NORWALK, OH — We feel a little bad saying and thinking it, but it doesn’t make it less true: Classic American muscle cars are amazing to look at, but not always fun to drive.
We’ve been spoiled by 50-ish years of technological advancement in suspension and steering performance, creature comforts like air conditioning, audio quality while blasting our favorite driving songs, as well as power locks and windows.
RideTech President Bret Voelkel made bringing modern suspension performance to classic cars a personal mission. He spearheaded the development of RideTech StreetGrip suspension systems, which the company introduced at SEMA 2015 and started shipping this year.
The result? An affordable way to bring modern drivability to our favorite classic cars. (You can check out a StreetGrip installation video here.)
Voelkel’s favorite RideTech car is a white 1972 Chevelle, so the first package to ship from RideTech to Summit Racing was a StreetGrip kit for 1968-72 A-body.
At last weekend’s Super Summit at Summit Motorsports Park, RideTech officials handed us the keys to that ’72 Chevelle so we could experience the StreetGrip transformation ourselves.
It did not disappoint.
RideTech had rolled out four vehicle-specific kits, each with a small block/LS and big block version:
RideTech StreetGrip Suspension System for 1967-69 Camaro/Firebird, 1968-74 Nova
RideTech StreetGrip Suspension System for 1970-81 Camaro/Firebird, 1975-79 Nova
RideTech StreetGrip Suspension System for 1964-67 GM A-Body
RideTech Street Grip Suspension System for 1968-72 GM A-Body
The company just released in May, StreetGrip kits for 1955-57 Chevy and 1958-64 Chevy Impala.
Ford Mustang fans will be pleased to learn about upcoming kits for 1964-70 Mustangs, and the truck crowd might be interested in StreetGrip kits for 1963-72 kits, which are also in the works.
RideTech officials said they identified which suspension components make the biggest performance enhancements when upgraded, and then built lower-priced suspension kits with bolt-on parts targeting those specific parts. StreetGrip kit prices currently range from $2,000-$2,500.
In this video, you’ll see how upgraded shock absorbers, dual-rate coil springs or composite leaf springs (depending on application), bigger sway bars, Delran bushings, and more will improve your muscle car’s ride quality and performance. And then we’ll take you on a short drive in RideTech’s 1972 Chevelle outfitted with one of these StreetGrip kits.