View Full Version : Behind the Wheel with Mike Cavanah Powered by Optima Batteries

09-01-2015, 02:59 PM
By Brandy Phillips
Photos By Brandy Phillips & Mike Cavanah
September 1, 2015

Professional racers typically have a race team surrounding them. Amateur racers might bring along their family and friends,
though many race alone. Hobbyist also bring along family and friends though they are typically not as competitive and
focus on the experience rather than the results. The pro-touring race circuit started along these same guidelines: go out,
drive and have fun. The race events centered around relationships, memories and new experiences. This is what drew many
to participate in pro-touring events including one man you might know, Mike Cavanah.


Mike jumped onboard the pro-touring movement back in 2009 when the hobby was just starting to grow. He was part of
the memories and watched the sport evolve throughout the past seven years. He can attest that the sport has changed
quite a bit, but many of the people are still the same.


So why does Mike continue to participate in local pro-touring events? “Great people, everyone is willing to help and the
people make these events fun and competitive” (Mike). If you have followed the Behind The Wheel series then you might
have already noticed a trend. Those we have interviewed all state they continue to race because of the people and
memories. This is where Mike’s story begins.


Mike Cavanah’s beautiful 1966 Chevelle is hard to go unnoticed at an event. The group at Timeless Kustoms did an
amazing job with the project from start to finish. Though the car was originally intended for Mike’s son, this quickly
changed when the finished project resulted in a piece of work beyond Mike’s expectations. Mike knew this was his car.


When Mike first started this project, Camaros were on the rise. It was rare to see a Chevelle on the track. Mike was sold
on the idea that not only would his Chevelle be one of the few among the pro-touring race group; it wouldn’t go unnoticed.


Some might question why take such a beautiful car out to a track and risk the chance of something happening to it. Often
drivers hope nothing will happen, though they know the risk going into a race. Unfortunately Mike Cavanah has had his
fair share of hurdles with the Chevelle.


Mike started racing with the Run To The Coast events at El Toro base in Irvine, California. He then joined the USCA series
where he competed at Laguna Seca and Fontana. This dedication earned him a spot to compete at the 2014 Optima’s
Search for the Ultimate Street Car Invitational; one of the biggest race event opportunities for many drivers. Unfortunately
Mike’s race was cut short when the Chevelle met a concrete barrier on the autocross. This put Mike on the sidelines for the
remainder of the competition.


The car was is need of major repairs, but this didn’t stop Mike from setting goals for future race events. Mike plans to have
the Chevelle back on track come 2016 after all the repairs are complete and the car gets a full shakedown.


In the meantime the Chevelle has been getting quite a bit of attention off track, including a feature with Mike Musto on
DRIVE+/Big Muscle. The episode should be released later this year or the beginning of next year. We can only imagine
what Musto had to say about the car and what Mike does with it during the race season.


The car also made cover in the December 2014 Chevy High Performance magazine in addition to a full feature on the build.


When we asked Mike whom he wanted to thank in the pro-touring community he mentioned Jason Pecikonis, Cam Douglass
and Chad Reynolds. These three have supported Mike, his vision and his racing hobby.


We are happy to see that Mike keeps coming back no matter what happens to the Chevelle. It can be seen that Mike
definitely represents the spirit of these race events through his dedication and commitment to overcome obstacles in order
to get the car back on track once again. It is pretty amazing to watch that much work go into a build and then beat on it at
a track event. We hope the recovery of the Chevelle is a quick one and we look forward to seeing it back on the race circuit
in 2016.


Mike Cavanah’s 1966 Chevelle

Engine: LS3 / LS9

Engine Details: Scoggin Dickey, LS3 bottom end, LS3 CNC forged cylinder heads, forged crank, stroked to 416ci,
LS9 top end, Comp Cams, 9.2:1 compression ratio, Wet sump (Moroso accusump), Forged Rotating Assembly- Manley
crank, H beam rods, Wiseco piston

Horsepower / Torque: 740HP with 650 Ft LB Torque

Transmission: Tremec T56

Clutch: Center Force dual disc

Exhaust: Long tube headers built by Timeless Kustoms

Differential: Curry 9”

Brakes: Brembo Carbon Ceramic 15.5’ front and rear

Wheels: Boze Mesh

Tires: Michelin Pilot Sport

Body & Paint: Stock 66 Chevelle, shaved drip rails and door handles

Interior: Custom dash by Timeless Kustoms, interior by Eric Thorsen

Gauges: Autometer

Seats: Stock, by Eric Thorsen

Harnesses / Roll Bar / Cage: 10 point by Timeless Kustoms

Any other modifications: Custom chassis built by Timeless Kustoms, Chevy C6 suspension, Art Morisson control arms,
Ridetech triple adjustable shocks, Fuel cell

Plans for upcoming new vehicle: 69’ Camaro, starting the build soon, with a TA style, LS7, Art Morrisson MaxG chassis,
C6 suspension and no back seat. Bought the car in 2010 on EBAY. I didn’t like it when it arrived. Took it apart then decided
to build the Chevelle. I always wanted a 69 Camaro! I also own a 2014 Z28, black on black. Love it. Plan: tune and headers
after warranty is up.






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