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The One That Didn’t Get Away - Thunder Road

Jim Campisano Oct 29, 2014
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One of the great things about being editor of Super Chevy (besides getting paid to play with and think about cars all day—not to mention all the hot groupies that throw themselves at you) is being able to connect with the best bunch of readers on earth. When I wrote here in the August issue about a ’69 Pace Car Camaro that I missed out on, it inspired another column in the October issue about classic Bow Ties the readers and two of my columnists wanted (and almost got), but never obtained.

So, what should be in my email Inbox today but a letter from reader Richard Fusco, who had an interesting thought: “I have an idea, maybe not new but I will throw it out there. How about the one that was kept? I have had my ’57 since 1969 when I graduated high school. When I tell people this at car shows or cruise nights they just stare at me, but it’s true. I recently had the body and paint done in 2008 as a retirement gift to me. It is the original colors of Larkspur Blue and India Ivory for a 150 two-door sedan. The drivetrain is a vintage LT1 350/360 with a Crane hydraulic cam, Edelbrock fuel injection, five-speed Tremec, and 3.55 Posi rear. The interior is a tweed baby blue and dark blue with the exterior colors blending in the dash and widow frames. It is a head turner.”

I love the concept. I wish I could actually write a great column about my beloved Bow Tie that I’ve had since the ’70s or ’80s, but alas, I cannot. Had it not been totaled in a wreck, I’m sure I’d be able to pen a heartfelt missive to my ’69 Corvette, which I bought in 1983. Alas, all I have left from that Stingray is the rear window tray, the cowl and the original owners manual, autographed by none other than Zora Arkus-Duntov. Super Chevy’s own Doug Marion has owned a couple of his old favorites for many, many decades—he’s had his ’62 Corvette since December 1970 and ’70 Monte Carlo (Project Econo Performer)—since 1975. Those are a couple of long-term relationships.

Chevrolet Pace Car 2/2

Mr. Fusco’s request comes a month or so after the Super Chevy Show at Maple Grove Raceway, where we happened upon a car that definitely fits his idea. Gary Donato brought his beige ’61 Impala and he’s owned it 45 years. It was his first car, but definitely not his first choice. He thought it a bit dowdy with its four doors and tiny V-8, but his father insisted it was the smart, safe choice, and pretty much forced the issue. For a variety of reasons, Gary held onto it over the ensuing decades. While it has been restored to stock inside and repainted in its original unassuming hue outside, Gary’s updated it with a righteous Weiand-supercharged 383 sporting AFR aluminum heads. Not exactly sure if his dad would approve of all that motor, but we sure like it.

So, let me know about the toy you’ve held onto all these years and why.




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