1966 Chevy Chevelle
Tim King and TMI Automotive Products, Inc
Tim King’s 1966 Chevelle
There’s not too many of us who can claim they still own their very first car, but Tim King is one of them. As a young auto enthusiast, Tim bought this ‘66 Chevelle at the ripe age of 15, but it looked nothing like you see it here.
When the Chevelle was first purchased the car it had a big-block, 4-speed, and a 12-bolt rearend with Positraction. It was a running and driving car but was an older restoration with a lot of not-so-great modifications done to it, but Tim wanted to make this car his own so the transformation slowly began. The Chevy was his pride and joy and a little bit of every paycheck went to the Chevelle fund, which slowly grew.
Out of high school Tim worked as a mechanic and then worked at True-Connections, a now defunct Chevelle restoration parts warehouse. While there, every paycheck went towards buying parts for his car, “I had parts everywhere in the garage and in my room. I wanted to buy everything new so when I painted the car, I could put all new parts on it.” Tim explained.
Enter TMI Products
A happy little set of coincidences happened when Tim was looking for interior. TMI Products was looking for a unique project to be one of their featured cars in their booth for SEMA 2012 and found this car, and really liked the entire build background on the Team Chevelle online forum. After a few phone calls the Chevelle was down at TMI getting a new interior for one of the very first Sport Series seats. After the SEMA show ended, Tim found himself with a new position at TMI and started his new tenure as Sales Manager.
During his time at TMI he felt the stock black interior with Sport Series seats didn’t grab enough attention. “When I originally restored the car, I wanted a white interior and everybody told me no. I regretted that and when working at TMI I had the opportunity to redo the interior and swapped it out with a ‘69 Chevelle Pearl White color and it really took the car to a whole other level.” So for those interested in doing this exact upgrade, what you are looking at is actually a set of Pro-Classic Universal Sport-R Low Back front seats in Sport-X pattern in Pearl White vinyl and grey suede inserts with black stitching. The door panels were done up in the same colors and design, as were the rear seats.
Under the hood the Chevelle had been upgraded to a bored and stroked LS3. Texas Speed and Performance supplied the rotating assembly and Holley supplied the ultra cool intake. Exhaust is exited in a quick manner through Doug Thorley headers and a complete three-inch Flowmaster exhaust.
Backing the engine is an American Powertrain T-56 Magnum that’s connected to the Currie 9-inch rear with an Inland Empire Driveline driveshaft. That potent combo is good for 600hp, but is still solid enough to cruise down the highway and blast open stretches at 90mph, while still getting a respectable 17mpgs.
The stance you see is thanks to a custom air bag setup at all four corners with Viking Performance dual-adjustable shocks. Stopping power is handled with massive Baer brakes which reside inside 19- and 20-inch NewGen wheels wrapped in Nitto 555 tires.
That curvy but tough Chevelle sheep metal is sprayed with BMW Sparkling Graphite, lending an almost-but-not-yet-murdered-out look. There are subtle changes to the exterior such as the 2-inch cowl induction hood, shaved antenna, and all the emblems shaved off the car. Powdercoated bumpers tame down the chrome and tie in the wheels to the Chevelle nicely.
The end result is a car that has a dark sinister look, but a bright white interior that pops and grabs your attention. The car has graced the pages of Chevy High Performance magazine and been shared on social media pages thousands of times. “Right now the car is undergoing another round of upgrades and changes. A classic car is never done. Be on the lookout for version 3.0 of this car!” exclaimed Tim.