Cruising in a late 1960s hot rod is as much a treat today as it was back in the day. And there’s nothing like cruising in a convertible with the wind in your hair on a sunny day.
Phil Suiters puts a capital C in cruising with his 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle SS-396 convertible. And this car is just as “cherry” as the paint color it sports.
He had his Chevelle on display at the Southport Car Show and allowed me to sit down with him and talk about his classic hot rod. Phil has owned it for six years and put a lot of hard work and money into bringing this car back to near-stock appearance. And with a stock engine it would be a mean car.
But this Chevelle is wicked, as the 396 Chevy engine – bored .30 over – is anything but stock. The double-pumping four-barrel carburetor feeds gasoline through a Weiand aluminum intake.
Phil removed the stock Powerglide two-speed automatic transmission and replaced it with an automatic TurboHydramatic 350. All that raw horsepower is delivered to a Posi-Track rear end that Phil installed. Headers and a full dual exhaust gives the car a throaty rumble that just begs to be opened up. Phil also installed front disc brakes for the 15-inch aftermarket chrome wheels. The entire front suspension has been redone.
Upon purchasing the car, Phil discovered that many aftermarket additions had been made to the car’s interior. And he wanted to return the car back to its stock appearance. He reupholstered the leather front bucket seats and rear bench seat. He removed the digital dashboard and replaced it with an authentic and working stock dashboard and controls.
Phil’s Chevelle is immaculate inside and out. It’s truly hard to comprehend that this car is 48 years old. The time, labor and money that he has invested ensures that this classic hot rod will be prowling the streets for a long time to come.