photos by: the author – via Timeless Muscle IG
It’s Great to Get Back in the Shop — Getting out of the Office to Turn Wrenches
Being an automotive journalist certainly has its perks, but it’s not without it commitments and obligations. Being the lone wolf handling social media, marketing, editing and assigning article to our thirty freelancer contributors, there can be an overwhelming amount of hustle and bustle on the edit end of things, without getting our hands dirty as much as we’d like. However, it was time to step away from our iMacs and jump back into our natural habitat of the shop.
Over the last few months, we’ve been burning the midnight oil in the Timeless Muscle Garage, thrashing on Project: 88, Project Redo, and to a lesser extent, our yet to be named ’70 Corvette. Never before have we consistently thrashed on a series of projects cars in a way that we’ve essentially built, or rebuilt, a vast portion of the vehicles all at once. You’ll read more about them in the following weeks, but if you’ve been paying attention to our Instagram feed, then you might have an idea of where we’re at.
But just in case you’ve missed all of it, we’ll bring you up to speed!
We’ve already given you the backstory on our ’68 Firebird convertible, including a YearOne wheel/tire upgrade and BMR spring install in recent weeks, but we will delve closer into he FiTech EFI and K&N air cleaner upgrade soon, enough! We also give this thing a fresh coat of wax, from our friends at Meguiar’s, showcasing their latest products for a deep shine! We’re also putting together a nice little recipe for a new powerplant to live under the hood. We’re partly torn between building a fresh Pontiac mill, and just going full-bore LS swap.
It’s slightly sidelined as a result of our “Project: 88” Chevelle gobbling up what little time we have, but we will be turning our attention back to this beautiful car once again soon. If there’s anything you’d like to see implemented into this classic Bird, let us know. We’d like to see around 500 hp with this thing, and make it competitive on the road course!
Like we’ve mentioned above, Project: 88 has been sucking up quite a bit of our time! What started out as a simple interior refresh, has us putting in new trunk and floor pans, and essentially doing a fairly thorough frame-off restoration. Our ’70 Chevelle project has snowballed into quite the project, and could quite possibly be one of the quickest restorations we’ve ever performed!
Courtesy of our friends from CARS Inc., Auto Metal Direct, Summit Racing and YearOne, among others. This car is getting sandblasted, primed and painted in its factory Astro Blue hue. We’ve ripped off the old vinyl top, and decided to ditch it altogether. Not only was it destroyed, but we felt that it was always a body line breaker.
Our CARS interior kit will be taking residence inside the cockpit, as well as some fresh trim pieces throughout the body. Our bumpers will be getting rechromed, a set of 17-inch YearOne SS wheels now sit at all four corners. We’ll be installing all new suspension hardware, to maximize the potential of the previously installed Hellwig sway bar we kit we bolted in a while back.
Like we’ve said in the intro story, the overall goal is to not only to restore this vehicle, but to improve on it in little ways, overall, to improve the experience and performance on every level. Also on our docket, is a brake upgrade, a transmission and rearend rebuild and an aluminum driveshaft. It will look largely stock, but will have small, subtle difference form a factory original example — just enough to bring it up to modern standards.
The Unnamed ’70 Corvette
This one popped up on it’s own; a stalled project that’s been in our corral for quite some time — and we’re eager to get the ball rolling on it. It’s a factory LS-5 454 example, but without the original drivetrain. Some years back, we’ve located a date-code correct LS-5 block to build a foundation on. We’ve stuffed it with goodies form Callies, TRW and COMP Cams, as well as equip it with Edelbrock aluminum cylinder heads, based on the L-88 castings. It’s built for more performance than what the factory had offered, but with an OEM twist. We recently installed a LS-6 intake manifold form our friends over at Classic Industries, and well as a L-88 water pump and K&N filter from Pace Performance.
Both Summit Racing and Original Parts Group stepped up to the plate with sending us an air cleaner decal, plug wire girlies, valve cover gasket and fscotry-appearing orange plug wires. We’ve also installed TransDapt valve cover breathers for both aesthetics and functionality. Currently backed by a TH400, at some point, we’d like to take it back to its manually-shifted roots. Your author is loving the idea of a 6-speed update more and more with each passing minute. Underneath, the suspension is entirely stock, with the exception of some rebuilt Vansteel upper and lower A-arms. We’d like to go tubular, eventually, but we’ll see how that turns out.
In sort, that’s what we’ve been working on these last two months — as well as everything that’s getting cranked out over at GM EFI Magazine! Be sure to keep an eye on both titles, as by summer’s end, you’ll really start to see these projects come to fruition!
Rick Seitz is the owner and founder of Timeless Muscle Magazine, and has a true love and passion for all vehicles. When he isn’t tuning, testing, or competing with the brand’s current crop of project vehicles, he’s busy tinkering and planning the next modifications for his own cars.