ACP department heading FEATURE
BY NICK LICATA Photography by Wes Allison
I'll Take That

haun Dove never set out to buy a ’62 Bel Air. In fact, he didn’t even buy the one you see here. It was actually left at his shop by a customer who brought it in to get some finishing touches done after it made some rounds through a few shops a couple years prior. “The customer purchased the car of his dreams, but it needed work. By the time it got to us, the owner had gone through some life changes so the car was just hanging around our shop,” Shaun tells. “It’s been with me for about 10 years now, so the owner gave me the green light to do some upgrades and drive it as if it were mine. I know at some point he’ll come back for the car, but until then she is mine.”

Car's battery
Shaun was basically born into the car hobby as his dad always had a hot rod in the garage while he was growing up. Going for drives and to car shows in some of those vintage rides had a trickle-down effect on Shaun and once he got old enough, Shaun opened up a small shop working on cars for his buds, which later led to a bigger shop. Today he owns EVOD Industries in Escondido, California, which is known for designing and building high-end custom wheels and specialty parts for customers who want something different. “We still do a little bit of car building, but most of our focus is on the custom wheels and one-off parts,” Shaun states.

When the ’62 Bel Air showed up about 10 years ago it had some work done but was rough around the edges and didn’t run well, so Shaun and the crew at EVOD massaged it, cleaned it up, and gave it a new life.

Complete specs on the car are a bit sketchy due to the number of shops that had a hand on it, but we do know power comes by way of a World Products aluminum 409 with a current displacement of 482 ci built by Lamar Walden Automotive (LWA) in Doraville, Georgia. LWA ported the Edelbrock aluminum heads, used a 4340 steel crankshaft, then stabbed it with an LWA-spec hydraulic roller cam. The whole enchilada is topped with an Edelbrock Performer intake and a pair of Demon carbs. Shaun treated the air cleaner, custom-finned LWA valve covers, and master cylinder to some red paint for a little nostalgia flavor. That Billet Specialties front drive system looks right at home behind the Griffin aluminum radiator and dual Derale electric fans. The exhaust exit strategy relies on a pair of ceramic-coated Jardine headers and custom 3-inch exhaust finalized by Flowmaster 40-series mufflers. Shaun notes. “The engine makes about 640 hp and gets super angry between 3,000–6,000 rpm, which makes it a blast to drive.”

’62 Bel Air's rims and tires
Not shy when it comes to putting his cars to task, Shaun claims to have gone through two rearends before finally hitting up Currie Crate Rearends for one of their 9-inch packages stuffed with a limited-slip posi, 4.11 gears, and 31-spline axles. While at it he upgraded the two-piece driveshaft to ensure it stays together.

Liberty Gears beefed up the TREMEC TKO five-speed trans to handle the grunt and a McCleod Street Pro single-disc clutch and modified Hurst shifter make for smooth, confident shifting. With the driveline system completely in check, Shaun wired up a line lock because, why not?

Up front the stock frame was treated to Classic Performance Products (CPP) tubular control arms and lowering springs with Bilstein shocks and a Ridetech splined sway bar. The rear also got CPP springs and Bilstein shocks then upgraded with CPP dual upper arms and a sway bar. The lowered stance is subtle but Shaun is not-so subtle when it comes to whipping the ’62 around corners in the Southern California canyons. “These cars are notorious for chassis flex, but with the lower ride height and suspension upgrades this thing still surprises me when I beat on it around corners.” Shaun conveys.

To keep the Bel Air in sleeper mode, Shaun went to Wheel Vintiques for a set of black powdercoated 15-inch smoothies then sent the stock hubcaps to Advanced Plating in Portland, Tennessee, for a brilliant finish. As a side note, the rear wheels were widened 1.5 inches to accommodate the 275 BFGoodrichs. A CPP disc brake kit offers plenty of stopping power to get this behemoth down from speed.

At first look the interior carries the appearance of an unmolested archive of ’62 vintage, but close inspection reveals Auto Meter gauges in the stock dash. “We wanted to keep the interior as original looking as possible while using modern gauges,” Shaun discloses. “So we actually modified the stock gauge bezels to accept the Auto Meter’s.” The half-sweep Sun tach tethered to the stock steering column is a nod to a period-correct day two resto. The Vintage Air vents give a hint to the modern climate system on board, but the original control panel and sliders keep the old-school environment in check.

Side view of the - ’62 Bel Air
’62 Bel Air's engine
“With the car estimated to have been painted over 20 years ago, the only thing for certain is that the car is black,” Shaun laughingly says. “Thankfully the paint has held up nicely and still looks great. With the help of the guys at Hot Dog Customs in Oceanside we only had to fix a couple small areas. The bumpers were redone and the grille came from Classic Industries, but that’s pretty much it for body mods, as the rest of the trim pieces were in great shape and came out well with a bit of elbow grease.

“At some point I expect the owner will come by to claim his ride, but until then I’ll keep pretending it’s mine and continue to use it for running errands, grabbing groceries, and hitting a few car shows.” Shaun says. “It’s an excellent conversation piece, and because of it I’ve had some great times and met some cool people.”

So, if you leave a car with Shaun Dove for a good amount of time, it’s likely your car could end up with more upgrades than you had initially planned, and it will certainly get driven. And isn’t that what classic cars are for?

’62 Bel Air's under the hood
Interior from the - ’62 Bel Air
 ’62 Bel Air's gauges
’62 Bel Air's stick shift knob
Owner: Shaun Dove, Escondido, California
Vehicle: ’62 Chevy Bel Air

Type: Chevrolet 409
Displacement: 482 ci
Compression Ratio: N/A
Bore: 4.50 inches
Stroke: 4.0 inches
Cylinder Heads: Edelbrock Aluminum
Rotating Assembly: 4340 steel crankshaft, LWA (Doraville, GA) forged pistons
Camshaft: LWA-spec hydraulic roller
Induction: Edelbrock Performer intake, dual Demon carbs
Assembly: LWA
Exhaust: Jardine ceramic-coated 1-inch primaries with 3½-inch collectors, custom 3-inch exhaust, Flowmaster 40-Series mufflers
Ancillaries: Billet Specialties accessory drive system, Speedway Motors finned valve covers, Griffen radiator, Derale dual fans, Derale oil cooler, CPP steering box, Eddie Motorsports hood and trunk hinges
Output: 640 hp


Transmission: TREMEC TKO 600 upgraded by Liberty Gears
Clutch: McLeod Street Pro single-disc
Rear Axle: Currie 9-inch, limited-slip differential posi, 4.11 gears, 31-spline axles


Front Suspension: CPP tubular control arms, CPP springs, Bilstein shocks, Ridetech splined sway bar
Rear Suspension: CPP springs, Bilstein shocks, CPP upper arms, CPP sway bar
Brakes: CPP disc brakes front and rear

Wheels & Tires

Wheels: Wheel Vintiques Smoothie; 15×7 front, 15×8.5 rear
Tires: BFGoodrich T/A; 235/60R15 front, 275/60R15 rear


Upholstery: Classic Industries
Carpet: Red loop Classic Industries
Door Panels: Classic Industries
Seats: Stock bench with Classic Industries cover
Steering: Stock column and steering wheel, CPP steering box
Shifter: Hurst Custom cut by owner
Dash: Factory
Instrumentation: Auto Meter gauges in modified stock gauge bezels
Tach: Sun
HVAC: Vintage Air


Bodywork & Paint: N/A
Paint: Black
Grille: Classic Industries stock replacement
Bumpers: One-piece Cali-style front and rear

’62 Bel Air's side rear view
’62 Bel Air's side view