Welcome to wheels, Nilson! That is a gorgeous Chevelle SS you’ve got – it was always a dream to own a classic muscle car wasn’t it?

Thanks for featuring me and my Chevy in the magazine!

It was indeed a dream of mine; I’ve never been the kind of person that aspires to own a supercar — I have always been into classics with big engines. As the saying goes, “there’s no replacement for displacement”, the bigger the better for me. I always loved the Dodge Charger, Pontiac GTO, Plymouth Cuda and many others from that era and decided to find something similar. The Mustang and Camaro were an option too but I prefer the full size muscle cars rather than the ponies and then I came across this Chevelle SS — it was love at first sight.

It was in far better condition compared to all of the other cars I had seen and after eight long months of negotiations, she became mine. I have had her for two and a half years now.


It’s one of the hottest classic’s we’ve seen and must be as much fun to drive as it looks…

It really is a lot of fun and I drive it as much as I can — even during summer, I’ll take it for a spin after sunset and during the winter it is my daily drive — if it’s not in the garage!

But, when it comes to classic cars you need a fair bit of mechanical knowledge as opposed to just sitting behind the wheel and stepping on the throttle.


That’s for sure. Tell us about the V8 under the bonnet…

It’s a matching numbers big block that has been upgraded from 454 to 502 cubic inches. It has lots of goodies including a 292 Comp camshaft, March Performance pulley system, Demon Holley Carburetor, MSD ignition, ceramic short headers and B&M exhaust with an electronic bypass.

It has around 680-700 horsepower at the crankshaft but I am planning on some modifications and fine tuning this winter and will put it on the dyno again to see where it’s at. It has been a bit of a challenge to get all the power out of it; since I bought it I’ve been correcting a few small issues but it is finally coming along.


It’s had a lot of other work done to it too, right?

It has — I just got a new heavy-duty TH400 transmission from TCI, a performance traction control rear end and coil over springs front and rear.

Also, it’s had a complete brake upgrade; the hydraulic high performance Baer brake disk system (front and rear) has really improved the stopping power.

It’s also got new mounts and polyurethane bushings while the interior was completely redone with a custom built central console and steering wheel. It has Autometer gauges and a Rockford Fosgate audio system but the work never finishes, that is one of the many joys of having a classic. I have so many ideas; I might rebuild the whole interior again, or maybe I’ll change the cams in the engine as it’s a bit too aggressive right now and sometimes gives me issues. Also, I would like to change the exhaust — I prefer a different tone from my “orchestra”.


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We would love to know what you do to it in future — but as it is, you are clearly very happy with it…

She’s my pride and joy. I love everything about her, from bumper to bumper. The white interior with the orange body is a lovely contrast but the engine bay is the best thing for me. A lot of restored cars tend to have a neglected engine bay; I make sure mine — which was completely refabricated with steel braided lines and hidden wires for a cleaner look — is always gleaming.

Sometimes I’ll give her a good clean, park her in front of the house and just stare at her for hours. I feel proud when a fellow car enthusiast compliments the work done on the car.


So you should, it’s a real eye-catcher.

Thank you, I appreciate it. I always have to be careful where I park because people want to take pictures of it and check it out. I always carry a cloth and a detailer to wipe off all the finger prints, but it feels great to see people admiring and appreciating her.


Just like the police do…

Oh yes — I remember the first day I got the car, I was heading from the RTA to the petrol station to fill my first tank of fuel feeling happier than a kid that just got a new video game, but noticed a police car had been following me for ages. I was worried and parked at the pumps when the officer stepped out of his car and approached me. “Good evening sir, nice car! Want to sell? How much?” I was so relieved and started to laugh, then told him all about the car.

He congratulated me and gave me his number saying that if I ever decided to sell I must contact him.


Don’t part with this — you’ll regret it! Lastly, what other interesting cars have you owned?

I used to have a 2012 Mustang GT that I bought as soon as I landed in the UAE. I loved that car from the moment I took it from the showroom to the moment my wife totalled it a few years ago! It’s OK, I’ve forgiven her now, haha!

Now we have a Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT and a Ford Focus ST. I also have a Harley-Davidson Softail Breakout. All of these are great but the most fun I have had in a car was my friend’s VW Saveiro. This popular sporty pick-up which sold mainly in South America, had its 1.8-litre four-cylinder upgraded to a 2.1-litre aspirated four-pot  that was built for drag racing! It would smoke anything between traffic lights — many Ferrari and Porsche owners had their egos crushed by it. It was a lot of fun.


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Got a hot ride? Email us at mywheels@gulfnews.com with a photo and description and you could be our next my wheels star!