When you think of classic American muscle cars, more than likely you think of V8-wielding, low gas mileage late 60s and early 70s cars that leave a lot to be desired as far as handling capabilities go. While you’d certainly be right in most of these assumptions, now a days, just about anything goes and more and more folks are doing a fine job creating their own unique muscle cars with features the factory certainly didn’t think of back in the day. Grant, California’s Rick Fletes and his 1970 Chevelle dubbed “Triple Threat” are no exception in this trend.
While it may look like an ordinary classic on the outside, Triple Threat has a few surprises under her sheet metal, the main one being a built LB7 Duramax Diesel engine under the hood. Yes boys and girls, this American classic is a diesel-fuelled machine!
Opting to go a different and more budget-friendly route to give his car more power, Fletes originally equipped the Chevelle with a LB7 diesel engine out of a 2004 GM truck. Along with that, the car was fitted with the truck’s wiring harness and most of the stock exhaust system. With a little bit of massaging, this setup, backed by a TH400 transmission and Gear Vendors overdrive, gave the car a respectable 500hp and an amazing 1,000 lb-ft of torque. As such, the car was capable of running 11.2-second quarter miles with a fuel economy of 30 to 35mpg.
But, just like many of us know, there is no such thing as too much power. So Fletes upgraded the car again, this time equipping it with a built LBZ engine featuring Exergy 225-percent injectors, an MPI dual fueler, a Garrett GT42 Mag Hybrid turbocharger and two stages of nitrous. This powerhouse is backed by a Hughes XP-5 powerglide transmission, with the Gear Vendors overdrive, and a Strange 9-inch rearend with a Pro 9.5-inch gear housing.
While this may sound like plenty of oomph to keep anyone entertained, Fletes is once again working on upgrading the car, this time increasing turbo size and making some tweaks to the transmission so it can better handle the ubber amounts of power his car will be pushing.
Best of luck goes out to Fletes with his classic yet unique build. We can’t wait to see just how far he takes this diesel-powered muscle car in the future!