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Concept corner: hot to handle ’67 Chevelle

12 June 2018



Kayton Coughey’s got a super-quick circuit car, and a super-tough street car. His dream machine lies somewhere in between

Illustration: Ash Westmoreland —

If you don’t know Kayton Coughey by name, you’ll probably recognize his company, Real Rides Ltd, which is responsible for building and finishing many cars seen around the show halls and streets of New Zealand. Being in the business he’s in, keeping his finger on the pulse of what’s currently hot in the car scene is of the utmost importance, and that’s what his ultimate build would reflect. 

“I’d really love to build a ’67 Chevelle — something that would hold its own at SEMA,” Kayton says. “Low, big wheels, big power …”

Of course, as Kayton currently races a circuit-spec Holden HQ in Northern Muscle Cars, anything he builds has got to be functional, and this Chevelle would be the ultimate in terms of a track-ready street car. Pretty much pro-touring perfection. 

Illustration: Ash Westmoreland —

Based on a Roadster Shop Fast Track full chassis, with independent rear subframe, a custom floorpan would be fabricated to channel the body over the rails a little more than factory. 
He’d see its low stance complemented by a set of forged HRE S201H wheels measuring in at 19×9 inches up front and 20×12 in the rear, doing their best to cover a set of V8 Supercar-sourced AP Racing brake calipers and suitably large discs. 

None of that would be strictly for show, either, as with the handling credentials beneath this Chevelle, power could never be sub-par. 

Mast Motorsports is the name when it comes to big-power LS mills, and the all-alloy LS series is really the only motor that makes sense in a car built to be as well-balanced as this. Starting with a 402ci Mast Motorsports 800 Performance long block, a Magnuson TVS2300 supercharger, and EFI controlled by a Kiwi-made Link G4+ Thunder ECU that ensures reliable and streetable power, and the Tremec Magnum six-speed box serves as the only real option in a street-driven pro-touring heavyweight like this. 

Illustration: Ash Westmoreland —

Airflow and heat pose serious concerns, and steps would need to be taken to address this. Revisions to the headlight systems would see the inner (high-beam) headlights replaced with billet intake pods, with vents worked into the hood to dissipate excess heat. You know these wouldn’t be Chinese fibreglass items either, but custom designed and fabricated to work both functionally and aesthetically. 

Finishing aesthetic touches would include tucked carbon-fibre bumpers, and aero-designed front splitter and rear spoiler, but Kayton’s attention to detail would be sure to extend to just about every aspect of the vehicle — lights, grille, door handles, and definitely the interior.
Now, will it happen? Some of these Concept Corner ideas are only dreams, while others end up becoming a reality. We’d say this one lies firmly in between, but if there’s a guy to do it, this is it. 

LVVTA’s View
Justin from LVVTA says: Pro-Touring-style cars are rapidly increasing in popularity, and most builders who are serious about the functionality of the finished product are looking towards the aftermarket frames that provide not only far superior steering suspension and brakes than their 1960s OEM predecessors, but the frames themselves also have far better torsional strength. That’s something worth serious consideration when throwing a whole lot of power in there, combined with the need to able to push it hard into the twisty bits on track days. 
Being a body/chassis vehicle to begin with makes the process of switching to a purpose-built aftermarket chassis quite simple, avoiding some of the complexities that can be associated with fitting a chassis underneath a vehicle that was originally designed as a monocoque. While there are a number of options available for aftermarket frames, they’re all required to meet our minimum technical requirements for a custom chassis, contained in the New Zealand Car Construction Manual. 

Because most of these frames come from a country that doesn’t have specific requirements, there’s always some risk that rectification work will be needed prior to your LVV certifier signing off on it. The most common issues we see are grinding of welds where the certifier hasn’t been able to inspect them first, missing fishplates at chassis joins, and cross members and brackets not spreading the loads across the chassis rail correctly. Because of this risk, it can be a good idea to order the frame unpainted so that any additional engineering doesn’t necessitate paint removal. Unless the manufacturer is specifically listed as an ‘LVV Recognized Independent front or rear suspension (IFS or IRS) manufacturer’ (see, any custom IFS or IRS will need to be approved through the build approval process, which ensures that the design and geometry of the suspension assembly will be suitable for New Zealand road conditions. 

When it comes time for wheel selection, make sure that you refer to the LVV Wheels & Tyres Standard to make sure the rim offsets, loadings, and all other aspects are within LVV specs. There’s also a handy rim-to-tyre size guide information sheet available from our website to make sure that the tyres are an appropriate fitment for the rims, avoiding stretch issues and ensuring that the fitment is within the tyre manufacturer’s specifications. 

As you’d expect with any performance vehicle, braking components will need to be well matched to make sure they’re able to scrub off speed quickly. The LVV cyclic fade-resistance brake test makes sure that the brakes are suitable based on the weight and performance potential of the vehicle. While Supercar brakes will be sure to scrub that speed off, just make sure that all of the the components you choose are suited for road use — some race parts, including brake callipers, are made with no provision for dust or water boots to protect the pistons and cylinders, which can result in premature component failure. The engine, transmission, and other driveline mods should be straightforward; all of the requirements can all be found in the LVV Engine & Drivetrain Standard. As with any project where significant modifications are planned, it pays to get in touch with an LVV certifier sooner rather than later, to ensure that what you’re planning will be able to be approved at the end of the build, and to keep your rectification sheets as short as possible. Like the editor, we also hope that this dream becomes a reality!