Jim D - '72 Chevelle
"Bad Bowtie"
The car started life as a bench seat, 350, 4 speed Malibu with 67,000 miles. I
liked it as I can fit the whole family in it. We got the car back in 2004 from an
Akron, OH gentleman who had a 496 in it, blew it up and had a dream to make
it a 540. For health reasons he could not finish it, but had 95% of the parts, a
540 built, and a TH400 to go behind it.

It sat for a few years before I had the funds and the time to finish it up. A few
years ago I took the car to a “hotrod place” to finish it up.  (A friend and I got
the engine and tranny in, but that was it…) To make a long story short the
“hotrod place” fired it up without priming it and it did not live long.

(I have learned a very valuable but costly lesson from this experience… First
“hotrod places” charge a ton of money and are not really that good at
something that is not a ground up where they use their parts that they are
familiar with. They actually build cookie cutter hotrod cars from an engine,
electrical & drive train perspective.)

Looking back I am grateful I took it there as believe it or not there was more
positive than negative. First, I can say I am very happy to find people from
this very club and others who helped solve issues and problems. After the
engine mishap my son JJ was fired up to get it done. He helped in the whole
process and I could not have gotten it done without him. I also had a good
friend Tim help with engine and tranny install and I am grateful for it. This was
my first experience putting together a car and had a lot of fun doing it and my
son has inspired me to take on an engine build this winter. He will be there
helping out.

The engine & drive train took on a whole new transformation and planning.
Took the block to Sputz Performance in Owatonna and I began to worked up a
plan. First, the goal was to build a killer street-able beast that would run on
pump gas, want to keep the cost down without sacrificing quality, and to learn
as much as possible from knowledgeable people. By surfing the ‘net I was able
to find many of the parts I needed at reasonable cost. Also by selling parts
from the original 540 build, I was able to recoup costs. Got all the parts to
Sputz and he went to putting it together.
The build
-557 BBC
-Merlin II 4.5 bore
-Callies 4 3/8" 4340 crank
-Callies H beam 4340 rods L19 bolts
-Mahle pack forged 4323 pistons 8cc dome
-AFR 335CNC heads 112cc chambers with Jessel shaft mount rockers
-ISKY EZ rollMAX "no needles" lifters
-Merlin SP intake
-Holley 1000HP carb
-TH400 built by Burt Brown Racing Transmissions (Straight Cut gears normal
Valve body)
-Pro Edge Converter @ 3200 stall
-Gear Vendors OD
-Denny's Nitro custom Driveshaft
-Strange Dana S60 with Detroit Locker, 4.10 gears, Wilwood disc brakes
-AFRC rear adjustable upper and lower control arms
-Spohn ARB
-Lemons headers and Flowmaster 40 3" exhaust
-Strange SA shocks all 4 corners
Engine dyno'd 758HP @ 6000RPM and 720FtLb @ 4900RPM

On the body we stripped the hood and trunk to bare metal and my neighbor
repainted them, I love the red stripes.

We still have our work cut out for us, tuning the suspension and updating the
converter. The car has a lot more potential. This winter we hope to send the
converter in to get re-stalled, and building a HydroBoost brake system. The
car is great on the street and I love to take it to the strip. Got to be careful, as
it runs a little fast at the track and we have no roll bar/cage (which we may
plan to get as it is so much fun). It is little hard on gas and do not take it for
long cruises. We’ve managed to put 1000 miles on it. The "bad bowtie" name
came from the black and red plate license plate my wife and son found that
says "Bad Bowtie".

Here is a link:
Rock Falls Oct 2, 2011 It ran 10.99s @ 125. This is with Street
drag radials
Click on thumbnail picture for larger view
Back To List