Racers are like artists creating a masterpiece — sometimes it only takes them a short amount of time to bring a piece to life, and other times they’re years in the making. Andy Dodge has owned his 1969 Chevelle for over three decades, and the car has gone through many phases during that time. Now, the Chevelle is in its most potent form with a big turbocharged engine under the hood.
Dodge discovered the world of motorsports thanks to his father and uncle, who raced everything from drag cars to flat track motorcycles in Southern California, so it makes sense why motorsports is a family tradition. Dodge, along with his five brothers, spent much of their youth at racing venues, and that had a profound influence on him.
Street racing is where Dodge got his first taste of competing with his own vehicle, but he eventually went to the dragstrip and decided that’s where he belonged. Dodge started out bracket racing, like most racers, and worked his way up into the world of heads-up racing. Now, Dodge and his son have heads-up cars that they race together.
Dodge has owned his Chevelle for 38 years, after purchasing it from a good friend he met while working at a gas station. Dodge would fuel the Chevelle up at the full-service pump, and one day the owner offered to sell him the car. Dodge jumped at the chance to own the Chevelle. He drove it for a time before converting it to a bracket car that was driven to the track on a regular basis. Eventually, Dodge decided it was time to step into the heads-up racing world and that’s when things got serious.
“NMCA West was a big push for my son and I to migrate over to the heads-up racing scene. We started racing in the NMCA’s Ultra Street class where we ran a BBC nitrous combo. Things started out rough for us in the class, but at the end of the day, we ran one of the fastest Ultra Street passes on the West coast, going 5.08 at 140 MPH with a 3,560-pound car. We got an opportunity to switch to a twin-turbo combination with this car and took advantage of it. Josh Deeds at Deeds Performance rebuilt this car to what it is today,” Dodge says.
The Chevelle’s suspension uses a plethora of parts from TRZ Motorsports, along with a full set of Menscer Motorsports shockss. Deeds Performance fabricated numerous custom parts for its chassis and suspension, too. The 25.3-cert cage that Deeds created looks like it should have been an option from the factory.
QMP Racing Engines was tasked with building a large cubic-inch engine for the Chevelle. The Dart block was matched with a Callies crankshaft, GRP aluminum rods, Dart heads, and a Pro-Flier sniper intake. Fuel for the engine is provided by a set of 850 lb/hr Bilet Atomizer injectors and a Waterman mechanical fuel pump. The engine and car are controlled by a slew of FuelTech components.
A pair of Turbonetics 88mm turbos provide plenty of boosted air that the Accufab throttle body lets into the engine. Precision wastegates and blow-off valves help keep the boost in check during a pass at the track. A Mike’s Transmission three-speed TH400 transmission and ProTorque torque converter send the horsepower to the rear tires.
Dodge plans on making a lot of passes behind the wheel of his Chevelle and will be doing some traveling with the car when it’s ready.
“We plan on running the car in no-time small-tire grudge racing classes. Sadly, the West coast heads-up scene is dying, so we plan on doing some traveling to race the car. Our goal is to run some solid low 4-second passes in the 1/8-mile, and to get a 6-second time slip and run over 200 MPH in the 1/4-mile,” Dodge states.
Andy Dodge could have changed vehicles many times during his racing career, but chances are whatever vehicle he selected wouldn’t have meant as much to him as his Chevelle does. You don’t see many racers who’ve owned their car for almost 40 years, and it looks like Dodge doesn’t plan on parting with his Chevelle anytime soon.