1970 Chevy Chevelle

If there’s any car that’s capable of tapping into the passion of someone who grew up in the 1970s, it’s the Chevy Chevelle—including Wicked co-owner Chuck Anderson, who had to get his hands on this classic. The original plan for this “10-footer” (looked pretty good from 10 to 15 feet away) called for making it a daily driver, but it didn’t take long for Anderson to decide on a new paint job. And when a good sanding revealed everything from pounds of Bondo to chicken wire, it was only a matter of time before this one was headed for sand blasting and a complete makeover.

Starting from scratch, Wicked technicians added all new body panels, including new quarters, fenders and doors. Next, they pulled off the impossible by shaving down its drip rails to such perfection that you’d never know they were there to begin with. The front and rear bumpers were cut down and drawn in, along with custom integrated lights and a new front grill, in order to give this car a sleekness that’s both coming and going. (Though, most cars are only going to get a good look at the back end of it and only for a short distance.) In the end, about the only thing that’s original on this car is its roof and floor, which were in surprisingly good shape. Now, everything from the under-carriage to the floorboards look like they just left the factory floor.

Mechanically, the car was in sound shape and ready to be driven, but, “One thing just leads to another,” Anderson says. To go with its sleek, new road-touring appearance, this Chevelle’s 454 engine is bored and stroked out to 496 cubic inches, while being outfitted with new cams and a bigger carburetor to take it from roughly 280 to a whopping 600 horsepower. Meanwhile, a new Tremec five-speed transmission and Detroit Speed road touring suspension make it drive and handle along the lines of a modern Corvette—a far cry from how it handled in the 70s.

The goal was to give this Chevelle a completely unique look and feel, while staying within the parameters of its original makings. At a glance, there’s no mistaking that you’re looking at a 1970 Chevelle. But up close, its uniqueness blew the judges away at Goodguys North Carolina National (2016 in Raleigh), netting it the All-American Award. Meanwhile, Chuck Anderson says don’t be surprised to see fuel injection coming soon, because a Wicked ride isn’t Wicked until it’s truly reached its limits.