Indianapolis native, John Molina, has put the finishing touches on this beautiful Pro Street-style 1965 Chevy II, and while a driver and a showpiece, it’s also destined for some licks on the strip.
Molina is a classic car guy; he also plumbs intakes and builds nitrous oxide systems for a living, and he combined the two into a potent and visually staggering build sure to turn heads.
“I frame-off restored a ’67 Camaro, and somebody wanted it really bad and offered me money for it…I really couldn’t turn it down, so I sold it,” Molina begins. “In the meantime, I was looking to build another Pro Street car and found this Chevy II. It was a bracket racing car, and it was really solid, but in rough shape. It had a 355-inch naturally-aspirated small-block, was gutted out, didn’t have any more wiring than it needed to operate. The guy that owned it got into some health issues, so he decided to put it up for sale and I got it for $10,000. I told them I was going to make them proud and I wasn’t out to flip it…I had always wanted one of these.”
Molina says the Chevy II was an original four-speed car that had been built to the nines for show car use, complete with custom louvers in the hood, frenched-in antennas in the quarter panels, and curb feelers. The previous owner had later decided to put a 350 in it to hot-rod it up, then went to the extreme and built a chassis capable of a couple thousand horsepower, with a Funny Car-style cage. Molina says, “I asked if he had plans to do a big-block turbo or something and his wife said she just wanted her husband to be super-safe.”
Because it still had the factory dash, door panels, headliner, and so on, it was an excellent starting point for Molina’s Pro Street vision. Molina initially left the 355 in it, but later got the itch and built a new pump-gas big-block with a new Powerglide. He got further carried away, leading to the combination you see before you.
Greg Risk Racecraft in Indianapolis refined the car to Molina’s liking. The car has a square-tube back-half, four-link style rear suspension with an anti-roll bar and Strange coilovers, and is square tube up front to a Heidts front clip, A-arms, and QA1 coilovers. The rear features a Strange 9-inch, Strange Ultra Case, 3.70 gears, a spool, and 40-spline axles. Strange disc brakes are in the rear, and Aerospace discs are bolted on up front. Risk retained the factory floor and firewall, and large wheel tubs accept almost any size tire.
Once the chassis works was complete, Risk and Molina stripped the body to the metal, prepped, and applied the PPG B17 Daytona Blue Pearl Metallic color.
The car is all factory steel and glass (except the Glasstek Sunoco bolt-on hood and Glasstek front chin spoiler). Molina installed factory chrome bumpers and trim, and added a custom-built Ed Quay wing.
The interior features a factory dash, headliner, door panels, and roll-up glass windows, an RBZ billet steering wheel, Autometer electric digital cobalt gauges, Kirkey 18-inch seats powder-coated gloss black, gray tweed covers, Stroud five-point harnesses, and an ARC switch panel (eight switches for the car, four switches for nitrous controls). A Fireade fire suppression system keeps Molina safe inside.
A TCI Glide shifter is bolted to a Reid Powerglide and TCI 3,600 rpm stall converter, leading to a 3-1/2-inch driveshaft.
Power is provided by a 496 cubic-inch big-block Chevrolet built upon a GM 427 block. The rotating assembly consists of an Eagle 4340 steel 4.250-inch crank stroke, Eagle steel H-beam rods (4.310-inch bore, 6.385-inch length), and Wiseco 10.5:1 pistons with Hellfire rings gapped for nitrous. An Erson solid roller controls Comp Cams solid roller lifters and pushrods housed within Brodix BB3 cylinder heads with stainless valves and Jesel sportsman shaft rockers.
The build relies on an ATI balancer, CSI electric water pump, Moroso vacuum pump, a BeCool custom dual-fan radiator, and a Powermaster starter and 16-volt, 150-amp alternator connected to an XS 16-volt battery.
Fuel is delivered via a Magnafuel 500 pump drawing from a custom 15-gallon fuel cell. A Magnafuel log/regulator is utilized, as are two Holley 103 regulators for the nitrous system. Two 10-lb. Induction Solutions nitrous bottles are bolted to the frame using Chassis Engineering mounts.
Spark is compliments of an MSD Grid, coils, and distributor. An Induction Solutions’ two-stage progressive controller gives the nitrous system its signals.
The 496 produces an estimated 725-750 horsepower on motor, and between the plate and fogger, enough nitrous will be sprayed to produce around 1,100 horses.
“We definitely built it to race it at the track; I’m just going to be picking and choosing what kind of racing and where, because the car is way too nice to street race and get it wadded up, “Molina shares of his intentions going forward. “We’ll probably do some back-of-the-track (no prep) stuff that’s got a long shutdown, or airports — places that are big and wide. I know things can still happen, but I don’t want to be racing down through there with telephone poles and trees along the street.”