Goodguys 2023 Griot’s Garage Muscle Machine of the Year!
Congratulations to John Spanos for winning the Goodguys 2023 Griot’s Garage Muscle Machine of the Year title with your 1967 Chevelle built by BBT Fabrications! We’ll see you and your vehicle in Scottsdale, Arizona November 17-19, 2023 at the 26th Speedway Motors Southwest Nationals as part of our 2023 Top 12 display!
A custom car project usually begins with a specific vehicle and the build evolves from there. For John Spanos, that was how things started when he approached the team at BBT Fabrications. But when his initial thoughts on a vehicle of choice produced no viable candidates, Spanos turned to a rough-but-restorable ’67 Chevelle hardtop, knowing the 427c.i. LS7 powerplant he wanted to use would fit easily in the Chevelle’s engine compartment.
As the name implies, BBT Fabrications is known for its custom fabrication work and likes to incorporate many modifications, both obvious and subtle, into its builds. For the Chevelle, this included a custom-fabricated front bumper and a one-off computer-designed grille that was 3D-printed in ABS plastic. The stock steel hood was also worked over and received custom vent-like inserts, while the heavily modified rear bumper incorporates outlets for the dual exhaust system.
Other modifications included eliminating emblems and other trim pieces, deleting the roof drip rails, and installing BBT Pro Edge door handles and Aero mirrors. The PPG dark slate metallic paint was applied by Joe Miller of J. Miller Restorations.
The Chevelle rests on a Roadster Shop Fast Track chassis that features a C6 Corvette front suspension with rack-and-pinion steering. The 9-inch rearend includes 3.50 gears and Moser 31-spline axles, while 14-inch Baer brakes reside at all four corners, along with Penske coil-over shocks. The 19-inch Forgeline CF3C wheels are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires.
Under the hood, that big-inch Chevrolet Performance LS7 V8 produces 831 horsepower and 797 foot-pounds of torque thanks to the handiwork of MAST Motorsports. A Whipple supercharger sits between MAST Black Label heads topped by Holley valve covers, while a 90mm throttle body and USCAR fuel injectors feed the fuel mixture into the engine. Ultimate Headers guide exhaust gases through 3-inch pipes built by BBT featuring Borla XS mufflers. A Tremec T-56 transmission from Bowler Performance Transmission handles the gear-selection chores.
Inside, a highly modified stock dash houses Dakota Digital gauges and custom-machined trim, with a Sparc Industries steering wheel sitting on an Ididit tilt column. The contemporary custom seats were built and covered in black leather by Cato’s Custom Upholstery, and BBT built the custom console, door panels, and many other parts found throughout the cabin. The BBT team also installed a high-end stereo system and Vintage Air, so the sounds and the passengers stay cool.
As you can see, this ’67 Chevelle is the complete package – big-time modern power and handling in a sleek classic body with contemporary custom touches. A Chevelle might not have been John’s first pick, but he’s certainly happy with his choice now.
Photos by John Jackson