I wake up in the morning thinking of cars. I go to sleep at night thinking of cars. I’m a bit car crazy. People ask me my favorite car, and I could rattle off a marque or two, but that would be somewhat disingenuous. The fact is, there are so many cars that are my favorite, I’d have to get the questioner to refine what they are asking. Because my answer would be “For what?” and “From where?” and “Which manufacturer?” and “What era?”
If someone was to ask me, “What’s your favorite American muscle car made by Chevrolet in the early 1970’s for highway cruising, I’d have to say it’s the Chevelle. I may be even more specific and say, THIS Chevelle. Take a look at the pictures and if you are a
So this morning I woke up with the song “Highway Star” by Deep Purple playing through my mind. The multi-platinum selling album Machine Head which also included the famous (or infamous if you’ve ever worked in a guitar shop) song “Smoke on the Water”, was released in 1972 and yet there it was playing in my ears via some unknown audio mechanism in my mind. Because it wouldn’t stop I thought I’d heed the message and seek out the car that is for sale today by owner that would be MY Highway Star if I was somehow magically transported to that year.
And here it is. A beautifully restored (resto-modded really) 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle. As I’m looking at it, the opening verse and chorus of Highway Star is running through my mind on an invisible 8-track tape loop:
Nobody gonna take my car
I’m gonna race it to the ground
Nobody gonna beat my car
It’s gonna break the speed of sound
Ooh it’s a killing machine
It’s got everything
Like a driving power big fat tires
I love it and I need it, I bleed it
Yeah, it’s a wild hurricane
Alright, hold tight
I’m a highway star
I guess I had highway cruising on my mind since I took a recent road trip that culminated in me peering over the rim of the Grand Canyon. As I was driving there and back I thought that the sort of long-hauling I was doing was ideally suited for specific kinds of vehicles. Generally large, powerful coupes or sedans. I suppose you could include SUV’s (that’s what I was driving) but nahhh, there’s something about a long low slung car that just begs to be driven long distances.
Fast, powerful, comfortable, and quiet are features I’d find ideal in my Highway Star but I’d gladly swap out the quiet for faster and more powerful. Oh, and something that is wide enough to accommodate a sofa. No reason to be all scrunched together. So what I ended up with is the Chevelle. Such as this particularly attractive hunk-a heavy metal.
As an aside, the album title Machine Head is a bit of a double entendre: One who likes machines, such as the Highway Star-mobile but also, it is the part of a guitar that sits at the top of the neck (called the headstock) where the strings curl around a peg so that the string can be tuned. Those little devices are called machine heads. Given that the fingerings of Ritchie Blackmore were behind the chords and solos of the songs on this album, I suspect those machine heads got quite a workout. See, you learn something new every day. You’re welcome.
But speaking of machinery and melodies, check out the engine bay of this Chevelle. There’s enough chrome in there to be the shaving mirror for your entire neighborhood. And I’m quite sure that thing barks out quite the exhaust note that would make even Mozart weep with joy.
This frame-off restoration only has 1,100 miles on it since the rebuild and you can tell. There’s nary a mark or speck of dust on it anywhere. Every part exudes new car smell, which is not bad for an old car. That of course, is hyperbole, but I really wouldn’t doubt it. This black over black (or perhaps charcoal) cruiser looks basically like what it is: a new car wrapped in a sculpted old car body. Like that old muscle-y dude from testosterone replacement commercials. Except the car is actually attractive and not creepy.
Here are some highlights:
This bad boy comes with a 509 cubic inch big block Chevy motor which puts out a claimed 585 HP on pump gas, which is pretty astounding. It has an Eagle crank and rods, Isky hydraulic roller cam and Dart intake manifold and 325 polished aluminum heads, a Dominator carb and polished Magnaflow mufflers. Additionally installed is a large aluminum radiator with dual 15” electric fans, a Tremec T56 5 speed manual transmission, and 3.73 gears with a posi rear.
OK, the song is getting louder in my head, so much so that it is starting to fill the room. I don’t want you to be left out, so just in case you need a supercharged boost of ‘Purple, here’s your opportunity to take a break from all these words and kick back for a listen:
Whew, that was good. Let me regain my composure. OK, here we go. The seller has installed Wilwood 4 wheel disc brakes with hydroboost, Global West tubular front suspension with Bilstein shocks, March Performance power steering and Billet Specialties staggered 18×8” and 20×10” wheels with Toyo tires.
The body is said to be very straight with a very good paint job. Bumpers front and rear are new, as is the trim. All new glass and felts/rubber. Power windows have been installed as have leather front bucket seats, rear seats and headliner. Speaking of leather, there are also custom leather kick panels and rear package tray swathed in it. Finally some other features include a custom center console, carbon fiber dash, Vintage AC/heat, Hurst shifter, big-ass stereo with 6×9’s and a 12” sub in the trunk.
And those are just the highlights. It’s a ridiculously meticulous over-the-top resto-mod. Just the way I like them. Hey, if you’re going to do it, do the heck out of it. Clearly, the heck has been done out of this car, which is now resting in the dry heat of the Phoenix metro, just waiting for someone to take it all the places it wants to go. So there you have it, my pick of the litter for an American highway cruising muscle car from the 1970’s.
All right, hold tight, I’m a Highway Star.
See the original listing HERE.
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