Many classic car and muscle car enthusiasts are from the older generation, which is to be expected. Nameplates like Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro bring many Baby Boomers back to their younger days and remind them of their youth, so it stands to reason that they are the ones driving the demand for many 1960s and 1970s muscle cars today.
Dragzine recently caught up with a younger muscle car enthusiast, though, speaking with 26-year old Mike Smith, who built the 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle pictured below. Smith is a mechanic at Gateway Automotive in Thurmont, Maryland, but any free time he has is dedicated to his mean purple Chevelle.
Smith’s Chevelle is a 1971 model year, but it has the four-eyed front fascia from a 1970 Chevelle due to a previous encounter with a traffic pole. Believe it or not, Smith has actually added power to the car since the minor fender bender, which happened after he got on the throttle a bit too early. The car still featured a naturally aspirated Small Block V8 when the accident happened, but now that LS motor has been topped off with a rather sizable 80mm BorgWarner turbocharger. With the turbo making just 12 psi of boost, the LQ4 V8 makes stout 800 horsepower. The engine has also been bored and stroked from 364 cubic inches (or 5.9-liters) to 402 cubic inches (6.6-liters) and features an aftermarket crankshaft and camshaft and 230cc heads. Power is sent to a good ol’ General Motors TH400 four-speed automatic transmission.
So, how fast is it at the strip? Smith isn’t willing to say just yet, though he believes it will break into the eight-second range. With the engine in need of more tuning and more track days planned for the year ahead, Smith is planning on having a more concrete answer in the near future.
“I would like to say eights, but I don’t have the time-slip to back it up,” he told Dragzine. “I’ve gone 10s before while shutting the car down on the track due to an issue. I’ll get it to the track and sort it out soon enough.”
Check out Dragzine’s full article on Smith’s 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle at this link.