Tag Archives: Muscle Cars

Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance: 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Rondine

1963 Chevrolet Corvette Rondine
1963 Chevrolet Corvette Rondine

This comes on a similar note to the Lincoln Indianapolis Boano Coupe we featured a few weeks ago. This 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Rondine was created by, Italian design house, Pinninfarina for the 1963 Paris Auto Show. Those of you who know Corvettes know that 1963 was the first year of the iconic C2 Sting Ray. While I personally believe the Stingray is the best looking Vette of all time, especially the ’63 split window coupe, the Rondine’s Italian style is breathtaking.

The Corvette Rondine was the top-spec Sting Ray underneath, with the fuel injected 327ci V8 under its hood making 360hp. There is one key difference, though, and that is the body of the car. The Rondine had a steel body whereas the Sting Ray’s was made of fiberglass. This resulted in the Rondine being a bit heavier than the standard Corvette, however I’d say it is worth it for those beautiful curves.

The Corvette Rondine marks another fantastic example of an American car being fitted with Italian styling. Whether the Rondine looks better than the Sting Ray is entirely subjective, but it certainly is a unique and interesting automobile. The Corvette Rondine recently sold for a hefty $1.6 million back at the 2008 Barret Jackson Auction, and its value is certain to keep appreciating. It is always a pleasure to see such a stunning car as this, and the 2013 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance was the second time I’ve had the pleasure of seeing this car in person. Enjoy the photos.

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Test Driven: Dodge Challenger SRT 392 (5.5/10)

Dodge Challenger SRT 392

Of the muscle cars back in the 1960s-70s, I always find myself drawn to Mopars the most. Something about their cartoonish, yet badass nature. A bright green Challenger, a purple Plymouth Barracuda, and the roar of a 426 Hemi V8, that just defines the flavor of the era for me.

Back in 2008, Chrysler blessed the world with the reincarnation of the legendary Dodge Challenger. With its retro look, it seemed poised to reignite the muscle car wars with the Ford Mustang, and the soon-to-be-released Chevrolet Camaro. However, we are not in the 1960s anymore, and there are far more contenders than just the good old American boys these days.

My real question going into this drive was, where does the Challenger fit in today? Is it still a Muscle Car in the traditional sense, or has it adapted, like the Camaro SS has, to meet modern expectations of handling performance?

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2013 New Hope Auto Show Day 1

Chevrolet Corvettes
Chevrolet Corvettes

Shots from day 1 of the 2013 New Hope Auto Show. Saturday is always mostly American cars, and an eclectic array of muscle cars and classics were in attendance this year. Enjoy the photos.

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Woodward Dream Cruise: 1968 Plymouth GTX

1968 Plymouth GTX at the Woodward Dream Cruise

Mopars are definitely my favorite cars from the muscle car era, and the Woodward Dream Cruise is always full of them. This awesome 1968 Plymouth GTX caught my eye in a special way, though, because of its rare teal color. I love when cars are painted in uncommon tones because it makes them stand out, especially in a traffic jam like this, with literally thousands of cars in it. Enjoy.

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Test Driven: 2012 Chevrolet Camaro SS (9/10)

Chevrolet Camaro SS

At the airport terminal, having just arrived in Jacksonville Florida for our weekend at Amelia Island, we came to the the point in our travels where it was time to rent a car. The attendant asked us, in an ever so friendly manner, “Now, what are you boys in town for this weekend?” We told her about the car shows on Amelia Island, and a smirk came to her face. She had us right where she wanted us and she damn well knew it. “Well, have I got something extra special for you then. Are you Ford or Chevy fans?” We opted for Chevy. “Well guess what. I just happen to have a pretty little yellow Camaro SS on the lot for you”. We exchange glances, and then she said, “It’s normally pretty expensive, but I can give it to you for an extra $20 a day.” Considering we had booked an economy car, liable to be a Chevy Spark or some other gutless mode of transportation, it was a very solid offer. We accepted, and went out to the parking lot to see if the car was actually an SS. To our surprise it was, bright and yellow as described, with a big V8 under the hood. So with that we loaded up our bags, and set off in our 400hp rental car.

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Woodward Dream Cruise: Shelby Mustangs

Shelby Mustang GT350

We had a request for some classic Mustangs, so I went through my photos from the Woodward Dream Cruise and found some. There wer many beautiful Mustangs running around during the event, but I tended to focus more on the Shelbys. The cars here range from original 60’s models to the GT500 Eleanor, which was created for the film Gone in 60 Seconds. Enjoy.

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Hopewell Cruise Night: Blown 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Dragster

This monster of a Camaro was at the cruise night in Hopewell, NJ last spring. It is a ’69 model car, but has obviously been heavily modified. Under the hood there is a supercharged 540ci V8…. thats 8.85L for those of you who use metric. I spoke with the owner’s father and he said it was putting down around 800rwhp, and with those enormous rear tires it will probably hook up fine at the drag strip. This is American Muscle at its finest. Enjoy.

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Spotted! 1963 Plymouth Fury 426 Wedge, Woodward Ave, MI

Haven’t had a solid muscle car in a while, so this Plymouth Fury should get things back on track. I was blown away by this thing when I saw it during my summer in Detroit. First off I am a huge fan of black and red color schemes, so even just looks alone caught my interest. But then the hood was popped, and inside sat a 426ci Max Wedge V8; the epitome of the 1963 models. This Fury embodies what the muscle car is all about, rather unassuming looks with a whole lot of punch under the hood. Enjoy.

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Woodward Dream Cruise: Dodge Challenger “Superbird”

This an interesting, albeit love/hate sort of car. I have to admit that when I first saw this thing roll past, a few days before I shot these photos, I thought to myself, “Are you kidding me?”. However, up close the car is really well done and it kind of grew on me after I was able to look at it for a while. I can certainly appreciate where this car is coming from, and I give the owner credit for doing a great job on it. I still find it a little forced, and a little too short compared to the real Plymouth Superbird, which I saw in traffic at the same time as this car. This new Superbird certainly turns heads though, it will get you noticed for better or worse. I can’t fault someone for making their idea happen though, so I’m glad this exists.  Continue reading Woodward Dream Cruise: Dodge Challenger “Superbird”

Test Driven: 2004 Pontiac GTO

The three letters “G-T-O” are legendary in automotive culture. They stand for “Gran Turismo Omologato”, an Italian phrase which means “Grand Touring Homologation”. Ferrari is the most famous manufacturer to use this phrase, as the famous 250GTO entered history as one of the most famous and sought-after Ferraris ever built. The other manufacturer to use this acronym heavily was General Motors during the same time period. From 1964 to 1974, Pontiac built its GTO, at first just an option package on the midsize Tempest, then later on a fully-fledged model. The GTO kicked off the muscle-car era, an era that went down as one of the most famous in American automotive history, but died in 1974 as a flabby memory of its former self, downgraded to an option on the Ventura (Pontiac’s Chevy Nova clone). But, in 2004, GM decided to bring back the name, 30 years later. They took the Holden Monaro, slapped a new front and rear end on it, moved the steering wheel, and gave it a few Pontiac badges. I took this used 2004 model to the streets to see if it was any good.

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