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2004 Super Chevy Show Pomona - The Heat Was On In L.A.

Hot Weather And Hot Chevys

Tony Kelly Sep 1, 2004
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Don't see many of these. Even experienced Chevy watchers find themselves doing a double take on a '55 four-door hardtop. We didn't find the owner's name but it's a nice job putting '55 sheetmetal on the front and rear of this '56. Of course if you're really nuts, try putting the '56 four door body on a '55.

It got hot, then it got hotter, but we weren't complaining. Chevy fans love the sun and take the temperature as a byproduct. The entertainment dollar is highly competitive in the Los Angeles area with a full-blown NASCAR event going on about 20 miles east and a couple of other car shows going on nearby, but people know where the action is-Super Chevy. The racers came, the spectators came, and the show cars came.

With limited dates for racing it isn't every day that people get to run down one of the world's most famous drag strip. The show area is as big as we need it to be and is about as clean as we find, owing to acres of pavement. Of course, the Manufacturers' Midway contains all the right displays and vendors. Fact is, Pomona is the place to be when Super Chevy hits town.

One other cool thing is that most of the magazines is the Primedia stable of publications are headquartered in the LA area, so you know who comes to the show? Right? Tons of photographers looking for cars and trucks to feature in their magazines. For SUPER CHEVY magazine alone, we took photos of many great Chevys during and after the event. So there are chances to win car show trophies, drag race trophies and cash, giveaways including a Tremec transmission and two giant Waterloo roll-around tool chests, get your ride in a magazine, and see the greatest Chevys in the state. Where else would you rather be? We even took a few extra shots while we were doing feature photos. Check for a look at more photos than we put in our car features.

It Used To Be Daddy's Car!
But It's Penny's Now

Finding great Camaros at the Pomona Super Chevy Show should come as no surprise to anyone who knows Chevys and California. There were rows of them. One of the best was a great blue second-generation car that caught our eye. We met the owner, Penny Morioka from Hollister, CA, and some of her pals who had quite a story to tell about the car. It began life as Penny's father's car that he bought brand new in January of 1973.

Mom had said she wanted a Monte Carlo and dad went shopping for one. He came home with this Camaro, which at the time was Frost Green with a white vinyl top, AM radio, air conditioning, manual windows, and a $3,000 sticker price. Mom drove the car until Penny got her driver's license learner's permit in 1979 at which time the car was Penny's. Mom took the bus to work and Penny would drive her home after school. Great mom!

The Camaro was a daily driver until 1992 at which time it went into a lake! Penny took a girlfriend out jet skiing and launched both skis from a trailer behind the Camaro. At the end of the day, the friend offered to get the car and trailer and backed it in with one shot, straight on the ramp and ready to load. Penny had loaded one ski when the car slipped into the water deep enough to drown out the carb, causing Penny to back away, fast. The jet ski on the trailer jack-knifed against the dock and some "big guy" grabbed a chain and wrapped it around his waist and the front end of the car, keeping it from completely sinking. It was, however, completely under water. After rescuing the car, it never was the same so it sat in the garage for the next 5 years.

In 1997, Morioka had the car painted but it didn't look the way she wanted so back to the garage it went. A few years later a friend of Penny's husband said the paint would be fine if it was rubbed out; and it was. Then the engine rebuild began. Penny insisted on doing it herself, even though she had no experience whatsoever.

So husband Scott Mallery and Rich Nedbal walked her through it, sometimes actually assembling components while Penny watched, then disassembling for her to put back together again! One her most vivid memories is being in the garage filing and gapping the piston rings while Scott and Rich watched the Winter Olympics women's ice skating event on TV. Even experienced engine builders must take time out for aesthetic pursuits, right?

The Camaro is definitely Penny's car now and it is a great one. It should probably get a survivor award after all it has been through. Best part about the whole story, though, is that it's still on the road.

Sucp_0409_04_z 2004_super_chevy_show_pomona Project_cars 6/22

Here's the Saturday and Sunday versions of "Super Chevy Corner." The cars that were displayed included Chip Foose's black '69 Camaro, Ian Ziering's (who was a recent "Overhaulin'" TV show victim) '60 Corvette, SUPER CHEVY Project Cars "Rusty Ragtop", "Classical Resurection" Camaro, the author's '62 Corvette seen in various tech features in Vette magazine, and the legendary "Project X." That nasty black pickup next to Project X is a Magna Charger blown Joe Gibbs Performance model that can haul a half-ton quicker than just about any truck in town. Nice corner to hang around.

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We waited until all the other Big Chevys left so we could pose Gary and Sharon Durnall's three '61 Chevys. The convertible is a fairly mild-mannered completely restored car, as is the hardtop except it is equipped with a 350hp 348ci Tri-power motor and four-speed trans. (That particular engine is fairly rare as it was introduced in late 1960 following in the footsteps of other 348ci engines such as the 250hp (four-barrel carb) and the Tri-power motors rated at 280 hp, 315 hp, and the 335 hp. Until the 409 motor got sorted out these 348's ruled the quarter-mile in stock classes.) The wagon is updated as a driver for Sharon to motor around their hometown of Alhambra, CA, with a 402ci engine and TH400 with air conditioning. The color on all the cars is Seamist Turquoise.



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