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January 2013 Chevy High Performance Garage - Letters

Project Cars

I just bought your magazine and, as usual, I read your editorial and also McClelland’s piece first.

I have two project cars, although one should have been enough. After having been married 13 years and separated from the hobby for that same 13 years I found myself divorced. A few years later I became tired of not participating with my friends at events so I started looking for a project car and found—gasp!—a ’65 Barracuda that I was ready to buy with cash in hand. Problem was I had no one to drive one of the vehicles home for the 60-mile trip back to my house. Apparently, drinking sounded like more fun than giving me a hand. When I got home, my son asked me if I would be interested in buying his ’69 Nova for the price that he paid. A week later the Nova was in my driveway, so you could say that my first project found me while I was looking elsewhere.

The second project is a ’67 El Camino and it found me. I used to manage about 60 foreclosed homes for a real estate office and was covering a large area of Southern California. One day while visiting houses in Whittier traffic was heavy. So I drove down an unfamiliar street to avoid the congestion. At the end of the block I made a right and there it was with a For Sale sign in the window. I took some photos, got the phone number, and went on my way. A week later I was in the area again so I went to see if it was still there. It was. Later that day I called the number and set up an appointment to testdrive it. It rode like a brick due to 3-inch cut springs, wandered side to side as it went down the road, and had a 305 out of an ’85 Elco, so naturally I had to buy it.

Ironically, the Nova sits today as it did the day I bought it with the exception of an aluminum cowl hood from AMD. The El Camino on the other hand now has 2-inch drop spindles with front disc brakes, 2-inch drop springs out back, poly-plus bushings, and a nice sway bar from CPP. There’s also an aluminum radiator under the hood now and I bought a used 350 from a friend that was originally balanced and blueprinted by Larry Ofria. That motor is now up in Camarillo at my friend Booger’s house getting prepped to run again. I believe you know Booger and his Blue ’65 Falcon.

Anyway, I enjoy the magazine. It’s been a great help getting me up to speed with all the technology advances that were made during my time away.

Mike Koellen
Riverside, CA

CHP Nationals

My son, Paul Jr., drives our ’98 Corvette setup as P98 Racing. We have run the LSX Rumble in almost every LSX Shootout. We ran the 10.00 index in Atlanta and made it to the final round. Paul Jr.’s claim to fame is being the only Corvette to win Pinks All Out. That was also at Atlanta Dragway in May 2008. We have run at about 15 different tracks east of the Mississippi over the last 10 years or so. The car is an LS2, normally aspirated. Our best performance to date is 9.53 at 145 mph.

chp 01 O  January 2013 Chevy High Performance Garage 5/8

Your event at Atlanta was the best run LSX event we have attended. The NMCA staff and the Atlanta Dragway staff did an excellent job of supporting the racers and keeping things moving. Everyone I talked to enjoyed the experience. As you say in the magazine, "The CHP Nationals really does offer something for everyone." I think that was a big key to the success. Hope we are back in Atlanta next year.

P.S. Check out our website,

Paul Smith Sr.
Via email

Writings on the Wall
Facebook fans speak out

Random Thoughts

John Perry:
Wheels up … hold on!

Jim Fox:
I love the Tribute to Grumpy’s Toy paint scheme!

Michael Bowen:
That’s Chevy power!

Blane Bujalski:
Gotta love a wheel-standing Camaro!

Mike Morgan:
I want that in my ’67 El Camino or my ’64 Chevelle wagon, or my ’79 280ZX, maybe the ’69 Nova too!

Michael Stephens:
Watched you on Saturday. Car looked great and I thought you had the 13-second title wrapped up.

David Robinaugh:
Be right back, I have to go check my mailbox.

F73 Rear Wing
Do we keep the three-piece wing or go for the shorter wing?

Shawn Dorman:
Keep the stock spoiler!

Doug Merchen:
Keep it tall. It will look good when it comes together, but you really can’t go wrong.

Ron D. Gonzales:
Short, most definitely!

Edgar Agustin Loaiza:
I like it, leave it on.

Marcos Villarreal:
Go with the short one, it’ll give it a clean look.

Chris Hopper:
My ’73 has the tall spoiler and I wish it had the short one. So I say go short.

River City Race Club:
Tall spoiler, no doubt!

Phillip Simpler:
Tall one.

Darrel Warnberg:
Perfect either way.



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