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GM’s second, functional Mako Shark II concept. Photos courtesy GM Media Archives.
In April 1965, a Bill Mitchell-designed concept hit the stage at the New York Auto Show. Though no one in attendance could know it at the time, this car, dubbed the Mako Shark II, would go on to predict not just the shape of the third-generation Corvette, but also an astonishing number of features that would eventually appear on other cars.
Like the original Mako Shark, which foretold the styling of the second-generation Corvette, the Mako Shark II featured lines that were said to be influenced by creatures of the deep. In recognition of this, the concept bore the same blue-fading-to-gray paint seen on the original Mako Shark concept, but that’s really where the external similarities ended. The Mako Shark II’s nose was lower and pointed to a sharper angle, while its muscular front fenders were taller and perhaps even more exaggerated. Instead of a twin-bubble roof, the Mako Shark II’s roof was nearly flat, but flowed rearward to form a boattail shape on the high rear decklid. Louvers, reminiscent of gills, shaded the rear window (and as those who drove the concept admitted, largely eliminated rear visibility), and this theme was further explored on front fender vents and on cornering lamp covers. Behind the scenes, however, there was some sleight of hand going on, as the Mako Shark II was built on a chassis liberated from a Mako Shark I show car.
The original Mako Shark II concept, used for static display only.
Two Mako Shark II cars were ultimately constructed, and the concept that made its appearance in New York was nothing more than a rolling, non-functional show car. Its square-tube, oval-exit side exhaust was little more than window dressing, and its airplane-style square-corner steering wheel would have been less than ideal for road use. While both design elements were bold and futuristic, neither made it into the second Mako Shark II concept, a fully functional automobile that was completed in time for the 1965 Paris Auto Show.
Under the flip-forward front clip (a design that would appear on the fourth-generation Corvette, launched in 1984), the Mako Shark II played host to Chevrolet’s new 427-cu.in. Mark IV V-8 engine, mated to a three-speed Turbo HydraMatic transmission. The big-block V-8 would debut in the 1966 Corvette (as well as other products in the Chevrolet model line, like the Biscayne, Caprice and Impala), but the soon-to-be-legendary engine made its first non-race appearance between the fenders of the Mako Shark II. Other features that would later appear on rival-brand products included a pair of access hatches, mounted alongside the hood, which permitted easy access to common service items (as later seen on the 1970 Datsun 240Z), and a variable-position rear spoiler assembly that could add downforce at high speed (seen on a variety of current models, ranging from the Porsche Boxster to the Bugatti Veyron).
Bill Mitchell poses with his design.
To allow easier access to the car’s futuristic cockpit, the car’s rear-hinged roof tilted upward at the press of a button. Once inside, the driver sat in a seat that was fixed in position; instead of the seat moving forward to accommodate drivers of different dimensions, the steering wheel tilted down and telescoped rearward. Gas and brake pedals, along with the high beam dimmer switch, were mounted on a movable platform that adjusted to fit those of various inseams. While no automaker currently uses a fixed seat design, several companies (including GM) offer electrically adjustable pedals to optimize fit for drivers of all sizes.
The Mako Shark II’s forward thinking didn’t end there. Both the fuel gauge and the speedometer were digital, foreshadowing a trend that would invade the industry in the 1980s before automakers realized that, when it comes to instrumentation, simple really is better. Wherever possible, the concept’s controls were recessed to maximize occupant safety in the event of an accident, a design that would soon become prevalent throughout the industry. Certain systems were even self-diagnosing: when one of the car’s six headlamps burned out, the driver received a warning of this on the instrument panel.
The car’s flip-forward front clip would appear on the fourth-generation Corvette.
In both static display and functional prototype form, the Mako Shark II was a huge hit with car show attendees on both sides of the Atlantic. “Build it,” was the overwhelming response, and GM listened; its original plan was to put the car into production as the third-generation Corvette beginning in 1967, but the car’s innovative shape produced numerous issues during testing. Despite its low nose and high tail, the car developed issues with lift at high speed, leading to handling best described as “nervous,” even for experienced test drivers. Outward visibility from the driver’s seat was another issue, as the car’s sloping hood and tall front fenders conspired to block visibility to the front left and the front right. To the rear, visibility was all but nonexistent, thanks to the aforementioned louvers that covered the rear window. Though they were variable in pitch, even in the fully open position the slats gave just partial visibility to the rear, and this was further obscured by the concept’s tall decklid.
The necessary changes couldn’t be made in time for the 1967 model year, so the introduction of the third-generation Corvette was delayed until the 1968 model year. Unlike the second-generation Corvettes, which had adopted the Sting Ray name with a space between the words, the new Corvette originally came to market sans an aquatic moniker. That would change in 1969, when the name Stingray (with no space between the words) was once again used in association with the Corvette. The third-generation Corvette, which owes its existence to Bill Mitchell’s Mako Shark II concept, would end up being the longest-running Corvette variant, lasting until the 1982 model year.
You go Mr Wiggly!! just sayin :)
@MrWiggly's musclecars: I might suggest you go to Goolgle Search, not Hemmings for the correct story of what Wright/Picasso actually stated about the 1941 Continental. I subscribe to Hemmings Classic Cars. Classic Cars is not always correct. Many errors. The 1941 Continental...
@MrWiggly's musclecars: I might suggest you go to Goolgle Search, not Hemmings for the correct story of what Wright/Picasso actually stated about the 1941 Continental. I subscribe to Hemmings Classic Cars. Classic Cars is not always correct. Many errors. The 1941 Continental when shown to the buying public it was widely accepted. So much so it was the only car then and now to ever be displayed in the Auto Musem of Art. And yes Wright/Picasso did say it was a work of art. Just becuase you feel the Continental as bulky does not make it so. In those days cars were bulit with bulbous/pontoon fenders and the like. First slab sides started post WWll with the Hudson then the '49 ford. My bad on Lowery! Frank Lloyd Wright: The Most Beautiful Car He Had Ever Seen. John Steinbeck: These Cars So Satisfied My Soul. Time Magazine: Put THe Continental On The List As One Of 100 BEST-DESIGNED Commercial Products Of All Times. Notice Time didn't say 100 hundred cars. There are so many accolades associated with The Lincoln Continental.It was said correctly aside from Ray Lowery. Like I said go to Google Serach. Hemmings does not have all the ansers. I have quotes listed. Do you? Just saying.
We ran a story recently on Royal Pontiac and some of the cars and mods they did to Pontiacs back in the 60s and 70s. Some of you reached out to us and reminded us there were a few other dealers who did something similar.
One of them was Myrtle Motors which was located at 61-20 Fresh Pond Rd., Maspeth, NY. Myrtle Motors was also in the business of making fast Pontiacs too, just like Royal Pontiac. Although they never garnered the same attention that Royal Pontiac did, Myrtle Motors built some very fast cars.
One of the things performed by Myrtle Motors was engine swaps such as built 428 cubic inch engines in GTOs, Firebirds, and other Pontiacs, sort of like Yenko and Nickey Chevrolet did to Chevys.
The 428 powered Firebirds and GTOs were almost identical to the famous Royal Bobcat package. The cost on the Firebirds ranged from $2,781.00 to $5,149.74.
We found this Myrtle Motors conversion car, on a 428 Firebird Road Test from Popular Hot Rod, September, 1968 while searching the internet. The mods performed by Myrtle Motors to this 428 powered Firebird were almost identical to the famous Royal Bobcat kit (level 2). This Firebird had Ram Air and on stock F70-14 tires, the car ran 13.90 with severe tire spin.
428ci Firebirds were available as dealer-installed options in two places, one in the Midwest at Royal Pontiac, and the other on the East coast at Myrtle Motors.
They sold Tiger super tune kits, traction kits, suspension goodies and anything else in the way of speed equipment.
Myrtle Motors allowed anyone to walk in off the street and buy a custom 428 Firebird that was tailored to your own specs, adding headers, a Tiger kit, suspension stuff, or even a full blueprinted engine and suspension–in other words, an all-out race car.
The test Firebird was painted bright red and had two racing stripes across the functional hood scoops over the top and down the trunk right to the rear spoiler. The stripes and spoiler are on the Myrtle option list.
The engine was a not-so-stock ’68 428 H.O. with a few goodies added. Out of the crate, this engine is rated at a strong 390 hp at 5100 rpm and 465 lbs/ft. torque at 3400 rpm. Stock camshaft specs are 288 degrees intake duration and 302 degrees exhaust duration. First they took out the stock cam and put in a Ram Air stick with 301 degrees of intake duration and 313 of exhaust duration (late conversion will have the late stage II cam).
Next, add the heads from a Ram Air 400 engine. These have good valves that won’t burn up after a week of fast running, and a Ram Air induction kit sitting right on top of the engine wouldn’t hurt anything. Then they add the Myrtle Motors Stage I Tiger kit consisting of cc’d heads to equalize the combustion chambers; special gaskets that block the heat risers and pack more fuel/air charge into the cylinders; special thin head gaskets to raise the 10.75-to-1 compression ratio to about 11.50-to-1; a reworked distributor with a fast advance curve that has the advance all packed in by the time the tach hits two grand; bigger jets for the Quadrajet four-barrel carb; and Isky Poly-Locks on the rockers so that the nuts hold their adjustment when they’re backed off to the limit of their travel.
In the magazine article, the first blast down the strip they smoked the tires so badly they couldn’t even see the starting line through the rear-view mirror.
Making the car very enjoyable to drive was a list of standard factory options that perfectly complemented the 428 big ones under the hood. Things like power steering, power disc brakes, heavy-duty suspension package, 3.90 rear axle ratio with Safe-T-Track limited slip differential, and swing-shifted Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission all made life behind the wheel quite bearable.
The suspension, especially, and the automatic transmission made themselves felt all through the test. The suspension consisted of higher rate front coil and multi-leaf rear springs, thicker anti-sway bar up front, and big shocks all around. It kept the Bird on course at all times and provided a very firm, controlled ride. Under hard cornering conditions, the big Bird went into a curve with quite a bit of understeer. But with so much torque on tap, it was no problem to slip the console-mounted control stick of the Turbo down one notch, floor the throttle, and bring out the back end as little or as much as we wanted.
Helping out matters in the handling department was a set of Goodyear Speedway Wide Tread tires, size F70-14, mounted on factory optional Rally II wheels with six-inch rims. They’re great as all-around street tires and held up well during our handling tests. But forget it for the acceleration blasts. The Wide Treads just didn’t make it. They just couldn’t hold down the big inches under the hood. They made a few runs with the street tires but couldn’t do any better than a 13.90 ET. This was achieved by simply driving off the line with no torque loading of the transmission. We couldn’t really get into it until we were more than 100 feet out.
With the M&H 8.50 X 14 cheaters that had seven-inch-wide treads and a nice soft B-140 rubber compound, they wrinkled up nicely coming off, and we were able to torque-load the Turbo up to stall speed and mash it when the light turned green. Light wheel spin turned into lots of traction, and we recorded times of 13.40, 13.10, 12.85, and finally 12.55.
List Price was (base) $2,781.00 and price as tested which includes 428 conversion was $5,149.74. The weight was 3,300 pounds. It ran an 0 to 30 mph in 3.0 seconds and an 0 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds. The best 1/4 mile was 12.55 seconds @ 110 mph with the gas economy at 6–13 mpg.
Any way you look at it this Myrtle Motors Firebird was one heck of a fast package and could run with anything any other dealer conversion car in the country.
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Economy - 6-13 mpg... Lol
@wayne's toys I have some questions about Union Park. Would you PM me?
If you Google, "fastest production car in the world" you get a clear unambiguous answer:Is 258 mph enough? Is it ever? What if we lived in a world in which Bugatti was premiering not one but 2 of THE fastest cars on the planet at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in Monterey? We live in that world. Soon this Google result will be inaccurate.
If you Google, "fastest production car in the world" you get a clear unambiguous answer:Is 258 mph enough? Is it ever? What if we lived in a world in which Bugatti was premiering not one but 2 of THE fastest cars on the planet at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in Monterey? We live in that world. Soon this Google result will be inaccurate.Bugatti will be introducing two cars August 19th at Pebble Beach.The first will be the NEW the world’s most powerful, fastest, most exclusive and most luxurious production super sports car on the planet, the 2016 Bugatti Chiron. http://www.bugatti.com/chiron/Bugatti's quote? "We have made the best, even better." Case closed right?I mean that's enough right? Nope. Not for Bugatti.They are also bringing a concept car that is probably the most over-the-top car we have ever seen. Those are no small words, but we said them. Judge for yourself. Too much car? Yes. Good? Yes.The Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo is the second vehicle Bugatti is bringing to Pebble Beach. However, it is a concept car that introduces Bugatti's new design vision. Unreal. All this sounds fake right. Read the official Bugatti article here:http://www.bugatti.com/media/news/2016/monterey-car-week-2016/If you are a dealer and not going to Monterey you are missing out. If you ARE going, let us know. Dealer Accelerate (www.dealeraccelerate.com) specializes in helping unique classic and exotic dealers sell more cars using our specialty Car Dealer Management Software for specialty dealers that want to transform their operations. Reps will be in Monterey to answer your questions.
I saw them test this car (or a close version) on Top Gear on the VW test track where they had a 5 mile straight away. I think they hit the rated top speed of 405 KPH. I believe it was a 10 cylinder with 10 rads? Just crazy fast.
Being an older drag racer, I have a lot of memories of cars I owned and raced and cars I raced against. If you ever raced in NHRA Super Stock classes you would have raced against this particular 1969 Camaro, and probably got beat too!
I ran across it again in Floyd Garrett’s Muscle Car Museum in Tennessee. It looked just the same as I remembered it from back in the sixties, even though I usually only saw the back end of it then.
Berger raced what they sold and this 1969 Camaro was run by Dick Arons and Gordy Foust. They had campaigned this Garnet Red Super Stock/E '69 Camaro and won many national events.
These guys ran the circuit all the time sponsored by Berger Chevrolet and by secondary partner Motion Performance. It was a marriage of equal convenience. Berger sold parts to Dick at cost and Dick sold Berger speed equipment at the same rate.
There were many dealers throughout the US that modified the Camaro for more performance. It was an obvious choice being a small, light chassis that could hold any current production Chevrolet engine. When the Camaro was first introduced in 67, the hottest engine initially was the 295HP 350ci in the Camaro SS. Some of these performance-oriented dealerships started transplanting more powerful 396ci and 427ci big-block motors into these early Camaros for serious street/strip performance.
I talked to Floyd about the history of this car other than what I knew about it. He said back then that performance cars and drag racing were becoming increasingly popular and Berger was one of the dealers that were producing the faster cars. Berger Chevrolet became a nationally known outlet for all of Chevrolet's high-performance cars and parts, being featured in numerous muscle car and enthusiast magazines. The COPO program found a regular home at Berger, selling some of the most valuable custom models of Camaro, Corvette, Nova, and Chevelles.
Berger Chevrolet was a high performance Chevrolet dealership in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They were a lower profile high performance dealership producing COPO Camaros. Berger Chevrolet's factory orders of '69 Camaro’s with two COPO resulted in a performance car of great significance. The primary COPO 9561 was the high performance cast iron 427 motor. The COPO 9737 was called the sports car conversion package. COPO 9737 consisted of special gauges, racing suspension, and bigger E70 X 15 tires mounted on steel rally wheels.
COPO stood for Central Office Production Order. This is the process used by Chevrolet (and other divisions of GM) for internal orders for limited production of non-standard cars. The COPO process was used most often for police vehicles and trucks modified for specific applications and doesn't necessarily indicate a high-performance vehicle. But in '68 and '69, the process was used to order high-performance Camaros that were otherwise not available from the factory.
In addition to Berger, a number of other Chevrolet dealerships, including Yenko, Dana Chevrolet, Nickey Chevrolet, Scuncio Chevrolet, and Baldwin Chevrolet (Baldwin-Motion) were doing similar engine transplants into 1967-69 Camaros and most of them also took advantage of COPO 9561 427 when it became available in '69. Several of these dealerships added other performance equipment like headers, high performance clutches with scatter shields, suspension modifications, and appearance packages. These dealers were literally offering complete turnkey race-prepped cars for sale to the public through their dealerships.The Camaro COPO # 9561 was a $489.75 option, and few dealers knew about it. The 427-cid engine was known as the “L72” and it featured all the good stuff: forged 11.0:1 compression pistons, heavy-duty connecting rods, forged crank, four-bolt mains, solid lifter camshaft (.5197-inches of lift, measured at .050, 336-degrees of duration), rectangular port heads, 780 CFM dual-feed Holley, aluminum high-rise intake, and deep groove pulleys. Power was rated at 425 horsepower for this engine at 5600 rpm; however, the factory admitted the L72 really develops some 450 ponies when the revs go to 6400 rpm.
Berger also had a high performance parts department that advertised in a lot of the car magazines at the time. In 1967 the new High-Performance Parts Department would get 50 pieces of mail daily for catalogues and parts orders, and ship parts across the U.S. and internationally.
Several racing cars carried the "Prescribed Power by Berger" logo, and Berger's reputation even reached General Motors world headquarters. GM created a training film based on Berger's high-performance parts operation. By the end of the decade, sales had more than tripled, including over 1700 new vehicles sold per year.
Great article, love the pics of the 69 Berger Camaro, I live a few miles from the famous original Yenko Chevrolet dealership in Cannonsburg, Pa. Yenko also turned out serious Chevelle, Camaro, Nova, & Corvair street legal race cars back in the day & are highly prized currently
I wrote an article last week about visiting a top ten museum on my Bucket List, the Floyd Garrett’s Muscle Car Museum in Tennessee. There were too many cars that I would love to own and I promised to write about some of them. So here is one you might not ever get to see unless you visit the museum too.
It is a dealer prepared 427 Galaxie 500 R-Code Lightweight called “Big Red.” This is a complete frame-off restored race car that saw plenty of action at dragstrips across the country including the “Big Go” U.S. Nationals at Indy as pictured below.
The Ford Galaxie was a full-size car that was built in the United States by Ford for model years 1959 through 1974. The name was used for the top models in Ford's full-size range from 1958 until 1961, in a marketing attempt to appeal to the excitement surrounding the Space Race. For 1962, all full-size Fords wore the Galaxie badge, with "500" and "500/XL" denoting the higher...
The Ford Galaxie was a full-size car that was built in the United States by Ford for model years 1959 through 1974. The name was used for the top models in Ford's full-size range from 1958 until 1961, in a marketing attempt to appeal to the excitement surrounding the Space Race. For 1962, all full-size Fords wore the Galaxie badge, with "500" and "500/XL" denoting the higher series.
Partway through this year and in limited quantities, a new 427 replaced the 406 for racing applications. It was intended to meet NHRA and NASCAR 7-liter maximum engine size rules. This engine was rated at a 425 horse with 2 x 4 barrel Holley carburetors and a solid lifter camshaft.
Ford also made available aluminum cylinder heads as a dealer option. The 1963½ was still overweight, however. To be competitive in drag racing Ford produced lightweight versions of the "R" code 427, in the Galaxie 500 Sport Special Tudor Fastback.
These cars came stock with Borg-Warner T-10 four-speed, 4.11:1 rear axle, heavy-duty suspension and brakes, and were fitted with a fiberglass hood, a flat hood at first and late in '63 the popular blister hood that was also used on the Thunderbolt.
The trunk, front fenders, and fender aprons, as well as aluminum bumpers and mounting brackets, transmission cases, and bellhousing were used to reduce even more weight. Hood springs, heater, trunk lining and mat, spare wheel and tire and mounting bracket, trunk lid torsion bar, jack, lug wrench, one horn instead of the stock two, armrests, rear ashtrays, courtesy lights, and dome light were removed to reduce weight.
The first 20 cars had functional fiberglass doors, which shaved 25 lb but these were deleted because of Ford's concern for safety if used on the highway. The cars had all sound deadening removed, lightweight seats and floor mats, and no options. They were not factory equipped with cold-air induction, as the Thunderbolt would be, but “Big Red” had it added on it as it was dealer prepped to be like the factory cars, but better and faster.
In addition, the factory lightweights were built on the 45 lb lighter Ford 300 chassis, originally intended for a smaller-displacement V8s. In all, the 427s were 375 lb lighter than before with the fiberglass doors.
The first two lightweight Galaxies bodies, were assembled at Wayne, Michigan, late in January 1963, to be tested at the 1963 Winternationals. They were delivered to Tasca Ford and Bob Ford. Bill Lawton's Tasca Galaxie turned the best performance, with a 12.50 pass at 116.60 mph. It was not enough against the 1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11s in Limited Production/Stock.
For all their efforts, Ford discovered the Galaxies were still too heavy, and the project was abandoned. “Big Red” is a unique piece and a very rare dealer prep race car and looked just as fast as she was beautiful there in Floyd Garrett’s Muscle Car Museum. A fitting place for us to see her in all her glory.
Stay tuned for more cars from this museum.
Not a big Ford fan, but you gotta love any big block w/ dual quads!! A very scarce car here
@My Classic Garage i saw in your video that Floyd is trying to sell the mueum? is that still the plan?
If you ask a lot of people which Corvette they would own (if they could afford it of course) you will hear a lot of different answers. Some might say a 1963 Split Window, while others may say a certain fuelly Vette, or maybe even a newer ZO6.
A lot of readers would choose the 1967 Corvette, especially the 427-435 horse version, as a favorite. I would be in that group, if I couldn’t have a 1969 Corvette ZL1!
I had a chance to own a 1967 Corvette once, and it was a 427 car, but not a 435 horse version. It was fast but not blindingly fast like the 435.
Hot Rod magazine Feature Editor Eric Dahlquist described the 1967 427-435 horse Corvette he tested in the May 1967 issue of Hot Rod Magazine as "the hot setup." That turned out to be an understatement, let alone not knowing what an icon and how valuable those Corvettes are today.
When they ran it on the strip it produced a 13.80 @ 108 mph. If you followed my “The List” of Fifty Fastest Muscle Cars, you would see that also made it the #32 spot. The specs on the L71 were, 11.0:1 compression, 0.5197-inch lift solid-lifter cam, 2.195- and 1.725-inch diameter intake and exhaust valves, and three Holley carbs. The L71 had an advertised 435hp rating and produced 460 lb-ft of peak torque at 4,000 rpm.
The L71 was an evolution of the L72, which produced a claimed 425 horsepower. The L71 replaced the single Holley 4-barrel of the L72 with three Holley 2-barrel carburetors, similar to what Pontiac had offered since the early 1960s. With the tri-carb arrangement, only the center carburetor was functional during normal driving. But stomp the accelerator and the vacuum-activated outer carbs delivered a torrent of fuel to the hungry big block.Chevrolet rated the L71 at 435 horse, but many believed the L71 to be close to 550hp. What the L71’s tri-carbs did deliver was better fuel economy in daily driving, since it was essentially a 2-barrel engine until the need for speed hit. At $437.10, the L71 package was expensive, yet 3,754 were ordered.
Classic Rewind Motor Company in LaMotte, Iowa( http://www.classicrewind.com/) has a prime example of just such a beast. It is a correct 'Goodwood Green' exterior with a matching green interior.
It is a numbers-matching 435hp 427ci engine with the 4 speed transmission. This Corvette was delivered to its one and only owner on 3/9/1967. The paint on this Corvette is 95% original.
It has newly installed white wall bias ply tires to give it that original look and stance. With just over 35,000 miles, this car drives and handles like it did from the factory. It is an original, unrestored survivor. This stunning '67 is well-documented with both its original tank sticker and protect-o-plate. Classic Rewind Motor Company was born from the belief that information about a car should be honest and forthright but unfortunately that is not always the case.
So, while they will never be the highest volume or flashiest classic car company, they will always be straightforward and honest. No matter which dream car is yours, when you buy from Classic Rewind Motor Company you’ll know exactly what you are getting. They stand behind each sale because their integrity is as important to them as the types of cars that they drive.
When you earn the title “King of Kings” from Hot Rod Magazine for a car, you can’t garner any better praise than that. Make this 1967 435 Horse Corvette yours and visit Classic Rewind Motor Company, you don’t find them like this one anymore.Article written by MCG Contributor Bobby Chestnut.
Well Gunrunner you must have done something right being married 43 years.
Gunrunner. Happy wife, happy life. I'm not sure, but I think your wife is the reason for the 43 years. Treat her very very well. And I hope you get your vette someday.
In 1962, full-size Chevrolet shoppers could order a 409-cu.in V-8 in a variety of Biscayne, Bel Air and Impala models, with a factory-rated output of up to 425 horsepower. Drag racers with ties to Chevrolet were producing considerably more horsepower than that, thanks to special parts not available to the general public. Today, many of these once-unobtanium parts can be sourced, so if building a period-correct hot rod, why not go with the tried and true? One such car, a 1962 Chevrolet “Bubble Top” Bel Air, powered by a Z11 409 V-8, proved the merits of this approach by selling for $110,000 in Portland last weekend, enough to crack the muscle-car-heavy sale’s top-10.
In 1962, full-size Chevrolet shoppers could order a 409-cu.in V-8 in a variety of Biscayne, Bel Air and Impala models, with a factory-rated output of up to 425 horsepower. Drag racers with ties to Chevrolet were producing considerably more horsepower than that, thanks to special parts not available to the general public. Today, many of these once-unobtanium parts can be sourced, so if building a period-correct hot rod, why not go with the tried and true? One such car, a 1962 Chevrolet “Bubble Top” Bel Air, powered by a Z11 409 V-8, proved the merits of this approach by selling for $110,000 in Portland last weekend, enough to crack the muscle-car-heavy sale’s top-10.The previous owner of the Bel Air made no claims to the car’s pedigree or authenticity, though it may well have left the production line with a non-Z11 409 between the front fenders. Now a fully restored car, the Z11 409 beneath the hood was reportedly built and tuned by 409 guru Lamar Walden, and produces a dyno-tested 540 horsepower, sent through a T-10 Borg Warner four-speed to a Positraction rear end.Inside, the interior is as minimalist as one would expect from a car built to add mileage in quarter-mile increments. There’s certainly no air conditioning (an expensive and heavy luxury item in the early 1960s), but there’s also no radio or heater. There is, however, a wide cloth-covered bench seat, a cue ball four-speed shifter that falls readily to hand, and a Sun tach, offset to the left of the steering column; in other words, everything one needs to go fast in a straight line, and nothing superfluous.There’s no mention of when the restoration and build was completed, but the Roman Red Bel Air is reportedly a 2016 GoodGuys Muscle Car of the Year finalist. The quality of the work certainly had an impact on the selling price; while a 1962 Chevrolet Bel Air with the factory 409 and the dual four-barrel carburetor option has an NADA “High Retail” price of $73,500, this tastefully resto-modded example beat that by $36,500.Original article by Kurt Ernst for Hemmings Daily
That's just a beautiful site!
Muhammad Ali, "The Greatest", one of the most beloved (and feared if you were an opponent) boxers in any weight class of all time, passed away this weekend.
Ali died Friday at a Phoenix-area hospital, where he had spent the past few days being treated for respiratory complications. He was 74. He had a 32-year battle with Parkinson's disease, a progressive neurological condition that slowly robbed him of both his verbal grace and his physical dexterity. A funeral service is planned in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.
Ali remains the only three-time lineal world heavyweight champion; he won the title in 1964, 1974, and 1978. Between February 25, 1964 and September 19, 1964 Muhammad Ali reigned as the undisputed heavyweight boxing champion.
I won’t go into his long and storied history, but I will tell you that as a teenager growing up in Louisville, Ky. I, like millions of others, loved him for his character, his boldness, his huge boxing talent and ability, his showmanship, and his compassion.
He was one of the most beloved and famous persons in the whole world. It has been said he was the most famous and recognizable man on the planet, and I can believe that.
I had the chance to meet Ali at a fund raising event to promote the building of his Muhammad Ali Center, a museum and cultural center built as a tribute to the champion boxer and his values, in Louisville, Kentucky. He signed a book for me, not once, but three times and chatted the entire time he was signing. He even asked me what I did and I told him I ran a speed shop there in Louisville.
We talked for over ten minutes about cars. The cars he had owned, cars he had ridden in around the world, even cars he hated! Some of you may not know that he was very passionate about his cars, just as he was passionate about every other thing in his life.
I thought I would honor him in my own way and show some of the cars that I found him pictured in that he owned or drove through the years, Enjoy.
A very young Ali inserting a record in a record player equipped car.
Another young Ali with what looks to be a customized and lowered Lincoln.
Ali taking a (scared to death) Sammy Davis Jr. for a ride!
Ali with his mother, Odessa, in front of one of his Cadillacs in front of his family home in Louisville, Kentucky.
Muhammad Ali has his beloved car Mercedes Gold 1959. He drove it almost everywhere. The gold and jewel-encrusted Mercedes-Benz was presented to Muhammad Ali in the 1980’s by a member of a Middle Eastern royal family, and is emblazoned with handwritten calligraphy.
The 1959 Golden Angel Wing is covered with precious stones and featured a mink-lined interior, with various dials, switches, as well as the accelerator pedal and bumper made from 23 karat gold.
This is a pic of a Rolls Royce that Ali owned and at one time was in the Mohammed Ali Center in Louisville Ky.
And lastly, Ali, like a lot of other celebrities, owned a Stutz Blackhawk, which may well be the most popular celebrity ride of all time. Lucille Ball, Liberace, Elvis, Billy Joel, Elton John, Willy Nelson, Johnny Cash, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Isaac Hayes and many others owned them too.
I hope you enjoyed those great pictures. Ali was such a multi-faceted person and no amount of words will ever be able to describe what he has meant to the world, but his memory will last forever.
God speed Ali.Article written by MCG Contributor Bobby Chestnut.
I like Ali.He definitely was a formital combatant. As he was known as the Greatest because of his outside the ring help for others goes unnoticed. But I have to point out one important fact. To be the greatest in the ring one cannot lose fights. There was only one such...
I like Ali.He definitely was a formital combatant. As he was known as the Greatest because of his outside the ring help for others goes unnoticed. But I have to point out one important fact. To be the greatest in the ring one cannot lose fights. There was only one such fighter in the Heavy weight division. Rocky Marciano. Marciano had a record of 49-0 w/ 43 knockouts. Ali was 55-5 w/23 knockouts. True enough Marciano would never have met Ali in the ring. Marciano retired in 1956, 8 years before Ali came into his own. Ali held the title 3 different times. Not a record as posted. Evander Holyfield won the title a record 5 different times. As to Parkinson . I can relate. From 1952 when first diagnosed. My mother contracted Parkinson. Mom past in 1983 at age 71. As one can readily see the disease can last a long time. The disease was founded by Dr. James Parkinson of England in 1817.
Best heavyweight boxer in the last 60 years, bar none