Nick and I had a free day instead of Concours Sunday at Amelia, as they moved the show up a day due to the fear of a rainstorm. Luckily, the weather stayed nice, so we just took a ride down the coast for no good reason (which is as good a reason as any). On our way back, we came across this nicely-preserved 1964 Pontiac GTO, proving as always that the originals are always the best.
Flower Power! Chrysler had a brief foray into the hippie market in the late Sixties, but it didn’t last all that long. Too bad for the rest of us, but when one of these Barracudas with the paisley top shows up, it grabs a lot of attention. They even came with inserts for the seats. Although few were made, they represent a quirky time in history when flower power wasn’t exclusive to just VWs. It’s no ‘Cuda, but this little ponycar wannabe sure can take us all for a ride. This example looked fantastic and far-out at Radnor last fall. Enjoy the photos. Continue reading Mod Top 1969 Plymouth Barracuda at the 2017 Radnor Hunt Concours
Bullitt Mustangs are badass tributes to a fairly boring Steve McQueen movie that happened to have an epic (and real) car chase. Special edition Bullitt have generally just been dark green versions of a standard Mustang, but this new S550 does pack a little extra punch under the hood, to the tune of 475hp over the standard model’s 460hp. That’s only around 10% down from the mighty GT350.
It’s pretty impressive, and I must say I do love the look in dark green. Thumbs up!
I regret that I showed up late for this event. In fact, I showed up so late that I managed to miss most of the show. While I ate plenty of crow for that, I got to see most of the show leave along the exit road, and learned that at the AACA meet, always expect the unexpected. Among these Mopars featured today include the usual suspects, such as Superbirds and a Hemi car or two. However, take a good look at that 1942 DeSoto–one of the rarest years of the brand and a car almost never seen even by keen-eyed enthusiasts. My personal favorite? Take a good look at the cover photo. I have not seen many two-door late C-Body New Yorker coupes, and a black over tan example caught my eye and never gave it back. Enjoy the photos of these classic Chrysler products, and byproducts. Continue reading Classic Mopars at the AACA Fall Meet, Hershey, PA
No matter what your fancy is, some of the best cars from the famous Cannonball Run were on display at the Greenwich Concours this year. Whether it’s the homage #144 Polezei BMW M5 driven by Alex Roy some years ago across America (a world record winner), the Chevy Malibu police car (my personal favorite), or the Dodge Tradesman ambulance, there was a smorgasbord in attendance. They even had Dan Gurney and Brock Yates’ Ferrari Daytona in attendance–the winner of the second race, and one of the more infamous cross-country cars still around. These cars were true crowd-pleasers, and even Nick, who normally laughs at Malaise-Era stuff, found the Dodge to be amusing (especially when the open exhaust announced the sound of a completely un-muffled small block Dodge). Enjoy the photos of these offbeat rides. Continue reading The Cannonball Run! (sort of) at the Greenwich Concours
Pontiac, before General Motors decided to kill the brand, made some of my favorite mid-priced cars. While some scorn and say that they were just Chevrolets with some extra body cladding, there was a time where that just wasn’t true. Back in the 1960s, John Z. Delorean wanted to put some pep in the General’s step–and he decided to use a time honored formula of taking a big engine and cramming it into a car smaller than normal. The new Tempest was a great candidate, being Pontiac’s newest intermediate in 1964, so it was chosen. Then, a 389 cubic inch V8 was bolted in, and the car was sent off to showrooms.
Continue reading 1967 Pontiac GTO at the Misselwood Concours
We’ve featured a few of the famous “M-Code” Plymouth Road Runners here at MoM in the past, but it never gets old for me. Plymouth was usually rather subtle when it came to putting big block V8s in their muscle cars for some time. They would put a small “426 Hemi” badge on the fender, keep the color schemes subtle, and let the engine do the talking. However, the new Road Runner attracted younger buyers, so Chrysler decided to up the visual ante by about a million notches. Enter the M-Code 440+6 Road Runner. Continue reading 1969 M-Code Plymouth Road Runner at Lime Rock
$15,000 is an interesting price point if you’re looking for a solid muscle car. You can have most of the early-mid 2000’s contenders with reasonable miles on them, or you can have one of the newer 400+hp options with higher miles.
I’m more on the high performance side of things, rather than wanting a muscle car for the style just to cruise in. I do intend to do burnouts, I do intend to explore the car’s high speed capabilities, and I do expect it to handle corners competently. Also, there is no such thing as a muscle car with 4 or 6 cylinders, so 8 cylinders is a given here. Lastly, a manual transmission is a must for me. This is a car to be driven, not an outfit to wear.
I should also state up front that I am pretty much non-partisan when it comes to American Muscle cars or American car brands. I know there are those who live and die by Ford, GM, or Mopar, and for them the $15k choice is a lot simpler.
My top 3 options for a $15,000 muscle car are as follows…
The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon has now officially dropped. I must say it’s mighty impressive, and I feel similar to how I felt about the Bugatti Veyron when it came out. The Bugatti marked the real jump from supercar to hypercar in our modern era, and I think the Demon could do the same relative thing in the muscle car sector.
Yes, Chevy made the COPO Camaro a few years ago, but you can’t put a license plate on that one so it doesn’t count. The Dodge Demon is set to be the new King of the Streets, in the most-classic muscle car sense.
The Challenger SRT Demon is a street legal drag-prepped hyper muscle car, and it runs an NHRA-verified 9.65 sec 1/4 Mile @ 140 mph, bone freaking stock. That’s at least 2/10ths of a second faster than any of the hypercar hybrids from Porsche, Ferrari, or McLaren. Sure, the Demon isn’t made to conquer such cars on a road course, or even top end, but at the drag strip, it will rule.
Having said all that, the NHRA has also banned the SRT Demon from any official street car competition. Dodge says “because it’s too fast,” but that can be fixed with the proper license and some extra safety bits.
Also, the Demon will only come with a drag-optimized automatic, but I’m okay with that so long as we can still have a Hellcat with three pedals.
Other impressive features for the Demon include a max output of 840hp and 770ft/lbs, 0-60 in 2.3 sec (or 2.1sec on prepped tarmac), 0-100 in 5.1 sec, a charge cooler that runs off the air conditioning, and a supercharger with more displacement than the engines in all three of my own cars, and a factory switchable tune for race gas. The price will also, supposedly, be reasonable, like south of six-figures (until you actually go to buy one at a dealer). That said, with only 3,300 being built values may go up long term, or at least not fall too much.
Lastly, can we just take a sec to appreciate how badass those wide fenders look?
So with the Demon dropped on the world, we can now anxiously await the response from Ford and GM. This should be a horsepower war that is too good to pass up.
The new-gen Chevrolet Camaro has been pretty damn impressive thus far. How does the most powerful ZL1 model improve it? And could the manual version be faster than the fancy new 10 speed automatic around a racetrack?