A testament to his military...
A testament to his military background, the Chevelle’s four-point harnesses are surplus items out of an Army UH-1 helicopter. Well-bolstered Corbeau GTS II seats hold occupants in place, and the instrument panel is from Dakota Digital. The Farringtons made the custom rollbar themselves, and a Vintage Air A/C system keeps them comfy on long trips.
The Farringtons pulled a 6.2L L92 small-block out of an ’08 Escalade, bolted up an LS3 intake for extra hood clearance, then dropped the new motor in. To boost the power, the stock cam was replaced with a Mast Motorsports 224/238-at-.050 hydraulic roller, and a Tremec T56 transmission was bolted behind the all-aluminum mill. Furthermore, the suspension was given an entire revamp with DSE control arms, coilovers, and sway bars in the front and rear. Tom figures the new engine combo is good for roughly 535 hp, but what he enjoys even more than the added grunt is how the much lighter small-block has changed the A-body’s handing dynamics. “The LS motor probably took a solid 250 pounds off the front end, and the car now goes exactly where I want it,” he says. “If anything, it oversteers a bit. My driving is still the biggest weak link, but we managed to finish 10th out of 65 cars at the Run to Music City event in Nashville this year, and we pulled off the win at the Chevellabration autocross two weeks later.”
As is often the case with cool cars like the Farringtons’ ’66 Chevelle, the story behind it is even more interesting. “Our family has been to 29 states chasing down parts cars, and we have some awesome road-trip memories from our adventures,” Tom says. “I wish we could afford to build a $200,000 car, but I’m happy with what we’ve got and building the car together as a family has been a very rewarding experience. Debbie is busy running her wagon at as many events as possible, my son, Sam, is on fire with his ’67 Chevelle project, and my daughter, Kaytlin, has plans to build a ’65 El Camino.”
So here we have one family with four project cars, one of which has already garnered its share of national spotlight, all built on a workingman’s budget. Like we said, Tom knows how to get some serious results out of the family business. That business just happens to be building sweet rides with sweat and willpower rather than through outsourcing and check writing. Unlike the “Don,” he doesn’t have to resort to a life of crime to get the job done, either.
The stock wheeltubs swallow...
The stock wheeltubs swallow up 295mm-wide tires without much fuss. They’re squeezed onto 18x9.5 wheels, which seem a bit narrow on paper, but Tom says the combo works just fine.
Tom, Debbie, Sam, and Kaytlin Farrington
Type: GM L92 Gen IV small-block
Block: factory 4.065-inch bore
Oiling: stock pump, Mast Motorsports pan
Cylinder heads: factory rectangle-port aluminum castings
Camshaft: Mast 224/238-at-.050 hydraulic roller; .578/.593-inch lift; 115-degree LSA
Induction: GM LS3 intake manifold and L92 throttle body
Ignition: stock coil packs, Mast Motorsports plug wires
Cooling system: factory water pump, Allstar radiator, Derale dual electric fans
Exhaust: Hooker 1.75-inch long-tube headers, custom H-pipe, dual 2.5-inch Flowmaster mufflers
Transmission: Tremec T56 six-speed manual, Centerforce dual-friction clutch
Rear axle: GM 12-bolt rearend with 3.73:1 gears and Eaton Posi
Front suspension: Detroit Speed and Engineering drop spindles, control arms, coilovers, and sway bar
Rear suspension: Detroit Speed and Engineering control arms, coilovers, and sway bar
Brakes: Baer 13-inch rotors and two-piston calipers, front; Baer 13-inch rotors and single-piston calipers, rear
Wheels: Vintage Wheel Works V40 18x9.5, front and rear
Tires: BFGoodrich 275/35R18, front; 295/35R18, rear