LIMA — Lou Varrato loves fast machines.
He joined the Air Force in 1968 and had the honor of flying Gen. Chuck Yeager. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why he loves fast machines. Yeager, as you will recall, broke the sound barrier.
This 1967 Chevy Chevelle SS isn’t a helicopter, but it can sure fly down the road. Varrato showed his Chevelle at the Westgate Charity Car Show last June.
Chevy produced the Chevelle from 1964 to 1977. It was a midsize car made to compete with Ford’s Fairlane. And compete it did. It became one of Chevy’s most successful nameplates. The Chevelle had many body styles including coupes, sedans, convertibles time station wagons. A redesign occurred in 1966, making the Chevelle sleeker.
The muscle car wars were ongoing in the 1960s, so Chevy sunk a bigger engine, 327-cubic-inch V8, into it. When hearing the term “Muscle Car,” the Chevy Chevelle SS is one of the first cars to pop into car enthusiasts’ heads.
Varrato changed his engine to a 454 Super Big Block Chevy; just to make it go faster. He jokes that his car gets nine seconds between gas stations.
“It sucks gas,” he said.
Varrato has owned his car since 2006.
“These cars were big back when I was in high school, but I couldn’t afford one then,” Varrato said.