In 1966 Chevrolet offered a full range of 396 cubic inch ‘Porcupine Head’ engines in the mid-size Chevelle line. With up to 375 bhp, the SS 396 put real power into the line that has come to epitomize Chevy’s muscle car heritage. Dubbed ‘Porcupine Head’ because of its different stem angles for intake and exhaust valves, the 396 breathed well and was Chevrolet’s response to the effectiveness of Chrysler’s more complicated Hemi head engines. This engine series had been Read More
The “official” Muscle Car era began in 1961, when Chevrolet introduced the 409. It lasted ten years until the early ’70s when the market was gutted by insurance premiums and the cars began to be strangled by emissions limits. Of course, the Muscle Car didn’t emerge fully formed like a butterfly from a chrysalis. It evolved, quickly, more like Stephen King dragonflies.
In the early Fifties, Cadillac, Lincoln and Chrysler all launched large displacement overhead valve V8s. GM Read More
The car pictured sold at Dana Mecum’s Arlington Premier Auction in Arlington, Illinois on November 7, 1998 at no reserve, bringing $23,625, including buyer’s commission.
Estimated at $30k–$35k, a value that even at this level is probably less than half what’s invested in it, this is typical of the re-sale performance of hot rods. The money spent on building one is about the only thing “going down in flames” today.
Desirable to collectors, this Indianapolis 500 Pace Car replica Camaro is, like the original, an RS/SS convertible. As is usually the custom with Indy 500 pace cars, 100 examples were built for use by press and dignitaries during 500 Month at the Speedway. A further 3,674 Camaros equipped with the Pace Car were later marketed to the general public. This car is one of those 3,674.
The 1969 Camaro was the last year of the original Camaro package Read More
Erret Leban Cord began building his empire in the mid 1920s when he became president and primary stockholder of Auburn. In 1929 Cord introduced a car bearing his name, the front-wheel-drive Cord L-29. There were unfortunately many technological problems with the L-29 that kept it from becoming the great car for which people had hoped. However, the L-29’s purpose was well served, as it laid the groundwork for the famed Cord 810 and 812 models.
Like the L-29, Read More
Chevrolet enlisted the help of Lotus Engineering to create a new engine for the Corvette. Together they developed a design with an aluminum block, dual overhead camshafts, and 4 valves per cylinder. In 1990, it emerged as the 375-horsepower LT5 engine. But there was more than an engine. The Corvette ZR1 package cost $27,000 more than the base coupe, which sold for $31,900. In the package were a ZF 6-speed transmission, ride control, power seats, Delco-Bose stereo system and Read More
When Thunderbird designer Frank Hershey set out to design a sports car with “banker appeal,” he unknowingly created a legendary automobile that was so popular in its first year, it outsold the Chevrolet Corvette four to one. When Hershey left Ford for General Motors in 1960, the Thunderbird had sold over 90,000 units in the same year. The car had not only survived, but become an overwhelming success in the eyes of the American public.
Unfortunately, the ‘58-’60 models Read More
In 1956, Ford was building the two-seat Thunderbird, and outselling Corvette four to one. After two disastrous sales years, the Corvette had to change or die. And change it did. First, it received a new body to replace the classic roadster style body of the previous three years. Still in fiberglass, it now had external door handles, wind-up windows and a stylish “cove” or indent in the side, outlined with a polished, stainless-steel strip. Corvette also began to get Read More
When the Ford Thunderbird arrived in 1955, it literally blew past the Corvette in both sales and popularity, giving General Motors pause to reconsider the Corvette’s future. It was the beginning of the short-lived but exciting sports car wars which revved up in 1955 and ended abruptly in 1957, when Ford Motor Company ceased production of the two-passenger Thunderbird. Although its fate had been sealed, the Thunderbird went out with a bang in ’57, building 194 supercharged Read More
Cadillac cars were the inspiration of Henry M. Leyland and established the tradition of interchangeability of components. They became part of General Motors in 1909 and were soon the leaders of that group. In 1914 they introduced the world’s first commercially successful V8 engine, which stayed into production in its first series until 1926.
In 1926 the series 314 V8 engine was announced, and although it had the same bore and stroke of previous models, it was an entirely fresh Read More