1960 Rambler American Wagon

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.

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1969 Camaro Convertible GPSTrackIT

Just like Las Vegas itself, the SEMA show is designed to overwhelm the senses. There are literally thousands of vendors competing for your attention, and they will use any tactic they can to draw you over to their booth.

Some booths have flashing lights or sexy girls or celebrity appearances, but most vendors recognize that the way to get your attention at a car expo is to have a wicked hot rod on display. In the North Hall, I spotted this 1969 Camaro convertible at the GPSTrackIt booth and came in for a closer look.

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1974 Jensen Interceptor III

Walking around the SEMA show last year, I happened upon this cool ride in a parking lot near the convention center. It’s a 1974 Jensen Interceptor III, a rare British car that you don’t often see.

Between 1966 and 1976, just 6,400 of these cars were builtĀ  – which is an extremely small number for a production car. I have to wonder how many of them were left-hand drive and how many are in the United States? Probably not very many, which makes this car all the more special.

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1965 Mustang ‘Sparkey’ Electric Conversion

There’s no doubt that the roads of the future will include many types of automobiles including gas, diesel, hybrid, electric, and alternate fuel vehicles. But I have to question the wisdom of bringing an electric-powered muscle car to SEMA. Most of the guys walking the show floor still haven’t embraced automatic transmissions or EFI – and I think that getting them to ditch gasoline altogether is going to be a very hard sell.

Still, I’ve gotta hand it to Larry Gareffa for getting his car out there. I saw his 1965 Mustang “Sparkey” on display at the Covercraft booth at SEMA 2013.

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1973 Chevrolet Camaro “Project Envious”

This is one of those cars that you either love or hate – there is no in between.To some, a 2nd gen Camaro with a green paint job is the definition of automotive hell. Others may see this car for what it really is: a pro-touring car that can dominate any environment from street to strip to autocross course.

Built by D&Z Customs in Kewaskum, Wisconsin, this ’73 Camaro was on display at the AutoMeter booth at SEMA 2013. The car is nicknamed “Project Envious” as in green with envy – get it?

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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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1969 Galpin Mustang Mach IV

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.

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SEMA 2013: 1949 Chevrolet Tin Woody

Showing up to a car show in a wood-paneled hot rod is like showing up to a bikini contest with a Brazilian swimsuit model. Even if you don’t win a trophy, you’ve already won the approval of everyone else at the show. I imagine that the owner of this 1949 Chevrolet got a lot of nods of approval during the 4 days it was on display at SEMA 2013.

The car was done by “Customs by Kilkeary” from Eighty Four, Pennsylvania. The most striking feature of the car is its beautiful wood finish on the exterior. I can’t even comprehend the hours of sanding and buffing that must have gone into this thing! But I can tell you that it looked absolutely flawless in person.

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