1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS: Big Block with 5-Speed Upgrades

In this feature video by V8 Speed & Resto Shop V8TV on YouTube, we dive into the exciting upgrades made to a classic 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS with a big block engine and a 5-speed manual transmission. The car arrived with most of its components intact, but it lacked the harmonious performance its owner desired. Over time, the Chevelle has been a repeat visitor to the V8 Speed & Resto Shop, undergoing various upgrades to improve its power, handling, and overall appeal. Join us as we explore the transformation of this iconic muscle car, step by step.

Powerhouse Engine Upgrade

Initially equipped with a crate big block Chevy engine, the Chevelle received a significant upgrade under the hood. V8 Speed & Resto Shop replaced the original powerplant with a mighty 460-cubic-inch torque monster from Fast Times Motor Works. Starting as a 454 with a four-bolt block, this engine was bored and stroked to achieve the 460-cubic-inch displacement. Upgraded components, such as Scat I-beam rods, Keith Black pistons, and ARP hardware, ensure the engine’s reliability and performance.

The top end features Howard’s roller cam, Edelbrock heads, and intake, while an MSD Atomic EFI system ensures optimal fuel delivery. With this powerhouse of an engine, the Chevelle boasts exceptional performance capabilities, unleashing a torrent of raw power that will leave any muscle car enthusiast in awe. The precise craftsmanship and attention to detail in the engine upgrade showcase the dedication of V8 Speed & Resto Shop to deliver an exhilarating driving experience.

The 460-cubic-inch big block engine is the heart and soul of this modified Chevelle, elevating it to a whole new level of performance and dominance on the streets. Whether it’s roaring down the highway or tearing up the drag strip, this Chevelle’s engine upgrade guarantees a heart-pounding ride, making it a true force to be reckoned with among the ranks of classic American muscle cars.

Tremec TKO 600 5-Speed Manual Transmission

To harness the beastly power of the 460-cubic-inch engine, the Chevelle is now equipped with a Tremec TKO 600 5-speed manual transmission. Shifting is made smooth and precise with the help of a Hurst stick and a hydraulic clutch. This combination allows for exhilarating driving experiences, making the Chevelle even more thrilling to handle on the open road.

To improve traction and enhance the exhaust note, V8 Speed & Resto Shop installed 3.55 to 1 motive gears in the 12-bolt housing, along with a Detroit Truetrac differential. The team opted for stainless X-piped Borla mufflers, creating a deep and satisfying rumble that perfectly complements the Chevelle’s performance-oriented character.

Handling is a critical aspect of any performance car, and the Chevelle is no exception. V8 Speed & Resto Shop opted for a QA1 tubular coil-over suspension system at the front, offering adjustability, improved ride comfort, and a lowered stance. The upsized QA1 sway bar effectively reduces body roll during spirited driving, making the Chevelle even more responsive to driver inputs.

Willwood Disc Brakes and Rocket Racing Wheels

To ensure reliable stopping power, V8 Speed & Resto Shop upgraded the Chevelle with Willwood disc brakes on all four corners. These high-performance brakes remain discreetly hidden behind stylish 17-inch Rocket Racing Booster wheels, adding a touch of modern flair to the classic muscle car’s appearance.

With the addition of Willwood disc brakes, the Chevelle gains enhanced braking capabilities, providing the driver with confidence and control on the road. The modern technology of these high-performance brakes seamlessly integrates into the car’s vintage design, preserving the classic charm while elevating its safety and performance standards. Complementing the upgraded braking system, the 17-inch Rocket Racing Booster wheels add a contemporary touch to the Chevelle’s aesthetics, making it stand out in any crowd. This tasteful combination of modern and classic elements epitomizes the dedication of V8 Speed & Resto Shop to crafting a muscle car that not only exudes power but also performs with precision and style.

Comfortable and Stylish Interior

Inside the cabin, the Chevelle boasts a blend of comfort and vintage charm. The dashboard houses Dakota Digital gauges, providing the driver with accurate and essential information. A tilt steering column, topped with a Grant wheel, allows for easy adjustments to suit individual driving preferences.

Scat seats ensure a comfortable ride, embracing both the driver and passengers with plush support. The Vintage Air AC unit, supported by the Vintage Air Front Runner serpentine accessory drive system, keeps the cabin cool even on scorching days, adding a modern touch to the classic interior. The attention to detail in the cabin showcases the commitment of V8 Speed & Resto Shop to creating an enjoyable driving experience that seamlessly blends vintage aesthetics with modern comforts.

Every aspect of the interior design has been thoughtfully considered, ensuring that the Chevelle’s cabin is a pleasant place to be during any journey. Whether it’s the driver-focused Dakota Digital gauges, the convenient tilt steering column, or the cozy Scat seats, this classic muscle car provides the perfect environment for enthusiasts to enjoy their time on the road. The integration of modern amenities, such as the Vintage Air AC unit, elevates the comfort level, making the Chevelle a delightful choice for both short drives and long road trips.

Striking Exterior Upgrades

The Chevelle’s exterior is painted in a handsome shade of metallic charcoal gray, but the true showstopper is the addition of custom-made silver SS 396 stripes. These stripes add an extra touch of visual appeal, further highlighting the car’s aggressive stance and iconic heritage.

The metallic charcoal gray paint gives the Chevelle a sleek and sophisticated appearance, reflecting light in a mesmerizing way as it glides down the road. However, it’s the custom-made silver SS 396 stripes that truly set this muscle car apart. Running along the length of the car’s body, these stripes exude a sense of power and dominance, paying homage to the iconic SS heritage. The attention to detail in the design and placement of the stripes showcases the craftsmanship of V8 Speed & Resto Shop, who have succeeded in creating an exterior that captures the essence of classic American muscle cars while incorporating contemporary flair.

The custom-made silver SS 396 stripes not only enhance the Chevelle’s visual appeal but also celebrate its rich history in the muscle car realm. These striking stripes are a testament to the Chevelle’s heritage and iconic status among enthusiasts. As the car roars down the street, the gleaming silver stripes catch the eye of onlookers, leaving them in awe of the sheer power and timeless style that the Chevelle embodies. With its captivating exterior design, this Chevelle proves to be an unforgettable classic muscle car that continues to make heads turn and hearts race.


Through the meticulous work of the talented team at V8 Speed & Resto Shop, this 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS has undergone a remarkable transformation. With a powerful 460-cubic-inch engine, a smooth-shifting 5-speed manual transmission, upgraded suspension, and a stylish interior, the Chevelle now stands as a true example of a classic muscle car with modern performance capabilities. Its allure lies not just in its aesthetics but also in the thrilling driving experience it offers.

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