inch rearend with 3.89 gears and a tough 35- spline Wave Trac differential.
Ridetech shocks and Wilwood brakes round out the package. With improved handling and forthcoming added performance, raceinspired wheels were the way to go. A set of 19 x 10 and 20 x 12-inch grip-equipped Laguna wheels wrapped in Michelin PS2 295/30R19 and 335/30R20 tires provide a wide track pattern for keeping the muscle car under control.
Greg didn’t have to look far beyond his inventory for the perfect power plant for the pro-touring ride. With Chevrolet Performance offering crate engines from its high-performance cars to the public, a 2012 Chevrolet LSA supercharged engine pushing almost 600 hp was the perfect fit.
The engine provides the reliability and tenability of a modern LS3 engine topped with a supercharger providing even more horsepower that’s friendly to gas mileage as well. An AutoRad radiator helps keep things cool, while a K&N air intake flows to custom-built 1.875-inch stainless steel headers and 3-inch exhaust with Magnaflow mufflers.
The powerful engine is backed with a Tremec Magnum transmission and twin-disc clutch to a custom-built driveshaft. The exterior was kept in factory condition aside from a set of JW Speaker LED headlights.
The inside is a different story. The entire dash bezel has been recreated as a custom billet aluminum piece featuring Auto Meter gauges and Ironworks switches. A Vintage Air system provides comfort on hot days and cold nights, a Budnik steering wheel and Marquez Design billet mirror finish things off for the interior styling. A Sony head unit leading to Kicker speakers provides the tunes. Lastly, Stitch by Stitch wrapped everything in red leather to set off the interior against the black exterior.
Taking this classic 1970 Chevelle and bringing it up to a modern standard ensures that the car will be driven and perform better than ever intended from the factory. Greg’s Chevelle may show classic lines but thanks to the crew at Ironworks Speed & Kustom, it has the driving characteristics of a Corvette ZR1 with the luxury of a Cadillac.
TAKING A CLASSIC MUSCLE CAR AND BRINGING IT UP TO MODERN STANDARDS ENSURES THAT THE CAR WILL BE DRIVEN AND PERFORM BETTER THAN EVER INTENDED FROM THE FACTORY.
OWNER: Greg Heinrich 1970 Chevelle Las Vegas, NV
BUILDER: Ironworks Speed & Kustom Stitch By Stitch
FRAME: Ironworks 68-72 Chevelle Chassis
SUSPENSION: Ironworks C6 Corvette based, Ridetech triple adjustable shocks, Detroit Speed rack-andpinion, Ford 9-inch rearend, Wave Trac 35-spline 3.89 differential
BRAKES: 14-inch Wilwood
WHEELS: 19 x 10-inch and 20 x 12-inch grip-equipped Laguna
TIRES: Michelin PS2 295/30R19 and 335/30R20
ENGINE: 2012 LSA crate engine, Auto Rad radiator, K&N air intake, Magnaflow muffler, custom 3-inch stainless exhaust system, custom 1.875-inch stainless headers, Rick’s 21-gallon aluminum gas tank
TRANSMISSION: Tremec Magnum, twin clutch
BODY & PAINT: Factory, JW Speaker LED headlights
INTERIOR: Ironworks billet dash, red leather seats, Auto Meter gauges, Sony head unit, Kicker speakers, ididit steering column, Budnik steering wheel, Vintage Air, Ron Francis wiring harness