'66 Chevelle
Out To Pasture?

Growing up in the '70s, Wayne Mello's family's cars were all what we know today as classic muscle cars. Wayne's big brother had the baddest Chevelle on the block, and Wayne always thought that was cool.

When he was all grown up, he didn't gravitate to these American muscle cars at first, but rather was intrigued by the European exotic cars and Japanese sport bikes. He has owned many of those rides, but now he's got a couple of kids to look after. He wanted something he could strap some kid seats in and go for a cruise. The petite cockpit of the exotics wouldn't work. Thinking back to his early years, he was inspired. He came across this '66 Chevelle wearing Marina Blue paint. Wayne is a shifter kart racer, and rides a 1,000cc super bike, so hard acceleration is something he has quite a tolerance to. His first drive in his new Chevelle left him with much to be desired, so he bought a cherry picker and pulled the tired 396 and swapped in a 471-inch big-block Chevy to help propel the beast.

To handle the power increase, Wayne swapped the stock suspension and four-wheel drum brakes with lowering components from Hotchkis and Eibach, with a disc brake conversion from CPP. He told us the car was downright scary (in a bad way) before he made these changes.

Wayne has unique tastes, and we really dig it. The car came with 17-inch Torque Thrust wheels that he replaced with 15-inch rallye wheels. These rallyes still allow him to pack 295mm rear tires, leaving only a paperclip thick gap.

His buddies joke that he's being put out to pasture since he got this car. He has cut down on the amount of racing he's doing out of care for his kids, and he's cruising around in an old car. To his Ferrari buddies, this is a step in the wrong direction, but they just don't get it. Wayne does find himself surrounded by an age group he's not quite at yet (at the local Doughnut Derelict show in Huntington Beach, California) but he doesn't mind.

By The Numbers
1966 Chevelle

Wayne Mello, 49 * Huntington Beach, CA
500 hp

Type: 471ci big-block Chevy
built by VortecPro
Rotating assembly: GM production
forged crank
Cylinder heads: "781" oval-port heads
Camshaft: Isky 280 Mega Cam
Valvetrain: Crane rockers
Induction: Edelbrock Performer RPM intake,
850-cfm Holley
Ignition: Mallory HEI distributor
Exhaust: 2½-inch exhaust
Transmission/shifter: Muncie M21,
Hurst shifter
Rear axle: GM 12-bolt with posi
Front suspension: Eibach lowering springs,
Hotchkis sway bar
Rear suspension: Hotchkis sway bar
and trailing arms
Brakes: CPP four-wheel disc
Wheels: 15-inch Rallye wheels
Tires: BFGoodrich Radial T/A
155/80R15 and 295/50R15