By 1965, the excesses of the Jet Age were considered passé. Minimalism was the new mantra, and cars like the '65 Chevy Chevelle proved that you could have a stylish coupe, without nailing chrome tail fins to back of a 29-foot long barge. Chevrolet's new GT coupe had clean lines, a comfortable interior, and the option of a high-horsepower Super Sport model. The most common engine was a 283ci V8, which had enough muscle to turn the top spec Chevelle Malibu SS into a real performer. Any car-obsessed teenager would love to drive one of these tire-shredding monsters while they're in high school. But that was an actual dream-come-true for a lucky kid named John Boggio.
When he was just 14 years old, John got a 1964 Volkswagen Bug, and began a 2-year restoration with his dad Ron. After the little car was finished, he got his license and did what every car-nut teenager does: street racing. It didn't take long for John to decide that he needed something a bit more powerful. So he sold the Bug and bought a 1965 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu SS that his dad found while driving through Colton, California. The red Chevelle SS appeared to be all original, with a strong running 283 V8 hooked to a 2-speed Powerglide automatic. Upon seeing it, John quickly ponied up $12,500 for the rumbling muscle car, and instantly became the coolest kid in school.
6 months after buying his Chevelle Malibu SS, John ditched the stock 283 for a more powerful 383 stroker. A short time later, a 440ci big block found its way under the hood (no, not a Chrysler motor, but a de-stroked 454 with a 427 crank), and young Mr. Boggio found himself running the Pomona drag strip in the mid 12's. The Chevelle provided many other great memories throughout high school, but he eventually got bored and sold the SS shortly after graduating.
Nearly a decade later, a high school friend called to say that he'd just seen John's old Chevelle, and it might be for sale. Mr. Boggio rushed to the storage yard in Riverside, and immediately bought the car back. Not much had been changed in the last decade. The SS was still red, the hood was still in primer, and John's registration card was still in the glove box. One of the cylinders had lost compression however, so it had to be towed home. Later that night, 6 of his friends showed up and helped strip the Chevelle down to its frame. This unexpected automotive reunion was off to a great start, but fate had other ideas.
After deciding what he wanted the car to become, John sent the body out for paint. But in an ironic twist, the body shop went out of business, and his Chevelle SS went missing for another 3 years. Then one day, a friend of a friend found the car, and John was reunited with his Chevelle once again. Not wanting to take any more chances, Mr. Boggio completed most of the restoration himself. Of course he had to hire another body shop paint the car. But he kept a much closer eye on it this time around.
Today, the John Boggio 1965 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu SS has traded it's primer-on-red motif for a much more sinister look. The emblems and keyholes were shaved, and all of the chrome bits were powder coated black, save for the red-white-and-blue Chevy crest in the middle of the grille. The body received a deep coat of Torch Red. Then it was set down on a fully boxed frame, with a custom Ridetech suspension, Wilwood brakes, and black Donz wheels. If the car had looked this dangerous in high school, John's mom probably wouldn't have approved.
To back up its 'hit man' appearance, the Chevelle SS uses a balanced and blueprinted LS1 350, with a 2.9 liter Whipple supercharger glued to the top. It's fed through a custom intake that uses 4 high-flow K&N Performance Air Filters to keep dirt, dust, and small hatchbacks from getting sucked into the engine. All of this mechanical mayhem results in 586 horsepower and 760 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels. Suffice it to say, John would've gotten into a lot of trouble if the Chevelle had that much power in high school.
Over the years, John used K&N filters on other builds because of their performance and durability. When he started designing the intake system for his TRKRMNY Chevelle (that's an acronym for 'Trucker Money', which is a nod to the success of his company Advanced Trucking Service), he ordered 12 different air filters off of Amazon. None of these filters fit or performed correctly, so he went to the K&N website and used the Search by Dimension Tool. After entering the desired filter size, he discovered that a low-restriction K&N Replacement Filter for a VW Passat would fit in the bottom openings of the intake, and the filter for a Jaguar X-Type would work for the top section. Since K&N makes air filters for nearly every vehicle on the road today, finding an exact fit was pretty simple.
Life doesn't hand out do-over's very often, but it gave John Boggio the opportunity to turn his high school dream car, into his grownup dream car. Sure, he hit a few snags along the way. But he stayed focused, and eventually created one seriously cool 1965 Chevy Chevelle Malibu SS. We at K&N salute you sir!
At a Glance: 1965 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu SS Trucker Money