Back to the Boardwalk—Cruisin’ Ocean City
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Rise Above: Sky-High, Gasser-Style ’55
Carb Tech
Setting Correct
Idle Mixture
Essential Guide
to Decoding
Vintage Chevy Vin
and Trim Tags
Carb Tech
Setting Correct Idle Mixture
Essential Guide to Decoding Vintage Chevy Vin and Trim Tags
’69 Camaro Subframe Connectors Install
August 2023
Preview Issue
Make It Yours. Make It Lokar. Modern Performance. Classic Style. Endless Options.
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Series Restored by Lokar
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Series Restored by Lokar
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All Chevy Performance August 2023 cover
On the Cover
Michael Kraemer’s ’55 Chevy lacks most of the creature comforts found in many of today’s muscle car builds. By design, the car is raw, loud, and carries a nostalgic badass gasser look. Check out the full feature on how this car came to be starting on page 16.
Photos by John Machaqueiro
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All Chevy Performance ISSN 2767-5068 (print) ISSN 2767-5076 (online) Issue 32 is published monthly by In the Garage Media, 370 E. Orangethorpe Avenue, Placentia, CA 92870-6502. Postage paid at Placentia, CA. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: All Chevy Performance c/o In the Garage Media, 1350 E. Chapman Ave #6550, Fullerton, CA 92834-6550 or email ITGM at Copyright (c) 2023 IN THE GARAGE MEDIA. Printed in the USA. The All Chevy Performance trademark is a registered trademark of In The Garage Media.
Mike Kraemer’s ’55 Chevy
Tom Panaseny’s ’67 Camaro
Nick Cincotti’s ’66 Nova
Fred “Curly” DellaPietro’s ’67 Chevelle Super Sport
Rick and Val Van Unen’s ’64 Chevelle Wagon
Strengthening the First-Gen F-Body Structure With Detroit Speed Subframe Connectors
What Do the VIN and Trim Tag Reveal About Your Classic Chevy?
How to Set Idle Mixture Correctly
A Simple Modification That Updates ’60s Muscle Cars to Eliminate the Updraft
Which One is Right for You, Gear Reduction or Direct Drive?
Bowtie Bonanza at the Beach
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Built for the Steet! text
13" & 14" Performance Big Brake Kits
Corvette-Style Spindle Wheel Brake Kits
CPP Premium Steering Columns & Power Steering Conversion Kits
Complete 13" Front & 12" Rear Big Brake Kits
Fuel-Injection Tanks & Systems
Subframe Connectors & Fully Adjustable
Proven on the Track! text
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orange car with CPP decal on side
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True Original Offset Wheel Brake Kits
12" Front Disc Brake Kits
Hydraulic Assist Systems & Vacuum Assist Combo Kits
Electronic Throttle Pedal & Bracket Kit
Coil-Over Conversion & Tubular Control Arms Suspension Systems
Superior Braking Performance & Complete Pro-Touring Suspension Packages
High-Clearance/Pro-Touring Sway Bar Kits
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Classic Performance Products, Inc.
378 E. Orangethorpe Ave. Placentia, California 92870
*Prices subject to change without notice, please inquire. (* = estimated at prices due to current rapidly changing costs.) Also, please note that kits and prices may vary between certain applications.
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Wes Allison, “Rotten” Rodney Bauman, Shawn Brereton, Tommy Lee Byrd, Ron Ceridono, Grant Cox, John Gilbert, Tavis Highlander, Jeff Huneycutt, Barry Kluczyk, Scotty Lachenauer, Jason Lubken, Ryan Manson, Jason Matthew, Josh Mishler, Evan Perkins, Richard Prince, Todd Ryden, Jason Scudellari, Jeff Smith, Tim Sutton, and Chuck Vranas – Writers and Photographers
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Tis the Season image title

or many of us living in SoCal, the weather is, for the most part, cooperative in the sense it allows us to get our rides out on any given weekend regardless of the time of year—although the winter of 2023 was one for the ages, as we found out what it was like to deal with more rain than we are accustomed to. Born and raised in Southern California, that was more rain than I have ever seen in a single year. It made me get a taste for what it might be like living in a part of the country where winter weather plays a big part in weekend plans.

No, I don’t know what it’s like to shut it all down for months at a time, so before you flood my email box letting me know how this Southern California native has no clue what it’s like, remember, I said, “I got a taste for what it might be like …” And to be clear, being spoiled by mostly great weather, I didn’t much care for all that rain, either.

Thankfully, as of this writing, we are now in the middle of summer with the car show season in full swing–a time in which we are all able to take advantage of the weather and get out to cruises, car shows, and, to many, some long-distance drives in our hot rods and muscle cars.

ACP department heading PARTS BIN
a body g machine, brake fluid, old school tubes
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Rolling Tribute
1. Rolling Tribute
The Forgeline engineering team is proud to release their latest Heritage Series wheel. The new HL3X is a variation of their original HL3, a tribute to the classic Halibrand wheels of the ’60s that famously carried the Ford GT40 to victory at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans. The HL3X follows a similar design theme to the original HL3 but features larger, more-aggressive spoke window openings to better display the underlying brake hardware, improve cooling, and reduce mass.

For more information, contact Forgeline by calling (800) 886-0093 or visit

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A PerTronix
2. Flame Throwin’
Late-model Coil-On-Plug/Coil-Near-Plug series for Gen V LT1 engines from PerTronix are optimized to improve the spark capabilities of late-model ignition systems. Coils are epoxy-molded to prevent premature failure from moisture or winding fatigue. Whether it’s a performance application with add-ons or an increase in power for the stock ignition, Flame-Thrower coils won’t disappoint.

For more information, contact PerTronix by calling (909) 599-5955 or visit

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Fan Shroud
3. Big Car Shroud
Classic Industries announces the arrival of the new OER reproduction of the original radiator fan shroud designed for use with ’66-68 Chevrolet Impala, Bel Air, Biscayne, and Caprice models with small-block engines. Each shroud is manufactured in injection-molded ABS replicating the original GM shroud in design, appearance, and fitment. The radiator shroud will mount correctly to any original GM or OER reproduction radiator.

For more information, contact Classic Industries by calling (888) 816-2897 or visit

ACP White typography CHEVY CONCEPTS
1967 Camaro

Text & Rendering by Tavis Highlander

1967 Camaro
Vehicle Builder: Charlies Custom Creations, Murfreesboro, TN

atina builds have their own appeal when done right. Luckily, the guys at Charlies Custom Creations know how to put together a solid vehicle, and this one will be no exception. Starting with a stock ’67 Camaro and some well-worn paint, the shop will nip and tuck a few details here and there. The bumpers will get pulled in and finished in satin black with the rest of the trim.

Making the Camaro handle better than ever before is a Roadster Shop chassis. It’s also more powerful thanks to a Chevrolet LT4 crate engine. That new stance and power is kept in check with big brakes and modern Ferrada FR2 wheels.

Unfinished Business title
Mike Kraemer’s ’55 Chevy Embodies the Fulfillment of Childhood Memories
BY John MachaqueiroPhotography BY The Author

ike Kraemer’s indoctrination into the Chevy fold started at an early age. As a youngster growing up during the late ’60s and early ’70s, it wasn’t uncommon for kids like him to see vintage iron on the road decked out in some form of race trim. As a result, he still has some fond memories of the vehicles he saw back then that shaped—and continue to shape—his automotive tastes to this day. He recalls one particular car: “When I was 11 years old my mom regularly drove me to the swim club, and as we turned into the parking lot, there was a gas station that frequently had a jacked-up Marina Blue ’55 Chevy parked out front. It was lettered-up with Double Five on the front fender, no front bumper, and Cragars all around. As a kid that just looked like a fast car for the street,” Mike explains.

ACP department heading TECH
A Firmer Foundation typographic title in white
A Firmer Foundation
Strengthening The First-Gen F-Body Structure with Detroit Speed Subframe Connectors

By Barry Kluczyk Photography by THE AUTHOR


tructural rigidity has long been the Achilles heel of unibody cars—particularly cars from the muscle car era, such as the first- and second-generation Camaro. The issue becomes more acute with a significant jump in performance when greater horsepower and handling capability expose the functional boundaries of the body structure.

A weaker structure is not only prone to metal fatigue and even ripping in some areas, but it makes it more difficult to put all the car’s power to the pavement, whether in a straight line or in corners. It’s simply impossible to optimize launches or handling with excessive chassis flex.

So, just as long as there have been flexible unibodies, subframe connectors and other structural enhancements have been the cure—but even they have had their compromises. Typically, they’ve necessarily followed the contours of a car’s floor, which often means less-than-optimal strength. Also: Following the underside of the floorpan often reduces ground clearance while also creating somewhat of an unsightly profile.

ACP department heading Feature
Roy's Car typography
Tom Panaseny’s ’67 Camaro Pays Tribute to its Original Owner
BY NICK LICATA Photography by John Jackson

om Panaseny is a car guy; he’s been one basically his whole life. What started out as helping his dad repair cars led to him buying a T-bucket as his first car. His love for Camaros began when a neighbor brought home a new ’69 convertible–white with orange stripes and an orange interior. Over the last 35 years Tom has owned, restored, modified, and, most importantly, enjoyed 11 Camaros of all generations. “Each one was unique in some way,” Tom states. “I’ve owned special editions, highly modified, low-mile, and a few one-owner Camaros. Some were show winners and some I drag raced and beat the crap out of; unfortunately, they’ve all been sold … except for one.”

ACP department heading TECH

tan classic chevy

1. Is it the real deal or an imposter? The numbers tell the story on your classic Chevy.

What Do the VIN and Trim Tag Reveal about your Classic Chevy?
By Tommy Lee Byrd Photography by THE AUTHOR

hen it comes to finding out your car’s factory options and features, the best place to start is the vehicle identification number (VIN) plate and the trim tag. In most cases, these two stampings will not provide every piece of information you want, but it’s easily accessible and can sometimes reveal some cool details. If you want the car’s full history, other documentation like a build sheet and Protect-O-Plate are needed, but those items are often long gone on an average Chevy from the muscle car era. Finding a build sheet hidden in the interior or on top of the gas tank is like finding buried treasure. We’ll cover some details of the build sheet, but the main purpose of this article is to explain some of the nuances of the VIN and trim tag through the years.

To simplify things, we’re narrowing the focus of this article from 1960 through 1980 because there are many variations of VIN and trim tag configurations and other documentation differences. Even in that 20-year span, there are dozens of variations, sometimes within the same year of production. Variations could depend on the factory, build date, or the combination of the two factors, especially in the case of trim tags.

We’re using a few real-world examples of cars: a ’63 Impala SS convertible, a ’64 Chevelle Malibu, a ’66 Nova, a ’69 Camaro, and a ’73 Nova. This information can help you make quick observations when looking at a car to buy, or if you’re simply curious about a car’s original configuration. There aren’t enough pages in this magazine to cover every option code or configuration, but we’ll do our best to simplify the process and give you some of the highlights from popular Chevrolet applications from the ’60s and ’70s.

ACP department heading Feature
"Supercharged 'N' Sexy"
Nick Cincotti’s Asphalt-Burning Chevy Nova
BY Chuck VranasPhotography by THE AUTHOR

riven to perfection . . . it’s something that many Chevy owners aspire to, especially when taking on a ground-zero build with the desire to create something truly unique. With each car being as individual as the owner, it presents a personal fingerprint once completed, incorporating a stream of cutting-edge parts along with seamless fabrication to establish a truly unique vibe. The wicked ’66 Chevy Nova laid out across our pages owned by Nick Cincotti III of Billerica, Massachusetts, is representative of a vision to fuse stance, performance, and a razor-sharp look to deliver a knock-out punch.

Metallic red '66 Nova on chrome 5 spoke wheels
ACP department heading TECH
Idle Hands
How To Set Idle Mixture Correctly

By Jeff Smith Photography by The Author


he Bible says that idle hands are the devil’s workshop. Our take is a little different. When it comes to setting the idle mixture on your street-driven engine, your hands will be plenty busy adjusting, tweaking, and setting several different parameters. This may not sound like something to account for an hour or so of your time, but trust us, it’s worth the effort.

If you think about it, a street-driven engine spends much of its time running with a closed or near-closed throttle. Waiting for the engine to warm up, sitting at a stoplight, cruising down the highway, or on city streets are all conditions where the throttle is just barely open. With most carburetors, these situations require a throttle opening of roughly 10 to 15 percent. This places throttle action well within the realm of the idle circuit.

That statement may come as a bit of a surprise to many automotive enthusiasts. But if your street engine idles at roughly 12 inches of manifold vacuum or higher, then your engine probably runs down the freeway at not much more than 15 percent throttle opening, which falls within the control area of the idle circuit in your carburetor.

ACP department heading Feature
Jersey Hot Rodder Cooks Up a Day Two Treat
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You can say I’m an old hand at this, you know, cruising, street racing, and having a good time here at the Jersey Shore,” Fred “Curly” DellaPietro declares, when talking about the history forged between himself and his stable of Chevys. “I’ve got this ’67 Chevelle Super Sport and my trusty ’55 that I’ve been running since the ’60s. Yeah, I’ve been doing this for the past six decades and love every minute of it.”
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BY Scotty LachenauerPhotography by The Author
red ’67 Chevelle Super Sport
Curly is a Jersey shorefront staple and participates in local cruises regularly. “With our miles of roads along the spectacular beaches, it’s a great scene here. Of course, there was plenty of street racing back in the day, and with Raceway Park just a few miles away, it was an outstanding locale if you were a muscle car lover,” Curly states.

Since Raceway Park was shut down, many of the cars that battled it out on the strip have returned to the streets as beefed-up cruisers. “The Asbury Park Circuit, our old cruising turf, has come back and breathed new life into the scene at the Jersey Shore,” Curly reports.
Curly has spent his entire life in the Keansburg area of New Jersey, just blocks from the bay and a few miles from the ocean. “Growing up, my dad had nothing but Chevys in the driveway, and I learned how to drive his ’55 Chevy hardtop when I was just 15,” Curly reminisces. “I was drawn to its design from the start and since then I’ve owned at least 10 more ’55s. I still have my last one. It’s got a built-up small-block pushing 410 hp.”

ACP department heading TECH
Seal It Up

By Jeff Smith Photography by The Author

A Simple Modification That Updates ’60S Muscle Cars to Eliminate Updraft

hile we all love our older muscle cars for their style and performance, this is especially true for this writer when it comes to first-generation Chevelles. While they have tons of flair, they do lack a bit of sophistication when it comes to things like sealing the interior. This is nowhere more evident than the suggestion of a seal between the steering column and the floorpan. I own more than a couple of A-bodies that sport a near ¼-inch gap around the steering column that allows hot underhood air, dirt, and fumes to funnel straight up the steering column at road speeds.

I’m in the midst of a complete restoration on our ’66 SS396 and I noticed a small ad in this publication for a firewall seal designed to solve this problem. JJ’s Rods is owned by Jeff Johnson. He experienced the same issue with many street rods and decided to come up with an answer for this little dilemma. This led to his E-Z Firewall Seal that he has now expanded into the muscle car market.

The E-Z Firewall Seal has won numerous street rod awards along with SEMA’s Product of the Year award in 2018 for its elegant and simple solution. With regard to the Chevelle and GM A-body market, Johnson offers a couple of different kits depending upon whether the car is equipped with an automatic or, as in our case, a floor-mounted four-speed to accommodate the manual clutch linkage. JJ’s offers a similar part specifically for early Camaros and Firebirds as well as ’69-74 Novas.

ACP department heading Feature

BY NICK LICATA  Photography by Wes Allison

Rick & Val Van Unen’s ’64 Chevelle Wagon

f you grew up in and around the ’60s and ’70s you no doubt have spent some time in the back of a station wagon of some kind–no seatbelts, rear window down, pulling in enough exhaust fumes to knock out an entire Little League team cranked up on Red Vines and Coca-Cola. Ford, Chevy, Pontiac, Chrysler, Jeep, Buick, Oldsmobile, AMC, Cadillac, and more all made extended family haulers of just about every shape and size. Back then we didn’t have thoughts about them being cool—probably due to just about every family having one, and in our youthful eyes, the more wood siding, the less cool they were. It wouldn’t be long before the minivan replaced the station wagon, which has since been rolled over by today’s SUV.

Long In The Roof
ACP department heading EVENT
Line of cars at the show
Black Nova next to black Nomad
ProStreet steel blue Nova SS
Silver ProStreet Yenko Nova SS
White ProStreet Nova
Black Nova next to black Nomad
ProStreet steel blue Nova SS
Silver ProStreet Yenko Nova SS
White ProStreet Nova
"32nd Annual Cruisin' Ocean City"
"32nd Annual Cruisin' Ocean City"
Bowtie Bonanza at the Beach
By Chuck Vranas Photography BY THE AUTHOR

here’s no better way to kick off the outdoor event season than topping off the tank and heading out to the promised land where wicked amounts of horsepower get a chance to mingle with sun and surf for the ultimate performance car weekend. Devoted Chevy fans who live for hopped-up mills, packing everything from supercharged big-blocks to turbocharged LS V-8s, got everything they hoped for while attending the 32nd Annual Cruisin’ Ocean City event held in Ocean City, Maryland. If you want to experience the fun-meter dialed to the max, the quaint little seaside community was the place to be, with well over 3,000 registered car and truck owners pulling into town to cruise the 10-mile strip and dig just what makes the event so very special.

Nothing is more welcoming than the sight of endless manicured beaches accented by the sounds of surf while checking out numerous old-school amusement rides along with arcades and plenty of food vendors commanding your full attention with scents you’ll remember since you were knee-high to a Camaro bumper.

With credentials in hand after checking into the Convention Center, it’s a short hop over to the “Inlet,” which serves as the epicenter for the weekend’s festivities. Accommodating up to 1,500 of the region’s coolest muscle cars, classic trucks, hot rods, and classics, it’s easy to go into sensory overload thanks to all the blinding chrome and candy coatings shimmering under the sun. Thanks to all the exciting mini events happening across the strip throughout the weekend, the parking turns over regularly, giving everyone a chance to stop in and visit.

ACP department heading TECH
Selecting Starters typographic title in white
1. Big power in a small package. On the left is a Duralast gear-reduction starter; on the right is a conventional direct-drive starter.
Which One is Right for You, Gear Reduction or Direct Drive?



t one time selecting a Chevrolet starter was easy enough, as there really was only one choice. However, since the late ’80s, the OEMs have steadily moved away from direct-drive starters and toward gear-reduction starters, and the aftermarket has followed suit.

Although gear-reduction starters are more complex, making them more expensive, they are also smaller, lighter, and more efficient. These starters typically achieve a gear reduction ratio of 4:1. These starters use smaller, faster motors that draw less amperage. A 4:1 gear reduction ratio also means that a gear-reduction starter can often produce more torque than a much larger, heavier, direct-drive starter. In some cases, a direct-drive starter can weigh as much as two times more than a comparable gear-reduction unit. That represents a significant power/torque to weight ratio benefit, and it also means they are physically smaller and often easier to install.

While gear-reduction starters have a variety of advantages in some cases, when originality is important, a direct-drive starter may be more desirable. Regardless of the type of starter used, when it comes to Gen I and II Chevy small-block starters there are two basic choices, and which is used depends on the diameter and tooth count of the ring gear on the flexplate or flywheel. The large ring gears are 14 inches in diameter with 168 teeth and require starters with offset mounting holes. The smaller ring gears are 123/4 inches in diameter with 153 teeth and the proper starters have two holes parallel with the back of the block.

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