1970 Chevelle: Refined Muscle - BIG MUSCLE

Uploaded by drive on 06.12.2012


MIKE MUSTO: On today's episode of "Big Muscle," we're going
to answer the question, can you
over-modernize a muscle car?
If you do-- and your suspension, interior, brakes,
and you do it to a level that's up here, does it take
the actual feel out of the car?
Does it no longer feel like a car you want to drive, but
more of a car you have to drive because you
built it that way?
We're going to look at a 1970 Chevelle.
And it's a great looking car, there's no doubt about it.
But is it going to pique our interest, and is it going to
get our juices flowing like the other cars we've
driven on this show?
Not really sure yet, but we're going to find out.
So, stay tuned for a cool episode of "Big Muscle."
MARK BACHMAN: Well, this '70 Chevelle is kind of built from
the ground up.
There was nothing but a body shell when I got the car-- a
rusty body shell, at that.
It's got a stroked LS2 in it that's supposed to produce 580
horsepower, 530 pounds of torque.
The car engine was built by a builder in Oceanside who
specializes in high-output Chevy motors.
It's got a 4l65e automatic transmission, a
strange rear end--
that's pretty much how it's powered--
Global West suspension, vintage air conditioning, and
a Wilwood brake, six-piston Wilwoods in the front.
Hydroboost brakes, and then a whole bunch of more
comfort-oriented things.
MIKE MUSTO: So, here we are behind the wheel of Mark
Bachman's 1970 Chevelle, the car that we told you earlier
that we were concerned about.
You see, this is a car that's packed with technology, from
its 500 horsepower LS2, to the rain-sensing wipers, to the
power windows, air conditioning, and navigation.
You know, this is a car that doesn't feel like an old car.
But that doesn't mean it doesn't act like an old car.
Mark, even though he's created an amazing, amazing machine,
has gone through great pains to make sure that this thing
is still every bit of muscle car.
Like I said, 500 horsepower LS2.
That means [INAUDIBLE]
MIKE MUSTO: I mean, the thing just drops and goes.
When he first built this car, his goal was not to build a
race car or a full-on pro-touring car.
It was built as a car that he could get in and go for a
thousand-mile drive with his wife in pure comfort.
And you know what, you can.
Let me touch on the interior of this car, because it is,
far and away, the nicest interior I've ever seen in any
muscle car.
In fact, let me go one step farther and say, this is one
of the nicest interiors I've ever seen.
Now, I've been in Veyrons.
I've been in Spykers.
I've been in all manner of BMW, Mercedes, and whatever
other exotic thing you want to say.
This stitchwork and the quality of the interior, it's
flipping unbelievable in this thing.
I mean, I've redone the interior in my cars, but there
are levels of things, you know.
Like, level one is, all right, let me put a set of seats in
this thing.
Level two, let me get them recovered.
Level three, let me do the door panels.
Well, if there was, like, a level 168, that's this car.
The headliner is full leather.
The dash, full leather.
The door panels, the seats, complete custom in two tone.
The stitching is just--
I'm like, I don't get blown away by a lot of stuff.
I mean, I just don't.
I'm amazed at the level of quality that he
put into this car.

MARK BACHMAN: Well, I found a guy at a show that specialized
in hot rods.
And he hadn't really done a muscle car, but he'd done a
lot of really, really fine work in leather.
So, I had some sketches produced for the car.
And I researched the internet and looked at what other
people had done and tried to come up with something a
little different.
I had some sketches done, and I showed him the sketches on
the interior.
And he took it and built it for me based on that.
So, you see two tones of leather.
The headliner is all leather.
The carpets are Wilton wool.
It's just all very, very well done.
And then all the wood trim, it's beautiful.
MIKE MUSTO: All right, so what we're going to do is just to
show you guys a little bit of how good this thing really is
in a straight line.
Now, I don't know, maybe we're doing three.
MIKE MUSTO: I mean, this thing handles, man.
You throw it in, power out.
I mean, I know Mark just built this as a GT
car, and that's fine.
But this is what a GT car does, right?
You could take it out, you could throw it into a corner.
It's gonna handle.
It's gonna turn, which is exactly what
this thing does, right?
And it does it very, very well.
That Global West suspension soaks up the bumps.
Those big Wilwood six pots slow the car
right down from speed.
There's not a lot of bump, and there's not a lot of grinding.
There are no rattles, no squeaks.
I mean, just a fun, fun car to drive.
MIKE MUSTO: First and second gear in this
thing are pretty tall.
It's not until this thing kicks into, like, third gear
that it really throws you back in the seat.
But when it does, you've really got to hold on, because
the power comes on really, really abruptly.
And the shifts are very, very hard.
I mean, I don't know how many of you guys have driven, like,
an F430 or Scuderia or something like that.
But you click those paddles, and it feels like somebody
punches you in the back.
That's what the shifts are like in this car.
Now, some of the things in this car are a
little bit out of place.
So, for instance, the key switch, the traction control,
a lot of electronic gadgets and gizmos, are hidden in this
center console.
And while that's cool, I can't get to them.
You know what I mean?
I can't get to my key switch, I can't get to my traction
control button, unless I raise this armrest and hit a couple
of buttons.
And it's a little awkward.
But it kind of fits with the theme of this car, which is
hide everything and make it beautiful.
More form over function I suppose.

From a body perspective, the Chevelle was always somewhat
of a looker.
And when we first saw this car, we weren't really sure of
what to make of the paint and the bronze color.
But then you see it in the daylight, and I'll tell you
the whole car just comes alive.
The Billet wheels, the little accents of chrome and
stainless around the car.
They set the car off very, very nicely.
It's like I said, it is a driver, it is a show car, and
it's one of those rare things where, you know what?
You really can have all of the above.
I mean, Mark's proven that to us today.

MARK BACHMAN: I had an LS6 that was bone stock.
And the two cars, side by side, this car is by far and
away a much better muscle car then that one was, with the
1970 technology.
This car feels new, and it smells unbelievable.

And it's loud.
It's loud, but it's not unbearably so.
It's tight.
There are no squeaks, no rattles, none of that stuff.
MIKE MUSTO: They're loud, fast, obnoxious.
They rumble.
They spit fuel.
They make you do things that you normally wouldn't do.
That's what a muscle car is.
Turns you into a hooligan.
When we first met Mark and the '70 Chevelle, I looked at the
car, and I got a bit nervous.
You see, this car is done to the 11th degree.
You see, he did something that everybody tries to do, but
nobody can do.
He took something that was very old, he made
it brand new again.
And the car is simply outstanding.
Therefore, with a car like this, and what we showed you
today, let that be a lesson that with enough time, enough
of course, enough money--
you can take something old and make your
perfect, perfect hot rod.
MIKE MUSTO: Thank God this thing's got air conditioning.
Holy cow.
I'm sweating like a whore in church right now.

Shouldn't have had that beet soup last night.

That beet soup just took me to the cleaners, man.
You know why I'm wearing these sunglasses today?
Because of beet soup.
Don't do it, ladies and gentlemen.
You'll be beat by the beet.
It knocked me out.
You can't see the bags under my eyes from not
sleeping last night.
Air conditioning, I love you.