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Showing posts from October, 2016

Some '60's and '70's full-sizes that make cool drivers...

If you don't want to pay the king's ransom for a "traditional" muscle car-i.e. GTO, SS Chevelle, Charger, Road Runner, Mustang, etc, etc, here's some good alternatives. Every car maker had at least one, some had several really cool full-size cars that would still be fun to own and drive and be unique. Here's my list in no particular order. # 1. 1965-68 Pontiac Gran Prix. GP's had 389 or 400 cubes standard all years with 421 and 428 optional, backed by either a 4-speed or the excellent TH400. I personally like the '65-66 models best, but the fastback '67-68 models are cool too. Ray Liotta drove a '68 in "Goodfellas". There's tons of speed equipment for Pontiac V8s and any suspension or brake upgrades that fit an Impala will fit these cars. # 2. 1967-68 Chevy Impala SS. 427 models are priced in the stratosphere, but 327 models are still reasonable. 75,600 were built in '67 and another 38,200 in '68, so their not a moon rock…

If you have one of these "Oldie but goodies" by all means use it....

The last couple posts about overlooked engines caused some people to remind me of some viable ones they thought I forgot. I didn't forget them,I just dont think their plentiful enough to look for.  # 1. 289 Ford. I loves 289s. Their reliable, and offer tremendous bang for the buck. However, they've been out of production since 1968. That's 48 years. If you have a 289 V8 in the car or can buy one cheap, then by all means use it.  If your restoring a '65 Mustang to the nth degree, then a 289 is the only way to fly. For anything else-the 302 was used in millions of cars, trucks and suvs from 1968 to 2002 and is still in production and being sold as a crate motor to this day. That's all I'm saying-don't search the galaxy for a 289 while passing over hundreds of 302s!!  # 2. 396 / 402 Chevy. 396s run great.  If  you have one already in the car or your restoring an SS396 Chevelle or El Camino, Camaro or Nova to concours status, then this is the engine that you &q…

Sometimes dynamite comes in small packages.....

The trend in the buff magazines always seems to be "Bigger is Better". Everything they feature has a 500 inch monster motor. If you can afford that, by all means do it. However-there are a lot of people who don't need or want a 500+hp engine. They'd just like a little better than stock performance from their base model car. Here's my suggestions on how to do this. # 1. 318 Mopars. There are a ton of 318 powered Duster / Darts, Challenger / Barracudas, Satellites, Coronets and Chargers out there. In all it's history-the 318 was Chrysler's lowest warranty engine. Their bulletproof. '92 and later "Magmum" heads will bolt up to earlier blocks, and Edelbrock sells "Magnum" bolt pattern Performer and Performer RPM intakes. With headers and dual exhausts, maybe a mild cam and a good shift kit in the Torqueflite-you'd be amazed at how fast a 318 can run. Especially in a light car. So before you sell your sould for a big-block or a 360 …

Some "Junkyard Jewels" that people overlook.....

There are a lot of engines that could make big power for low bucks, that a lot of enthusiasts overlook. Here's a few that I think offer the most "bang" for the buck. # 1. 400C / M Ford. These were in hundreds of thousands of Ford cars and trucks from 1971-82. They were unfairly labelled as "dogs" because they were saddled with 2bbl carburation, single exhausts, a lazy cam and salt-flats gearing. However-with a 4bbl carb and intake, a decent cam and some dual exhausts-they can really rock. Anything 400 cubes is going to make serious power and torque with the proper equipment-every year someone builds one in the "Engine Masters Challenge" that makes over 500 hp.  # 2. 360 "Magnum" Chrysler. Used in millions of Dodge Trucks and SUVs as well as millions of Jeep Grand Cherokees from 1992-2003, these are plentiful in junkyards. They have roller cams from the factory, and the "magnum" heads breathe better than any factory head and many af…

Let's see some cool kit cars restored....

Back in the '70's and '80's there were a lot of companies making Kit Cars. The Daytona Spider driven by Don Johnson on "Miami Vice" was actually a 1981 Corvette with a replica Ferarri body that was built by Tom McBurny that fit the '68-82 Corvette chasiss. McBurnie and Rowley stopped making them after being sued by Ferarri. There was a company called Saxon that made Austin-Healey 3000 replicas that a lot of guys put 302 Fords and 350 Chevys into. I remember Fiberfab who had two-one was called the "Jamaican" a swoopy two door coupe that looked like a cross between a Corvette and a Jaguar XKE. The cool thing about the Jamaican was it could be built on the ubiquitous VW Beetle chassis like a lot of Kit Cars were, or it could be built front-engine on an MGA, Triumph TR4 or TR250 Chassis. Their other offering was called the Kelmark GT and it looked almost exactly like a Ferarri 246 Dino. Car Craft featured one that had a 455 Olds V8 and a Toronado tr…

Lets do some Period Correct hot rods....'60s, '70's and '80's style....

Is everyone as sick as I am of cookie-cutter cars everywhere? It's seems the trend is one of two things-the car is either bone-stock, Concours, "Just as it Left the Factory" down to the hose clamps, or ( depending on if it's a GM, Ford or Chrysler product ) it has an LS motor, a Coyote, or a 5.7 / 6.1 / 6.4 Hemi backed by an six-speed manual or an overdrive automatic, with rack&pinion steering, a DSE or Global West suspension system, 4-wheel disc brakes, and 20 inch wheels. You know what I'd like to see? Some period correct stuff-like a '55 Chevy with no front bumper, a straight front axle, radiused rear wheel wells, and a snarling 327 or 427 backed by a Muncie 4-speed or a TH400. Real badass '60's "Gasser" / Street Racer style. Or a Camaro,Corvette, Firebird, Mustang, Cougar or Challenger done in '70's Trans-Am / IROC style. Flared fenders over huge tires on Minilite wheels, front and rear spoilers,loud side-exit exhausts-Pictur…

Every car doesn't have to be a premium, fire-breathing monster....

I blame the buff magazines and TV shows like Overhaulin' for this. People think that if a car doesn't have a 500 inch big-block or a blower on it, it's not cool. Or if it's not a numbers matching 428 CJ Mustang or 440 Six-Pack Road Runner. it's not cool. Not true. For every GTO and SS Chevelle out there, there are fifty base-model Malibus and Tempest / LeMans models that would make great drivers or project cars. Ford sold 300,000 Mustangs in 1969 alone, but only 70,000 of them were Mach 1s. That leaves 230,000 others, many with 302 or 351W power under the hood, and that's just one single model year!! Pontiac built way more base-model Firebirds than they ever did Trans-Ams. See what I'm getting at?  And not everything has to have a stompin' big block. Let's say you did buy a '73 Firebird with a 350 2bbl / TH350 powertrain. If you added a factory or aftermarket 4bbl carb and intake, a set of dual exhausts behind the stock manifolds, and put a B&am…