1966 Chevelle A Family Affair
When Tom Farrington and his future wife, Debbie, were dating back in high school, Farrington was picking her up in his first car, a '66 Malibu. Working on the cars and cruising and hanging out with friends provided great memories for both of them, but like so many of us after high school, Farrington decided to do the mature thing and sell the Chevelle for newer, more dependable transportation.
The Farringtons hoped to have another Chevelle some day, but sometimes time slips away with family and career, and a fast 15 years flew by. In 2002, they decided it was time to get back into a Chevelle. Lots of searching eventually led them to a solid '66 shell with no interior, engine, or trans, but accompanied by lots of boxes full of small parts and trim. And so began the eight-year restoration to build their dream Chevelle.
The '66 came together just in time for this year's Midwest Muscle Car Challenge, but a dead electric fan almost sidelined them. Farrington rolled the dice and took it on the Putnam Park road course, relying on speed to keep things cool. It worked, and he and Debbie drove the Chevelle to their limits, had a blast, and learned a lot. The next day during the Speed-Stop event though, things got ugly when a rod bearing began making noise.
The Chevellabration in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, was just a week away, so out came the engine for a quick rebuild in under nine days. They had just enough time to grab their bags and hit the road with Debbie following with a truck and trailer hauling her '64 Chevelle wagon they had bought as a cruiser-just in case they needed to switch cars. The '66 made the trip with ease, but that was just the beginning of the year's road trips; the '66 attended the Motor State Challenge, Goodguys in Columbus, Ohio, Day at the Strip in Lawrenceville, IL, and the Run Thru The Hills in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, where the Farringtons were awarded the Spirit of the Event invitation to attend the Optima Ultimate Streetcar Invitational and SEMA.
The adventures have hooked the whole family on Chevelle performance now; through the winter Debbie's '64 wagon will get stuffed with wider tires, more engine, and a Tremec TKO 600 trans so she can be more competitive next season. Their son, Sam, has also begun wrenching on a '67 Chevelle four-door that he plans to drive to school along with the autocross and road course in the future.
By The Numbers
'66 Chevy Chevelle
Tom Farrington; Mooresville, IN
Overall Finishing Position: 39 out of 55
||454ci Gen IV big-block
||Melling HV/HP oil pump with Milodon 8-quart road race pan and Canton 3-quart Accusump
||stock crank and rods with Speed-Pro hypereutectic dome pistons
||GM iron oval-port
||unknown make with .500/.500 lift, 282/282 duration at .050
||Edelbrock Performer RPM intake with Holley 750-cfm carb
||Sanderson ceramic-coated shorty headers with Flowmaster dual 2.5-inch universal kit with X-pipe
||Holley fuel pump, stock fuel tank
||GM HEI with Pertronix upgrades
||Allstar dual-pass radiator with Derale 14- and 12-inch electric fans
||278.1 hp at 4,300 rpm and 397.9 lb-ft of torque at 3,000 to the wheels
||Tom and Debbie Farrington
||Tremec Viper-spec T56 with Lakewood bellhousing, Hays billet steel flywheel, Centerforce clutch
||12-bolt with Eaton LSD, Moser axles, and Richmond 3.73 gears
||Detroit Speed and Engineering coilovers with SPC adjustable upper control arms, Global West lowers, ATS/AFX spindles, and a RideTech 1.5-inch Musclebar sway bar
||Detroit Speed and Engineering coilovers with Edelbrock adjustable upper control arms, Currectrac billet lowers, and a Hotchkis 1-inch sway bar
||Baer 13-inch front and rear with Hawk HP Plus pads
|WHEELS & TIRES
||18x9.5 Vintage Wheel Works V-40s with 6.5-inch backspacing up front 6-inch backspacing in the rear
||275/35R18 BFGoodrich up front and 295/35R18 in the rear