Every year we have a simple formula used in determining which vehicle at our Beach Blast car show in Cocoa Beach receives Best Of Show honors. We simply total up all the participant votes, and the vehicle with the most takes home the award. At Beach Blast 16, held on May 16th, 2010, it was James Stewart’s 1967 Chevelle Super Sport that took the top prize. Another tradition of our Beach Blast is that whatever vehicle wins Best Of Show is also featured on the cover, in the center spread of our magazine, and on the next year’s event artwork, so we promptly made arrangements to stop by James Stewart’s place in Haines City, Florida and shoot the photos.
Upon arriving at James Stewart’s homestead, it was obvious that Motocross racing plays a big role in his life, as there is a huge Motocross track built from clay sprawling across the property. Those who follow professional Motocross and Supercross racing will certainly know James Stewart’s son, “Bubba” Stewart. Since making his pro debut in 2002 he has taken the sport by storm, and has enjoyed plenty of success. That includes becoming only the second rider in history (after Ricky Carmichael) to complete a perfect motocross season, with 24 wins in 24 races during 2008 - after coming back from knee surgery, no less. James’ younger son, Malcolm, is also poised to turn pro later this year....so look for him to be making a big impact as well. At any rate, it is easy to see that for the Stewarts, motorcycles play a pivotal role in life.
It is also easy to see why James’ Chevelle SS caught the attention of everyone at the Beach Blast, since it combines classic muscle car lines, modern styling cues, and lots of attention to detail throughout. During the course of a frame off restoration everything was gone through and put back just the way James likes it, starting with the black powder coated frame that received tubular front A-Arms and rear control arms, disc brakes all the way around, and all stainless steel brake and gas lines.
The exterior of the Chevelle retains the stock trim and emblems, but sets itself apart from the crowd with smooth as glass paint, and a set of cool wheels. The paint was done in House of Kolors black and silver, both of which have metallics, applied by Pocquette Customs in Haines City. The firewall was also smoothed, and the floor pans and fender wells painted to match the car. For the wheels, a set of 20-inch Asantis were chosen, and are done up in a custom black and chrome two-tone treatment to complement the paint scheme.
Inside the engine compartment you’ll find an all aluminum ZL1, which displaces 427 cubic inches, is topped by a Holley Quick Fuel carburetor, and utilizes March Systems billet pulleys. The motor made 650 horsepower on the dyno, and pumps that through a Muncie M22 Rock Crusher 4-speed manual transmission. Yeah, this one was born to run!
The cabin received a custom interior by Street Seats, which included power bucket seats in the front, another pair of bucket seats in the back, and a console that runs from the dash to the rear window tray. Lots of style was put into the sculpted door panels, swoopy speaker grills, and various other items that make the two-tone black and gray leather and suede interior really pop. Inside the carbon fiber inset dash resides a set of white faced Auto Meter gauges. The 5,000 watt Kenwood stereo with navigation keeps the passengers entertained, while a Vintage Air unit with billet vents keeps the cruising cool.
As a small collector of antique cars, which includes several Camaros and trucks, James told us that he chose the Chevelle because he wanted a big body car. Having been involved in racing for over 20 years, and with his two boys racing Motocross, James told us that collecting and restoring antique cars is his therapy. He enjoys attending car shows with his buddies, whom he would not see at a motorcycle race.
James wanted to give special thanks to Mike Pocquette of Pocquette Custom in Haines City, David Flanner (aka Hillbilly), Doug Gibson, and most of all his wonderful wife Sonya Stewart, for selecting the awesome colors for the interior and exterior.
There is no doubt that the combo really came out great, as evidenced by the crowds it gathers. During its car show debut James’ Chevelle certainly drew the admiration of fellow Beach Blast participants, as it received the most participant votes of any vehicle in attendance. Anyone that is drawn in by the obvious exterior appeal will see that for this car, beauty is certainly not just skin deep. Everywhere you look is another testimony to the painstaking attention to detail that went into making it one bad Chevelle SS. CN