Domestic Affairs (19)

Is Your Snake a Replicant?

Written by February 2008
Unless you are building an S/C or Comp car replica, just say "no" to scoops, roll bars, sidepipes, stripes, and other incorrect itemsOkay, I'll freely admit I am a Cobra snob. I'm not as bad as one I witnessed at a Cobra gathering, running toward a replica yelling "I'm going to kick the lid off the Tupperware." Or another who wears a T-shirt that says, "Oh, you have a Cobra too? What is your CSX #?" But I do agree that most replicas do no justice to the original.By definition, a replica should be an exact copy. I think most…

Shelby Sacks SAAC

Written by January 2008
After 32 years, Carroll Shelby no longer officially recognizes SAACIn my May 2007 column (p. 60), I wrote about the 32-year relationship between automotive icon Carroll Shelby and the Shelby American Automobile Club (SAAC). I said then that SAAC is the best friend that Shelby ever had; it has steadfastly preserved the legacy of Shelby American and made Ol' Shel a celebrity in the process.To recap the history of SAAC briefly: In 1975, there was no Shelby American to go to for expertise or advice. Shelby as a manufacturer was gone, and the factory a distant memory. Even the newest…
Figure a slide of 10%-20% from late 2006 prices across the board and you're not far off; the better the car, the less the correctionThe drag chutes are out for the Mopar Hemi muscle car market. Unquestionably the most visible and talked-about phenomenon in the last five years of stratospheric price increases, the Hemi 'Cuda and its corporate cousins gained value at an incredible rate. Almost overnight, anything with a 426 Hemi literally doubled or tripled in price. The cars became poster children for the muscle car boom, and led the way for many others, including an entire industry that…

Winging It

Written by November 2007
Around noon, the thunder heading my way was the Detroit kind, as 20 Superbirds and Daytonas filled my parking lot To quote John Lennon: Imagine. if there was a club for valuable cars, whose long-term owners didn't care about what the cars are worth. Cars worth perhaps 5,000% more than they paid for them, and for whom selling is the furthest thing from their minds. Is it possible? Is there a group of enthusiasts that still appreciates the history more than the money, the driving more than showing off NOS muffler bearings on a car that never gets driven to…

Muscle in Monterey

Written by October 2007
The consensus among buyers is that they want the best, and "almost" cars are having a tough time finding homes Gloom and doom predictions can end up as self-fulfilling prophecies if the panic spreads. A case in point is the highly publicized muscle car market "crash" going on now. As this is the Monterey auctions recap issue, let's take a look at what happened there, and see how it relates to the rest of the market.I have always preached only buy the best-ultra-low production, pedigreed cars with air-tight histories-cars that people actually want to own. These are cars that are…

When The Fire System Fails

Written by September 2007
I could see the paint bubbling on the hood, the Lexan windshield melting, and the paint burning off the transmission tunnelAlthough SCM isn't a racing publication, a large number of SCMers are vintage racers, including yours truly. A recent racing "close call" has made me rethink a few things in my racing endeavors. I want to share what I discovered so others can learn from my mistakes. The worst that can happen is that you waste a few minutes reading this column; the best is that it may save your life.I race a 1966 Shelby GT350 B/Production car in the…
So is it worth paying a 15%-20% premium for a car with a notoriously troublesome FI system? The market seems to say it is In the early years of the horsepower wars, in the mid-1950s, Detroit was looking for ways to get a jump on the competition. The new frontier was fuel injection, with Mercedes-Benz introducing mechanical fuel injection on the 300SL in 1954.Racers were also using fuel injection as a power-adding device, so why not make it a regular production option? By 1956, Zora Arkus-Duntov had worked with Rochester to develop the Ram Jet fuel injection system, which became…
How to decode the evolution of Ford's 427, 428, and 429 big block muscle Ford 427, 428, 429. What do these similar numbers tell us about very different engines?To the uninitiated, Ford's big inch performance motors all seem basically the same, with slightly different displacements. Nothing could be further from the truth. That last digit can make a really big difference in both performance and value of Blue Oval muscle.Rather than try to spell out every technical aspect of these engines, let's look at them as they relate to cars that interest us-namely, Shelby and Mustang cars. The 427 and…

Everyday Muscle

Written by May 2007
Forgo modern conveniences (such as a jack for your iPod and seat heaters), and you can find an old car that will be daily fun So your Cobra Daytona Coupe is too hot and loud inside, and your Hemi 'Cuda convertible's top leaks when it rains. You'd like something old yet practical as a daily driver, something you might even let your significant other or kids drive once in a while.Anybody with a pulse and a checking account can walk into a Ford dealership today and buy a new Mustang GT, but a vintage "real" muscle car is far more…
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