Video: Chuck Hanson Builds an LS-Powered 1969 Chevelle

Hanson sourced this 5.3 straight out of a totaled 2003 Chevy Tahoe... for only $600.

For those of you who follow along with Chuck Hanson and his weblog show “Chuck’s Garage,”on Holley Performance’s YouTube channel, you know he’s one of the biggest Chevelle guys in the hobby. We don’t know how many he has, but judging by the featured video, he has enough to make any Chevy guy jealous.

He’s a Chevelle fan of all years, body styles, and trim levels, and now he’s building a ’69 Chevelle coupe from scratch, using a frame he bought for $100 from Craigslist. In fact, this whole project is being built on a budget, using mostly secondhand components.

Motivating this thing will be a 5.3L engine sourced from a totaled ’03 Tahoe, that Hanson picked up for $600. It might have 120,000 miles on the ticker, but anyone who knows how well engineered the LS engines are, knows that there is more than plenty of life left in it.

The 4L60E gearbox he’s using to back the 5.3L was traded for a set of big-block heads and a Posi rear axle to a friend for his son’s own Chevelle project.

A set of lightly used wheels and tires that he picked up from a swap meet for $800 were and scored for $400 less than what the seller was asking for. The rear differential was found on Craigslist, with 3.31 gears and a Posi differential – just what Hanson was looking for for $1000. Talk about wheeling and dealing!

Hanson will be relying on parts from Holley Performance to help swap the LS 5.3L into the classic A-Body chassis.

Hanson will be swapping out the truck intake for something “cooler,” and will be increasing the horsepower with an aftermarket camshaft and all of the bolt-ons. Some of the few new parts he will be using include Holley Performance’s engine mounting brackets and an oil pan, which are designed just for such a swap.

This Chevelle project should serve as a reminder to all of us what’s possible being on a tight budget, and when you have great companies like Holley Performance in your corner! If you want to follow along with this project like we are, then click on Holley Performance’s YouTube channel here!

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About the author

Rick Seitz

Being into cars at a very early age, Rick has always preferred GM performance cars, and today's LS series engines just sealed the deal. When he's not busy running errands around town in his CTS-V, you can find him in the garage wrenching on his WS6 Trans Am, or at the local cruise spots in his Grand National.
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