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Goodguys 2019 Griot’s Garage Muscle Machine of the Year

Congratulations to Sonny Freeman for winning the Goodguys 2019 Griot’s Garage Muscle Machine of the Year title with his 1965 Chevelle! We’ll see you in Scottsdale November 15-17, 2019!


Sonny Freeman’s brilliant blue pearl of a ’65 Chevelle has risen above the competition to be named the Goodguys 2019 Griot’s Garage Muscle Machine of the Year!

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While it’s easily identifiable as a Chevelle – more specifically, a ’65 model thanks to the custom-machined grille – Freeman’s Chevelle blends a wide variety of styling cues and modifications under its striking Axalta finish. Talbert Goldman and his talented team at Mike Goldman Customs started by lengthening the quarter panels, and then grafted on a roof from a ’67 Chevelle, fabricated the hood, deck lid, and trunk, and moved the wheel openings. From the rear perspective you’ll notice a completely custom tail panel with a machined aluminum surround, full-width taillight, custom two-piece bumper, and trick exhaust outlets in the valance. The vent windows were removed, and custom door handles and hood chrome were installed, bringing a bit of contrast to sea of custom-mixed blue pearl paint applied by Don Bracken at Goldman’s.



The inside is also full of custom work performed by Paul Atkins. The entire dash was hand formed and flows down into a custom console. The unique dash is filled with a set of Classic Instruments gauges highlighted by a one-off steering wheel from Greening Auto Company. The figure-gripping seats, also built by Atkins, are wrapped in gray leather, along with the balance of the soft interior components.

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The one-off details continue under the hood, where a Mast Motorsports supercharged LS7 serves as a centerpiece. To handle more than 900 horsepower, the engine and Bowler T56 Magnum trans are secured in a modified Art Morrison Enterprises chassis. A 9-inch rearend is mounted through a custom triangulated rear suspension system and the corners are finished with Wilwood 14-inch rotors. Mike Curtis designed the custom 18×8- and 20×10-inch wheels crowned by red-striped Pirelli tires.

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Freeman’s Chevelle debuted at the 2019 Detroit Autorama, where it scored a Great 8 finish for the coveted Ridler Award. It went on to become a Top Five finalist for the Goodguys 2019 PPG Street Machine of the Year award this summer in Columbus, where Talbert Goldman was not afraid to burn some rubber on the AutoCross course. After being named a Hot August Nights Cup Champion in Reno, we can think of no better way for it to cap off the year than to earn the 2019 Griot’s Garage Muscle Machine of the Year title. Congratulations to Sonny Freeman and the team at Mike Goldman Customs!

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Photos by Todd Ryden

Todd Ryden is first and foremost a car guy and admits to how lucky he is to have been able to build a career out of a hobby that he enjoys so much. He’s owned muscle cars and classics, raced a bit and has cruised across the country. With over 25 years in the industry from the manufacturing and marketing side to writing books and articles, he just gets it.

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