Classic Muscle Meets Modern Performance With This 1963 Chevy II
For many automotive enthusiasts, the passion for cars starts at an early age thanks to an older sibling, father, grandfather or another influential person in life. The key to letting that passion grow is the experiences you have and the things you get to build with your own two hands.
For Kyle Magill of Loveland, Colorado, no line can ring truer. A self-proclaimed gearhead since around the age of 13, Magill grew up around cool cars. But that's not where it ended. Thanks to help and encouragement from his step father, Stephen Marine, and a number of car-minded friends he made along the way, Magill took that passion and built upon it, building this amazing 1963 Chevy II from the ground up starting in high school.
The car was purchased by Magill when he was just 16 years old – a hunk of metal rusting away in a local farmer's field with a non-functioning inline-6 under the hood and more than a few mismatched body panels to work with.
It cost Magill just $500.
An adventure in building a car of his own after having helped work on his step dad's and grandfather's cars, Magill took on the project with a large learning curve in mind – at the time, he didn't know much about body work, wiring, welding and fabrication. All of the skills it took to make this car what it is today were learned on the fly with plenty of help from Marine and his friends along the way.
A Streetable Race Car
Wanting to build a “streetable race car” that could take just about anything he threw at it, Magill started with the fab work and worked his way through body work, paint, interior, wiring and then full assembly before the car was finished.
The final touch? A built Big Block Chevy engine for under the hood – a graduation present from his step dad and his friends, and the one and only thing Magill didn't pay for himself on the build.
So what exactly does this little Nova have to offer?
Well, plenty!! Built atop a Smith Racecraft front subframe with the rear frame halfed and tubed, Magill's Nova features single-adjustable Santhuff coil over struts up front with rack and pinion steering, and a TCI Street 4-link system in the rear with single-adjustable All American coil over shocks, a panhard bar, and re-located frame rails in the rear. Wrapped around the entire car is a 12-point cage with subframe connectors.
Planting the car to the pavement for plenty of cruising as well as racing are 15x4-inch front and 15x10-inch Billet Specialties Street Lights. Wilwood 2-piston front and rear discs give the car ample stopping power while a line lock keeps the car in place for epic burnouts. And boy, can this car do some epic burnouts!
Under the hood, you'll find a gorgeous 468ci BBC fitted with a COMP Cams camshaft, an Eagle cast crank and rods, Edelbrock Performer RPM aluminum heads with rectangle ports, an Edelbrock RPM Air-Gap intake, and Hooker headers tied to a 3 ½-inch exhaust with Borla XR-1 mufflers, which dumps in front of the rearend. The engine also boasts a 850cfm Proform carburetor, an MSD ignition, a two-speed Derale high-output cooling fan and Taylor plug wires. As if that wasn't enough, a NOS nitrous system provides a little extra oomph to the already powerful big block. All said and done, and you're looking at over 650hp!
Fueling the Chevy V8 is a 15-gallon Aeromotive fuel cell with an Eliminator fuel pump and an Aeromotive regulator located in the trunk, along with the battery and nitrous bottle mounted using a custom bracket setup. Yes, this car certainly means business!
I always say if it ain't pretty enough to look at, don't race it, but this Chevy II has that department covered as well! Though the body has not been chopped or shaved, all of the body trim holes have been filled, as well as the gas door smoothed, giving the car a streamlined feel. This is only accentuated with the Ed Quay aluminum wing mounted out back, as well as the the VFN 6-inch fiberglass hood and Unlimited fiberglass front and rear bumpers.
Redline Lumtronix LED headlights, LED taillights and a billet grille add even more detail to the gorgeous build. And then it's topped off with a two-toned Dupont paint scheme in Chrysler's Go Mango and BMW's Salmon Silver laid by Chemical Skin in Loveland, with Lime Green pinstriping details by Scott Kohler.
With any good streetable race car, you've got to have a little bit of comfort mixed with weight reduction and functionality. Magill achieved this by going with Kirkey aluminum racing seats padded with custom upholstery and sporting Crow five-point, cam-lock harnesses. The door panels and headliner match the seat upholstery, with custom Go Mango details to match the two-tone dash with chrome trim, thanks to Interior by Durk. Carbon fiber inserts add even more aesthetic value to the interior while carbon fiber gauges from Auto Meter in a custom gauge cluster make sure Magill can keep track of every function in his car from behind the wheel.
Of course, you can't have a pimp race car to drive around town without having a good stereo system, so Magill fitted his car with a 6x9-inch Alpine speaker in all four corners and a 4-way Eclipse amp (turned on via the factory wiper switch, none-the-less), all controlled with an I-pod.
A gorgeous build with plenty of power and performance to back it up, Magill tells us he couldn't have done it without the help and support from his family, particularly his step dad, who is the very person responsible for Magill's initial introduction to the car world. Magill would also like to thank his friend Luke Davis for fab work and the roll cage, and the local car community for all the inspiration, friends and help they've provided throughout the years.
Now 26 years old, with the car having been “done” for about six years now, Magill assures us this will be his only “project” for awhile, and for good reason!
“The car changes every year and is never left the same the year after. That is why I love building cars and living the lifestyle.” – Kyle Magill