Restomodding a Chevelle: Step-by-Step Guide

picture of a 1969 CHEVROLET CHEVELLE Restomod

Introducing the Chevelle

If you’re a fan of classic cars, you’ll know that nothing compares to the raw power and beauty of a muscle car. The Chevrolet Chevelle is an iconic model prevalent in the 60s and 70s, and it remains a favorite among car enthusiasts today. Restomodding a Chevelle is a popular trend that combines the car’s classic styling with modern performance and technology.

Restomodding a Chevelle is not a project for the faint of heart. Taking on such a monumental task takes patience and requires skill and knowledge. But the rewards can be immense for those up for the challenge. In this article, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide on how to restomod a Chevelle.

Step 1: Planning

The first step in restomodding a Chevelle is to plan out your project. This involves setting a budget, deciding on the kind of performance you want, and determining what modifications you want to make. You should also consider the intended use of the vehicle if you don’t mind.

Having a clear vision of what you want to achieve is essential before you start gathering parts and making modifications. This will help you stay on track and avoid costly mistakes.

During the planning phase, you should also be able to research and source the necessary parts for your project. This may involve searching for rare or hard-to-find components, so starting early is essential.

By planning out your restomod project, you’ll have a solid foundation for the rest of the process and a clear understanding of what needs to be done to achieve your vision.

Step 2: Bodywork

Restomodding a Chevelle involves a significant amount of bodywork. Depending on the condition of your car, you may need to strip it down to bare metal and start from scratch.

Some common body modifications include installing a cowl hood, adding a spoiler, replacing or modifying the bumpers, filling in trim holes, and shaving door handles. These modifications can help give your Chevelle a more modern, aggressive look while retaining its classic styling.

During the bodywork phase, paying attention to detail and ensuring that all modifications are done correctly is essential. This will help ensure that the finished product looks and is structurally sound.

In addition to body modifications, consider repainting your Chevelle to give it a fresh look. This can be time-consuming and expensive, but the results can be well worth the investment.

By planning and executing your bodywork modifications carefully, you’ll be well on your way to creating a Chevelle that looks and performs like a modern work of art.

Step 3: Suspension and Brakes

Once the bodywork modifications are complete, it’s time to turn your attention to the suspension and brakes. Upgrading these components is essential for ensuring your Chevelle can handle the increased power and performance of the restomod modifications.

Upgrading to disc brakes is a popular modification for restomodded Chevelles. Disc brakes provide superior stopping power and are better suited to handle a modern engine’s increased speeds and horsepower.

Installing a modern suspension system is also vital for optimal handling and performance. This may involve upgrading to a coilover suspension or installing sway bars and strut braces to improve stability and reduce body roll.

Upgrading the shocks and struts is another crucial step in improving the handling of your Chevelle. This will help provide a smoother ride and better control on the road.

Finally, upgrading to larger wheels and tires can further improve the handling and performance of your Chevelle. This can help improve grip and reduce rolling resistance, leading to faster acceleration and better overall performance.

By upgrading the suspension and brakes on your Chevelle, you’ll be able to enjoy a modern driving experience that is both comfortable and exhilarating.

Step 4: Engine and Transmission

The heart of any restomod project is the engine and transmission. Upgrading these components is essential for achieving the kind of performance and reliability that you’re looking for in a modern muscle car.

Installing a fuel-injected engine is a popular upgrade for restomodded Chevelles. This type of engine delivers better performance and fuel economy than the carbureted engines of the past. It also provides more consistent power and is easier to start in cold weather.

Upgrading to a modern transmission is another crucial step in achieving optimal performance. A modern transmission can provide smoother shifting and faster acceleration while improving fuel economy.

Installing a new exhaust system is another essential consideration when upgrading your engine and transmission. A high-performance exhaust system can help improve power output and provide a more aggressive exhaust note.

Upgrading the cooling system ensures your engine stays cool under heavy use. This may involve upgrading to a high-capacity radiator, installing an electric cooling fan, or adding a more extensive water pump.

By upgrading the engine and transmission on your Chevelle, you’ll enjoy a modern muscle car with exceptional performance and reliability. Whether cruising down the highway or tearing up the track, you’ll appreciate the power and responsiveness of a well-resto-modded engine and transmission.

Step 5: Interior and Electronics

The final step in restomodding a Chevelle is to focus on the interior and electronics. Creating a modern, comfortable driving experience that complements the performance and styling of the car is essential for achieving the whole restomod experience.

Installing modern gauges and instruments is integral to the interior upgrade process. This can include replacing old, worn-out gauges with new, digital gauges that provide more accurate readings and a modern look.

Upgrading the sound system is also essential for creating a high-quality driving experience. Installing a new stereo system with modern speakers and a subwoofer can help improve sound quality and make the driving experience more enjoyable.

Adding air conditioning is another popular modification for restomodded Chevelles. This can make driving in hot weather much more comfortable and enjoyable.

Reupholstering the seats and interior panels can also help give your Chevelle a modern look and feel. This can involve replacing old, worn-out upholstery with new, high-quality, more comfortable, and durable materials.

By upgrading the interior and electronics of your Chevelle, you’ll be able to enjoy a driving experience that is both comfortable and stylish. Whether cruising down the highway or tearing up the track, you’ll appreciate the modern features and amenities of a well-resto-modded interior.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How much does it cost to restomod a Chevelle? A: The cost of restomodding a Chevelle can vary depending on the project’s scope and the parts’ quality. A complete restomod can cost anywhere from $50,000 to $250,000.

Q: Is restomodding a Chevelle worth it? A: Restomodding a Chevelle can be a worthwhile investment for car enthusiasts who want to create a unique, personalized vehicle that combines classic styling with modern performance and technology. The finished product is a car that looks great and delivers impressive performance on the road.

Q: Can I restomod a Chevelle myself? A: Restomodding a Chevelle is a complex project that requires a significant amount of skill and knowledge. While some car enthusiasts may have the expertise to tackle the project themselves, it’s recommended to seek the assistance of a professional mechanic or restomodding specialist.


Restomodding a Chevelle is a challenging but rewarding project for car enthusiasts. Following this step-by-step guide, you can transform your classic car into a modern masterpiece with impressive performance and style. Whether you’re a seasoned gearhead or a novice car enthusiast, restomodding a Chevelle project will surely deliver hours of enjoyment and a car you can be proud of.

Are you interested in learning more about restomodding? Check out Restomod Academy for resources, tutorials, and expert advice on transforming your classic car into a modern masterpiece.

Brook Walsh

For nearly 30 years, I've had a fascination with restomods. I've learned from real-world experience what restomod gear works and what doesn't. This is the site where I share everything I've learned.

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