Published on 04/05/2019

Shift into Summer

WORDS:

DAN HODGDON

PHOTOS:

MATT BEST and ANDREW LARSON

Driving and show season is in gear, and summer is just around the corner. Events from the C10 Nationals, to HOT ROD Power Tour, to the Tri-Five Nationals and many more shows are coming up, where we’ll see thousands of vehicles featuring lots of goodies from Chevrolet Performance.

TAGS:
vehicles, parts, events
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Published on 04/05/2019
vehicles, parts, events
WORDS:

DAN HODGDON

PHOTOS:

MATT BEST and ANDREW LARSON

Shift into Summer

Driving and show season is in gear, and summer is just around the corner. Events from the C10 Nationals, to HOT ROD Power Tour, to the Tri-Five Nationals and many more shows are coming up, where we’ll see thousands of vehicles featuring lots of goodies from Chevrolet Performance.

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Steen Gilbertson's 1970 Chevelle
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Since the Bowtie is currently running an offer on its transmissions and transmission components, we’ve decided to take a look at some of our favorite feature vehicles shifted by these important drivetrain components.

Steen Gilbertson’s yellow 1970 Chevelle is everything a muscle car should be -- meaning he was looking for the biggest big block he could find to pair with a manual transmission. He decided on a Chevrolet Performance ZZ572/620 Deluxe crate engine and backed it up with a T56 Super Magnum six-speed manual, also from Chevrolet Performance.

The T56 is a high-torque capacity, TREMEC six-speed designed specifically for custom, retro-fit installations with Chevrolet Performance crate engines -- just like Glibertson’s Chevelle. The transmission features a 700 lb-ft maximum torque capacity with an exterior case similar to the fourth-generation F-body transmission. In addition, it includes stronger, high-capacity gear seats, and the input shaft and output shaft used in the TREMEC TR6060.

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T56 Super Magnum Six-Speed Manual

Gilbertson told us he built the car just for the HOT ROD Power Tour, and the overall idea of the car was to build one similar to what would be produced if the Chevelle was available in the present day. But, it had to have a manual.

Another one of our favorite cars built for cruising came directly from Chevrolet Performance itself. It’s the 1955 Chevy Bel Air E-ROD, which we saw during the Tri-Five Nationals at Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky, during the summer of 2018. Chevrolet Performance Associate Marketing Manager, Bill Martens, had driven it from Michigan for the occasion.

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1955 Chevy Bel Air E-Rod
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The car has the LS3 E-ROD crate engine under the hood, which has a California Air Resources Board Executive Order (E.O.# D-1260-32) and is 50-state emissions legal. Bolted to the engine is a Hydra-Matic 4L65-E four-speed automatic transmission, which also utilizes an easily installed SuperMatic transmission controller. It features enhanced shift pressure performance for improved shift control. The electronically controlled four-speed overdrive transmission has a 430 lb-ft torque limit and five-pinion gearsets, heat-treated stator shaft splines, an induction-hardened turbine shaft and a seven-plate 3.4 clutch. A SuperMatic torque converter is even available for direct bolt up to Gen 1 and Gen II engines.

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Hydra-Matic 4L65-E four-speed automatic transmission

“I like just the style of the car; it’s very representative of a time gone by,” Martens said. “I think this car, while it might not be as highly modified as a lot of cars at this show, is a real driver and it shows people what you can do in the real world. As far as anything else, I’ve always liked all of the Tri-Five designs. They’re just cool! They are fairly simplistic but each have their own personality.”

Personality is found at every turn at the SEMA show as well, with builders constantly looking to outdo one another. To do so, many turn to Chevrolet Performance.

Ross Logsdon, the proprietor of Premier Street Rods in Lake Havasu, Arizona, is a hardcore Chevy fan whose truck, called the “Sinister ’56,” won a Chevy SEMA Design Award for Truck of the Year at the 2018 SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

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Ross Logsdon's Sinister '56
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The twin-turbo truck is powered by an LSX376-B15 crate engine from Chevrolet Performance and utilizes a 4L75-E automatic transmission. The transmission’s 650 lb-ft of torque capacity makes it an alternative to the 4L80-E when space is an issue in the vehicle. Like the 4L65-E it features five-pinion gearsets, heat-treated stator shaft splines, and an induction-hardened turbine shaft. It also utilizes an eight-friction-place 3-4 clutch and specific valve-body calibration, along with a unique, high-strength input housing, high-capacity servo and large 2-4 band.

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SuperMatic 4L75-E four-speed automatic transmission

It is the perfect choice for a truck such as Logsdon’s, which was built entirely from the ground up over the span of 10 months.

“Everything we build, we build to drive,” he said. “It’s not just a show pony, we built this truck to drive and perform and actually do what it’s supposed to do.”

We love meeting folks whose projects are built to be enjoyed rather than simply looked at.

To that end, Chevrolet Performance is offering its Shift into Summer promotion this quarter, during which time all of its transmissions (including the ones spotlighted here and the 8L90-E for LT1 and LT4 crate engines, among others) are eligible for a $200 mail-in rebate*. In addition, a $50 mail-in rebate is available on all Chevrolet Performance transmission controllersand torque converters. Customers simply need to purchase the part from an authorized Chevrolet Performance dealer by June 30.

They can then mail in the rebate form or complete the process online at www.mycertifiedservicerebates.com.

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SuperMatic 8L90-E eight-speed automatic transmission
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SuperMatic Transmission Control System for LS and LT
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SuperMatic torque conveter

We can’t wait to see even more great builds with Chevrolet Performance changing the gears this season.

 

*See participating U.S. dealer or authorized Chevrolet Performance Powertrain Reseller for details and rebate form, which must be postmarked by 7/31/19. Limit 3 rebates per mailing address. Rebate form and details available at chevrolet.com/performance/offers. Allow 6 to 8 weeks for delivery of debit card. Offer valid 4/1/19 to 6/30/19.

**Unless specifically noted to the contrary herein, the engines mentioned in this article are intended exclusively for use in competition vehicles.  These engines are designed and intended for use in vehicles operated exclusively for competition: in racing or organized competition on courses separate from public streets or highways.  Installation or use of these engines on a vehicle operated on public streets or highways is likely to violate U.S., Canadian, and state and provincial laws and regulations related to motor vehicle emissions.  For more information, visit the General Motors Performance Parts Website at www.ChevroletPerformance.com.    

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