Today manufacturers pride themselves on fuel efficency. We are not far from a future where all cars will be powered by sunshine and feelings. And when that future arrives us old timers will talk about the good old days when manafacturers dueled year-in and year-out to see who could build a car with the biggest balls. It will sound like myth to the wienies driving wienie mobiles. Especially when we wax poetic about those titans who looked at the racecars coming off the factory line and said, “Pfft. I can do better.” Titans like Don Yenko.
The 1969 Chevy Camero was one of the finest classic muscle cars of the era. Don Yenko of Yenko Chevrolet saw all that perfection as a canvas. He wanted to give it the Shelby treatment. The result was a supercar that has fetched millions at muscle car restoration auctions.
A Chevy man through and through, Yenko took out the factory motor and dropped in the L-72 427 Corvette V8. He also beefed up the suspension and replaced the hood with a model closer to the Stinger series found on big block Corvettes.
Chevy pegged the engine at 425 bhp, but Yenko did his own dyno run and found that it was closer to 450 bhp. These were custom classic muscle car jobs. Only 201 were sold in 1969. You may not be able to get your hands on one, but you should know the story so we call all preach the gospel to the wimps driving sunshine cars.
Though an early milestone, it is one worth celebrating. We started this blog as a way to geek out about muscle car and hot rod restoration projects. We wanted a place to connect with fellow enthusiasts and to brag about which models and motors cranked out the highest bhp during our chassis dyno testing. You read. You commented. And we ended up with a great network of grease-monkeys extending way beyond our home base in Southern California.
In honor of the Big 100…
This video from Gasolene TV starts a bit slow, but skip to the mid-way point and you’ll see why we chose it; a garage filled with 100 plus top muscle cars, several of which the host takes a closer look at:
Hot Rod Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential Hot Rods:
The article uses a very wide definition of ‘hot rod.’ They’ve got the original Shelby Cobra on here–arguably a hot rod. They’ve got a ’67 Camaro and a ’73 Mustang on here–unarguably muscle cars. They’ve got the Batmobile on here–defies classification, it’s the freakin Batmobile.
We love the car chosen as #1. We just don’t think it should have been numero, not on a hot rod list anyway. What would your Top 5 be? Let us know in the comments!
Soft wax and salty air, tan skin and bouncing blonde beauties; the sight of a woodie passing by touches all the senses and shoots a signal to your brain announcing that summer has arrived.
Cinco de Mayo is behind us, and here in Southern California that means that sunny days are here (stay way June gloom!). So in honor of everyone’s favorite season lets take a closer look at the ultimate summer ride.
The original woodies debuted way back in the mid-1930’s. Some of the wood panelled wagons were factory specials others were customized by carpenters and coach building firms. Yes, coach building firms.
By the mid-1950’s only Ford and Mercury were still offering woodie models. And at that time natural woods were being replaced by cheaper, more durable plastics and other faux materials.
In later decades these faux materials killed the allure. The classic woodie surf wagon was diminished down to the status of “soccer mom station wagon” with cheesy grain-esque paneling. Tragic.
However, the beauty and undeniable cool of those early wagons is here to stay. Today woodies are a staple on the hot rod parts circuit. Take a look at this Pintrest board to see some killer examples.
If you have the guts of an old wagon and need help transforming it into an icon of summer cool, pull into our garage. We’ve got the hot rod restoration services needed to make your ride a Saturday star at the weekly Huntington Beach gatherings.