Built to Drive – Steve Wozniak’s 1970 Chevelle
When Steve Wozniak bought his 1970 Chevelle 10 years ago the plan was to build a nice car and sell it. As almost everyone with a car project knows, plans can change, often for the better. In Steve’s case, the result is much better thanks to a lot of help from the crew at Charly’s Garage in Mesa, Arizona. Now Steve’s convertible is too nice to sell – it’s his to enjoy.
“I was building the car to sell at the auction and halfway through I decided it was too special to get rid of,” Steve says of the project. “It is a blast to drive.”
An original SS 454 car, the Chevelle is powered today by an LSX 454c.i. Chevy crate engine that produces 630 horsepower. Topped with a Harrop EFI system with Holley controls handling the fuel and ignition management, the engine efficiently burns its fuel mixture and expels it through Hooker headers and a custom-bent system with Flowmaster mufflers. Eight Red Bug intake domes and Billet Specialties valve covers complete the engine work.
A 4L80E overdrive automatic transmission controlled by a Lokar shifter directs the power to a Currie 9-inch rearend housing 3.50 gears. The updated stock chassis utilizes RideTech coil-over suspension components front and rear along with Baer 13-inch disc brakes. Billet Specialties wheels (20×8 in front, 20×10 in the rear) are wrapped in Nitto tires.
The team at Charly’s Garage performed the bodywork, including a smoothed firewall and other engine compartment pieces, plus modified and smoothed front and rear bumpers. Charly’s also applied the Axalta Quantum Gray paint. LED headlights and taillights upgrade night driving visibility. Black rally stripes, headlight rings, grille inserts, door handles, convertible top, and SS emblems complement the black wheels and lend a stealthy, modern look to the Chevelle.
Charly’s also produced the matching black interior, highlighted by red stitching in the Moore & Giles leather upholstery and Billet Specialties steering wheel. A custom console fits nicely between bucket seats from a 2012 Camaro. The modified stock dash holds Dakota Digital gauges. A Kenwood / Pioneer sound system provides the tunes, Vintage Air supplies the cool air, Ron Francis wiring connects the electrical components, and the interior handles and pedals are from Lokar.
The build took less than a year, which is testament to Steve and the crew at Charly’s, given the industry-wide challenge of getting parts delivered in a timely manner these days. And the best part of the build? Steve says it’s the enjoyment from driving the Chevelle. Isn’t that what makes the process worthwhile?
Photos by Terry Lysak