1967 Ford Fairlane ‘Black Ops’ by Steve Strope

1967-fairlane-steve-strope-rearSteve Strope of Pure Vision Design was in the spotlight a few years ago with the Martini Mustang. He was back at SEMA 2014 with a real head turner, and quite possibly my favorite car of the whole show! This 1967 Ford Fairlane is called “Black Ops” and it was on display at the Dynamat/Dynamic Control booth in the Central Hall.

The name Black Ops warrants an explanation, seeing as the car is not painted black, but rather, a very pretty blue and gold. The concept for this car was to build an “experimental” racer as it might have been built back in the late 1960s. It is not based on any particular car that actually existed, but sought to recreate a “factory test mule” using period-correct parts and technologies. Continue reading

SEMA 2014: Griffin Radiator 1968 Ford Mustang

sema-2014-griffin-mustang-frontThere was a lot of vintage Ford sheet metal on display at SEMA 2014, and I’m embarrassed to say that this one almost slipped by me! This 1968 Ford Mustang was just steps away from the Mustang at the Wilwood booth, and I almost didn’t see it. This dark green beauty was on display at the Griffin Radiator booth.

Griffin is a South Carolina-based company that has been making performance aluminum radiators since 1981. The 1968 Mustang in their booth appears to be most of the way through a major restoration. It’s common to see cars at SEMA that aren’t quite done yet.

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PPE 1970 Chevelle Duramax 6.6L Swap with Twin Turbos

ppe-1970-chevelle-duramax-swap-profileWhen it comes to muscle cars, swapping out the engine is a great way to get more power. But you won’t find a 350, 383, or even a 454 cubic inch engine under the hood of this 1970 Chevelle. That’s because it’s powered by a 6.6L (403 cid) Chevrolet Duramax engine. That’s right, a diesel-powered muscle car!

As if that weren’t wild enough, the car also sports a custom twin turbo setup with two Garrett T-38R turbos pushing 30lbs of boost into the motor. Altogether, this little Chevelle makes 950 HP and 1,800 lb-ft of torque!

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1981 Chevrolet Camaro NastZy LS9

There was an abundance of second-gen Camaros at SEMA, but this one had something special about it. Perhaps it was the $22,000 LS9 crate engine under the hood! Or maybe it was the ultra-deep 20″ rear wheels. Whatever the reason, I paused for a moment to check out this car in depth.

A small sign indicated that this 1981 Camaro Z28 was built by Classic Performance. It did not mention where their shop is located or who owns this car, and I was unable to find that information after searching online.

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1965 Mustang ‘Blizzard’ Ringbrothers

The year 2014 is a special one for Ford Mustang enthusiasts because it marks the 50th Anniversary of the car’s introduction. For the past 5 decades, the Mustang has been America’s pony car. But can you really improve upon a classic design? Yes, you can.

Mike and Jim Ring are brothers and co-owners of the aptly-named shop Ringbrothers. They are one of my favorite build shops right now, and I have featured a few of their cars on this site before. You may recall their Ford Fairlane 500 “Afterburner” and the Mustang Mach 1 “Dragon” I spotted at Barrett-Jackson.

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SEMA 2013: 1969 Camaro Twin Engine

The guys at American V8 Classics and Customs have come up with a rather unusual approach to making big power. Instead of fitting their 1969 Camaro with a big, powerful engine, they have fitted it with TWO big, powerful engines!

I ran across this car at SEMA 2013 and spent some time admiring their work. What you are seeing is not a mirror: there are two 427cid V8 engines under the hood of this bad boy! The transmission tunnel has been lengthened and extended into the passenger compartment to accommodate the second engine, which is directly behind the first.

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1973 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am “KLRBRD”

It’s hard to look at a second-gen Firebird and not think of “Smokey and the Bandit.” While this car has been forever etched into our memories by the 1977 film, this car is so much more than a movie cliche.

When this car was new, people were worried about Vietnam War protests, the emerging counterculture movement, the start of punk rock, vehicle emissions laws, and The Man taking away their rights. With its Screaming Chicken logo on the hood and its utter lack of subtlety, the Firebird Trans Am is a middle-finger response to the social changes of the 1970s. As long as I’ve got my horsepower, you and your issues can sit on it and rotate!

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SEMA 2013: Tim Allen’s 1968 COPO Camaro

The word “restomod” gets thrown around a lot these days. Most of the resto-modded cars I have seen are closer to the “modified” side than to the “restoration” side. It was refreshing to come across this 1968 Chevrolet COPO Camaro at SEMA, which is more towards the restoration side of things.

The car was on display at the Classic Industries booth and was built by veteran hot rodder Bodie Stroud. The car belongs to actor, comedian, author, and car guy Tim Allen.

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