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.
People always say that the Pontiac GTO was the first muscle car to hit the streets. They’d be right, and they are right. However, it would be unfair to say it came out of nowhere. Pontiac was making some serious performance strides in the years prior to the GTO hitting the market, and it started to grow some teeth very well with the 421 big block V8 in the early Sixties. This black ’62 Grand Prix ticks all the boxes for an early full-size American land yacht running a racing engine. The obligatory “triple deuces” 3x2bbl carburetor configuration is present and accounted for, along with the four speed manual transmission, positive traction rear end, and very unusual 8-lug wheels (which were designed for better brake cooling). Top it off with some black paint and red leather, and you have a recipe for a handsome and stupid-fast cruise liner. Continue reading 1962 Pontiac Grand Prix “Super Duty” at the Haskell Car Show
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
$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…
Putting a big engine in a smaller car is the basic recipe for “hot rodding.” Back in the 1960’s, GM corporate was just as much of a hard-headed pain in the ass as they are today. As a company policy, they didn’t allow their biggest engines to be put into their smaller cars. Thankfully, John DeLorean and his team took it upon themselves to write that wrong.
Our second gallery of highlights from First Class Fitment 2016. Enjoy!
Last year, I brought a Miata to this show, and I somehow managed to win 3rd place in the Import class (well, there were 3 of us). This year, the Lincoln may not have won anything, but my favorite car at the show won Best in Show, and the rest of the field wasn’t half-bad either. I spent the entire afternoon taking photos, talking to participants, and generally having a ball at the fact that the show was just steps away from my residence. This is the third year the show’s been running and the Elks Lodge in Piscataway does a beautiful job of getting the word out and getting some beautiful classic cars to turn up and show off their best. Enjoy the photos.
I don’t go to nighttime car meets that often, only because I’m not a big part of the scene in my local area. Luckily, it seems that the scene is more noticable south of my area than it is near where I live, and the Old Bridge car guys organized a great meet right by a good friend’s house. This meet had a little bit of everything, from a restored 1966 Chrysler Newport to a Buick Grand National, to a Hellcat, to a pair of very loud (and rather fun) old ex-police Crown Vics. Much fun was had, even though I couldn’t get dinner at Friendly’s due to the line and the fact that the Old Bridge PD shut it down after about 3 hours. I’ll definitely show up to the next event, and hopefully the Miata’s top will be replaced after the rear window exploded. Enjoy the short selection of photos from the event.
So, as all of you readers know, I was in Los Angeles during Thanksgiving week visiting my brother Matthew and his fiancee, Rachel. After a delicious meal of sushi that evening in Burbank, we started to notice a whole bunch of American hot rods (old and new) passing us by on the streets outside. It didn’t take long for my interest to become piqued by the sounds of pushrod V8s and high-lift cams, so my brother said, “Let’s go check it out after dinner.” Thankfully, my flight wasn’t slated to leave until midnight, so we went out to the scene over at the original Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank, where the meet was going down.
Until last month, I’d never been to Detroit. Nick kept telling me as we got closer and closer to the Motor City that the cruise-in scene on weekend nights was absolutely my sort of thing, and I was stoked. Of course, Mother Nature had other ideas. After Nick, Shane, and I got drenched in a freak thunderstorm that gave us the best rainbow I’d seen in a decade, I looked around at the cars that did manage to show up–and I wasn’t disappointed. Continue reading Royal Oak Shell Cruise-In, July 25, 2015.