Most Chevelle features you see floating around the web are cars of a certain body style. If the car isn’t a 1969 or ’70, it’s probably a ’67, or possibly even a 1971-’72, it’s just a generally popular preference. This ’73 Chevelle will make you wonder why you’ve been overlooking the “Colonnade” body style for so long! With just a little finesse, this car is now downright intimidating. The second layer to this story is, this 1973 Chevelle represents one of those awesome first car stories that we love.
Sean Rich from Trenton, NJ still has the Chevelle he bought with his money saved delivering papers as a kid. He bought it when he was 15, and still has it 15 years later, although it’s undergone some wicked changes since. From the start, Sean wanted to build a pro touring-like car on a budget. He also wanted something that looked like a car a bank robber would take off in. The end product, or rather how it sits now (things can always change), was not a result of a straight-line, cut and dry plan. It took on many different forms, including a black and yellow painted, jacked up in the back version.
Powering the car is the same Chevy 350 that Sean and his uncle built while he was in high school. After Sean graduated college, the Chevelle got a set of World Products Sportsmen II cylinder heads, a high lift Comp Cams cam, a Holley 650 cfm carb, a set of no-name Jet-Hot coated headers, and some other budget bolt-ons. Backing the engine is a Tremec T-56.
It rolls on Crager Soft 8 wheels, and meaty tires. The stock Chevelle wheel wells allow for a massive tire size without modifications. Since the Chevelle doesn’t have A/C or heat, Sean blocked off the vents with panels matched perfectly to the dash. The radio is obviously not a priority since it’s equipped with a basic cassette player, but who would even need to listen to anything other than the engine’s growl? The suspension, brakes, and rearend have all also been upgraded. Sean has roots as a bodywork guy, and used that to make a lot of elements of the car, like its unique ducktail spoiler.
For now, Sean is happy to enjoy his Chevelle, but has already come up with a checklist of the next round of mods. Sometime in the future, he wants to swap the rear brakes to discs, lighten it up, put a roll cage in it, make it LS powered, and make it more of a race car. In the meantime, he just wants to enjoy the high school built engine and dreams that came with it.
Elizabeth is hardcore horsepower enthusiast with unmatched intensity for making things faster and louder. She wakes up for power and performance and only sleeps to charge up for the next project that’s heading to the track. From autocross to drag racing, Elizabeth is there with you, so stay tuned for her unique perspective on horsepower news, builds, tech info, and installs — with her, it’ll never be boring!