I married this lovely girl back in 1979 and we made a deal that she would have whatever family car she needed as long as I didn’t have to give up a console and bucket seats. As the years ran on and family matters took first priority, I edited that with the family cars that got passed down to me for work vehicles, adding buckets seats to station wagons that I grew to enjoy. Most of the time, I always had my personal daily driver, which was a ’70 GTO. As I upgraded the suspension and brakes and other mechanicals with resistance from the wife, my goal was to show her how much fun we could have touring with this car (and me having a car I could be proud of), and that it was cost effective.
After the first sorting out of the car, I have never heard another word about how much money I spent on the car (or any car) when we traveled from our then home in New Jersey to Florida with the GTO, and she didn’t have to drive. We would have the A/C on, didn’t suffer from breakdowns, and she saw how happy I was. So far, this car has been clocked cruising at 150 mph by a sheriff, corners, and rides comfortably. Believe me when I say I like to drive; we’ve already logged on 420,000 miles and had the original engine overhauled at 384,000 miles. Be it Pro Touring or a g-Machine, back then I don’t remember hearing anyone building cars to perform to this level, but what a way to go to have the whole family involved! During all of those years my last drag car was a 46,000-mile ’65 Malibu. I have been preserving it, looking forward to building similar to the Goat. Fortunately, with the huge aftermarket and the products available today, we can have the wonderful muscle car style we love, while gaining performance and the creature comforts we want. More often, this can come at a price that’s less than a new car that has no personality. This is especially true if you’re talented enough to do most of the work yourself.
I think the debate over what to call a style is only relevant to determine a build’s purpose and for my money the more venues you can enjoy your labors the better. I quit a car club because the guys only wanted to sit at local car shows and worried if their car would make it; then there were those guys who would say, “I don’t want to put too many miles on it.” I say build it to drive, and the more miles you put on it, the better! Keep up the good work, and I love everything you do in the mag!
Richard C. Johnson, AAp
Upstate New York, way above Albany
What’s in a Name?
I have to say, before I started my build two years ago, I had no idea what a g-Machine, Pro Touring, and, let’s not forget, restomod, even were. All I knew was, ever since I bought my first car (’70 ’Cuda) back in the ’80s is that I wondered how cool it would be to have a piece of American muscle that was comfortable, functional, and had modern electronics. Not to mention, being able to corner, or better yet, be able to stop without having a near-death experience. I originally got my ideas, much like the great Carroll Shelby, after traveling to Europe, where they call them Supercars and Super Saloons.
Regarding the Pro Touring and g-Machine debate, I see both sides. Even so, as long as there are people out there like me who have an unyielding love for muscle cars that are comfortable, handle, and have all the modern-day amenities, there will always be place for old-school cool mixed with new-school tech.
Jason “The Mutleg” Whitlock
Stronger F-body Subframes
Complete OE-style reproductions from Classic Industries offer a new alternative for F-body subframe replacements. GM discontinued production of the subframes long ago, and finding a suitable replacement that isn’t already rusted, dented, bent, or warped is all but hopeless. These high-quality reproductions feature factory-style welds for an OEM appearance, along with extra bracing to the lower crossmember for added chassis strength when jacking up the car. These are designed to retain a 100 percent authentic appearance, and the added reinforcement is invisible from the exterior. The subframes also feature all of the factory correct holes and brackets, as the original. Check out www.classicindustries.com for more information.
With the spotlight shining on the Camaro again, this big book chronicles the rich history of an American muscle car icon. This is the full story of Camaro’s 40-plus years, accompanied by outstanding photographs of the models that made history. Beginning with Chevrolet’s race to capture the emerging youth market in the ’60s, the book follows Chevrolet’s efforts to devise a car that would out-muscle the Mustang. The Camaro was that car, and in the years after its ’67 introduction, it set some of the most important performance marks in American automotive history. From the classics of the muscle car era like the RS, SS, Z/28, and IROC-Z to the models that jump-started a new era of American performance in the ’80s, all of Camaro’s greatest hits are detailed in this new book, including the fifth-gen. Don’t pass this one up! To find your copy, head over to www.motorbooks.com.
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Be “Bumblebee!” Transformers Special Edition Camaro
The ’12 Transformers Special Edition will be offered as a $3,000 package on 2LT and 2SS Camaro coupes with Rally Yellow paint. In addition to the content offered in the popular RS appearance package, the Transformers edition will feature black rally stripes that stretch over the hood, roof, decklid; a unique high-wing rear spoiler; 20-inch, black-painted wheels wrapped in high-performance summer tires; and Autobot Shield logos on the center caps and front quarter-panels.
Inside, the Camaro has a black leather interior accented with yellow stitching on the instrument panel, center console, armrests, and seats. Autobot Shield logos are embroidered on the front headrests, as well as the center console lid. Two dealer-installed options are also available: exclusive 21-inch, black-painted wheels and a black ground-effects package. The ’12 Transformers Special Edition Camaro is now available for order, with vehicles arriving at dealers in the United States and Canada in September. Also, be sure to check out the movie.
GM’s 2013 Lineup
Ever wonder what’s next for GM? With GM’s recent revival from the financial grave, they’re finally back with a list of new product launches and several updates for most of its Chevrolet vehicle lineup. Although we can’t list them all, we’ve included our favorites—including the Silverado truck. For more, check out gminsidenews.com for additional updates on all of the latest from The General.
Camaro: No major changes expected as a mild refresh is expected in the 2014 model year. However, GM could surprise us with the launch of another specialty model to complement the ZL1.
Corvette: No major changes. The current car will soldier on until the all-new Corvette in 2014 model year.
Cruze: The Cruze may have a sizable update for 2013, including enhancements to the interior and exterior. A diesel engine may also be available.
Impala: The Impala will be all new in 2014 on the Premium Epsilon platform. As such, the 2013 model will be almost entirely carryover from the current car.
Malibu: GM has already revealed the ’13 Malibu! The eAssist model will launch in January 2012, followed by the new 2.5 liter in late summer.
Silverado: No major changes. The all-new Silverado launches in the 2014 model year.
Spark: Chevrolet’s first mini car will launch as a 2013 model.
Suburban: No major change as a new Suburban will hit in 2014 model year.
Tahoe: No major changes. The all-new Tahoe will launch in the 2014 model year.
Traverse: Expect a new interior and other minor changes on the 2013 model.
Volt: The ’13 Volt has been the subject of much debate amongst enthusiasts. It is possible the car will see some software tweaks to pull more EV range out of the car’s lithium pack, along with other small changes.
Byno means do I consider myself a salesperson. Heck, I couldn’t sell anything if it were free! In these hard times, everything has a price. But how far are you willing to go to buy or sell a car? Cars come and go, and when the right opportunity turns up, go for it and don’t look back.
Lately I’ve been on a selling trend and it seems as though everyone else is too. Matter of fact, a good friend of mine recently unloaded his mint ’67 Nova for a cool $30,000. Then, when the buyers came to his house to finalize the sale, they noticed his other ’72 sitting in the garage. Guess what? They bought that one, too, for $13,500. Can you believe it? It’s all about being in the right place at the right time. Considering the buyers were from Wisconsin, these two original California Novas were a gold mine.
Stuck in my selling, I even went down to the most famous swap meet of all—the Long Beach Swap Meet. There I met the boys from Hot Rod Ranch, Lompoc, California (www.hotrodranchcustoms.com), where they, too, were selling a ’68 Chevy C10 pickup project. The boys hadn’t even made it onto the fairgrounds yet before it sold for $6,300—still sitting on the trailer. You name it and the Long Beach Swap Meet will probably have it at rock-bottom prices.
Don’t worry, I’m not about to sell the ’66 El Camino project or my ’86 C10 for that matter. Instead I’m liquidating everything I don’t use, including my two-door turbo hatchback commuter car. However, I did manage to convince myself to buy another truck, a ’79 C20 “Camper Special.” It’s all original and includes the complete trim and even kicks A/C. Before I give too much away I’ll have more on that for next month’s editorial. For now my ‘86 C10 project truck is nearly done and I won’t have any need for my hatch, so it needs to go. Sure, I hate to see it go, but when you’re weighing the difference between a front-wheel drive four-banger and a 475hp street truck, you pick the latter. No regrets, all gain.