When I think about the cars of the 1960s, I think about the high-performance muscle cars from the Big Three automakers: Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler. But these weren’t the only players in the car game. Today I want to talk about one of the other American car companies: Rambler.
While the Big Three were making ridiculously powerful passenger cars, Rambler was off doing their own thing. They created a little compact car called the American which was focused on value and practicality. It was a compact car that was affordable yet did not look cheap. It had an inline 6 cylinder engine and offered one of the best warranties available at the time.
In the city of North Hills, California (a suburb of Los Angeles), there is a very famous car dealership called Galpin Ford. It is famous because it has been the #1 selling Ford dealership in the world for 24 consecutive years in sales volume – an impressive feat! But there is much more to the Galpin story than just selling cars.
This red-hot 1967 Chevrolet Nova caught my eye as I was walking past the Magnaflow booth at SEMA 2013. Built for Jimmy Shaw, this car was done by Greening Auto Company of Nashville, TN. Jimmy’s goal with this car was to have a show car that could also perform on the autocross course. I have to say – I think they nailed it!
With so much polished chrome, this is definitely a show car. But haul it out to the track and it can lay rubber with the best of ’em, thanks to the 376cid LSX V8 under the hood! The engine features a custom intake manifold and valve covers and is mated to a Tremec 6-speed manual.
On the south shore of Long Island, New York lies the village of West Islip. It was here that William Dzus invented the Dzus fastener in 1932. This unique fastener locks down with a quarter-turn, making it ideal for use in airplanes and hot rods.
William’s son Ted Dzus took the helm in 1964 and ran the company for 23 years before retiring. But Ted isn’t wasting his retirement on the golf course – he’s an active member of the hot rodding community. I had the chance to check out Ted’s insane 1951 Henry J at the 2013 SEMA Show.
If you’ve picked up any kind of car magazine at all in the past year, you’ve probably caught a glimpse of this 1988 Ford Mustang nicknamed “Hypersilver.” The full build has been documented in Car Craft, Hot Rod Magazine, Muscle Mustangs and Fast Fords, and many other magazines made for guys with grease under their fingernails. It was neat to see the completed car in person at the Source Interlink booth at SEMA 2013!
The idea for this car was to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Muscle Mustangs and Fast Fords. The magazine’s technical editor, Mark Christ, headed up the build. Things started coming together at the Muscle Mustangs office in Florida. One article I read said that the car went from a shell to completed in just 4 weeks…an amazingly short time for a build like this!
1963 was a very special year for the Chevrolet Corvette because it was the one and only year the car came with a split rear window. This oddity makes 1963 model years highly desirable to collectors. However, this ’63 Corvette is special for another reason: it holds the official title of “World’s Fastest Street Legal Car.”
Looking at the car with its roll cage, huge Mickey Thompson tires, and the two gigantic turbochargers sticking out of the cowl hood, it certainly doesn’t look like a street legal car. However, it has opening doors, power windows, turn signals and a horn, and even a cupholder! In its “street trim,” this car ran the quarter mile in 6.75 seconds at an incredible 209.96 mph!
If you follow us on Twitter, you may have seen the article that was posted last week about Speedworld Motorplex closing its doors. The multi-use facility was one of two quarter-mile drag strips in the Phoenix area and also featured a motocross course, BMX track, paintball park, and a sand drag/mud bog course.
Now, I have received news that Phoenix’s other dragstrip at Firebird Raceway in Chandler will also be closing in March 2013. The track owners cite the end of their contract with the Gila River Indian Community as the reason for the closure.
The 1960s were unquestionably the golden era of muscle cars. Federal Crash Test Standards and the Oil Crisis of 1973 had not yet rained on everyone’s parade, and the Big 3 American automakers (Ford, GM, and Chrysler) were engaged in a horsepower war with each company trying to one-up each other.
During this time car manufacturers were basically selling full-on race cars to the public. The Plymouth Hemi Cuda, Dodge Charger R/T, Plymouth Superbird, Pontiac GTO “Judge”, Oldsmobile 442, Camaro ZL1/Z-28/SS, Shelby GT500KR, and the Ford Torino Talladega all packed monsterous engines that were often underrated in terms of true power output.
One muscle car from this era that is not often mentioned is the Central Office Production Order Camaro, or “COPO Camaro.”