Top Chevys At The Street Machine Summer Nationals

There was no shortage of Chevys among the thousands that gathered at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds for the 2017 Street Machine Summer Nationals on July 14-16. We’ll take you through some of our favorites from the show that embodied the Chevy Hardcore spirit. From Tri-Fives to Camaros, Novas, Chevelles, C10s…from daily drivers to hardcore track cars and show queens…to Pro Touring, Pro Street, stock, modified stock, restomod and much more.

In case you missed the announcement of the winners from the Summer Nationals, this dandy of a 1970 Chevy C10 helped Austin Haynes claim the SEMA Young Guns competition. No shortage of chrome and polished surfaces helped Austin earn a trip to Las Vegas to put his C10 against other creations from those his age (27 and younger) in the Battle of the Builders at the 2017 SEMA Show.

Justin Nall’s 1966 Malibu was not only a serious contender in the Street Machine Challenge, but it also had the highest dyno pull on Sunday with 835hp. This was good enough for third highest on the entire weekend thanks to its turbocharged LS combination.

Though a little rough around the edges, Dan Rohrbach has a great story behind his 1969 Caprice. The four-door hardtop was the first brand-new car his grandfather ever bought. It was passed down to his dad and then came to sit in a barn for a number of years until Dan uncovered it two years ago and started the rebuild. Dan’s modern spin includes a 6.0-liter LS engine with a Borg Warner S475 turbo, ported heads, and an Edelbrock Pro-Flo intake. A 4L80E and 9-inch rear withstand the abuse of daily driving, road trips like the 5-hour ride it took to get to the event (from Aberdeen, SD), and countless laps around the autocross course. Dan’s Caprice barely sat still the whole weekend. Ridetech Level 2 suspension and Wilwood brakes made it a blast to maneuver around the cones and stab the brakes in the Stop Box.

This sweet little 1963 Chevy Biscayne won the Daily Driver class in the Show-N-Shine, and it is easy to see why. Lyle Lindquist of Brooklyn Park, MN, says his Biscayne is packing a 502ci big-block Chevy with a TCI Turbo 400 behind it. Its stance and handling is owed to Air Ride suspension and disc brakes. But, seriously, check out that pristine interior.

While Randy Watson’s custom 1966 Nova might not be everyone’s cup of tea, you have to admire the craftsmanship that when into it. The small-block Chevy uses a trick injection plate that looks like mechanical injection, but actually has electronic injectors in it, mounted just above the BDS blower and under the bug catcher. The EFI powerplant is backed by a six-speed and 9-inch rear. 20-inch Boyd Coddington wheels along with suicide doors, shaved trim pieces and extensive smoothing helped the Omaha, NE native win the prestigious Award of Excellence.

Jeff Harris’ 1964 Impala proves that sometimes a simple formula is best. A clean looking 350ci small-block combined with 2-inch lower springs and Torq Thrust style wheels give the Impy just enough attitude. The clean paint and interior complete an impressive overall package that makes you want to turn the key and just drive.

Jared Leisinger was a force in the Street Machine Challenge, and worthy of praise for the purpose-built 1963 Corvette roadster. It sports a modern chassis and 498-rwhp LS engine that sips race fuel. The midyear Vette swept all three events in the Challenge – dyno, Stop Box, and autocross to take the Corvette class uncontested. Jared’s brother, Josh, wheels a matching ’64 Corvette coupe, while their father is the crew chief – truly a family affair.

Speaking of families, this father-son combo is deadly on the autocross course. Josh Howe (son) wheels the ’86 El Camino, while Dan Howe (father) guides the ’84 Monte Carlo through the cones with the help of a well-sorted Schwartz chassis. Both G-bodies are also equipped with LS engines and six-speed transmissions. Dan captured the Late-Model class of the Street Machine Challenge with 50 points (First in the autocross, Second in the Stop Box).

If you are into late-model Chevy’s, Chevrolet Performance brought along several of its favorites, including the Camaro ZL1 1LE, a COPO Camaro, and a Corvette Grand Sport as well as a host of LS and LT crate engines.

Stay tuned for more coverage of the Street Machine Summer Nationals and other Family Events shows this year.

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About the author

Scott Parker

Scott dreamed of being in the automotive media in high school, growing up around car shows and just down the street from Atco Raceway. The technology, performance capability, and craftsmanship that goes into builds fuels his passion.
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