People love the look of old cars, but one thing they don’t love is the handling. While muscle cars like the Chevelle were big on power, their handling and braking are vastly outperformed by today’s modern cars. Upgrading these components can do a lot to improve the driveability and safety of a classic car.
There is a distinction between bolting on some parts from a catalog and making them yourself. With this 1964 Chevelle, they chose the latter.
You may be familiar with the expression “like a bat out of hell” to refer to something moving wildly and out of control. In this case, this 1970 Plymouth Cuda moves like a “fish out of hell!”
We spotted this 1970 Plymouth Cuda nicknamed “Hellfish” on display at SEMA 2014, mere steps away from its cousin, the 1968 Charger. Like the Charger, this car was also built by The Roadster Shop, who seem to be up to their ears in vintage Mopars lately.
The Dodge Charger is one of the great legendary muscle cars of the 1960s. Though it looks like a muscle car on the outside, this Charger is actually a high-powered supercar in disguise!
The guys at The Roadster Shop have transformed this American muscle car into a wolf in sheep’s clothing! Under the hood is a V10 engine from a Dodge Viper, breathing through twin turbochargers and pumping out an incredible 1,300 horsepower.
When building a custom car, a number of things have to be considered. Will it need air conditioning? Will the suspension be set up for the street or for the drag strip? Where is the engine’s powerband? A lot of choices have to be made in order to dial a car in for its chosen application.
For most people, the luxury of owning a track-only car is not something they can afford. That means compromises need to be made so that the car can be streetable as well. This 1970 Camaro “Rampage” is a car that makes no compromises – it is a race car built for the track. Continue reading →
One of the more eye-catching vehicles I saw at SEMA 2013 was this 1966 Chevrolet Suburban at the Mr. Gasket booth. Nicknamed “Lime Crush,” this vehicle is the perfect southern California hot rod/surf wagon.
This classic Suburban was built by The Roadster Shop in Mundelein, IL. You may remember them as the same guys who built the C1RS Corvette and other fine custom cars. I love their work, and this vehicle is no exception.
Under the hood is a GM ZZ454 crate motor that very likely cost more than my first year of college. Dyno information wasn’t available, but a ZZ454 in stock trim makes 440 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque – which is plenty enough to get things movin’. The whole engine is decked out with Mr. Gasket accessories including carb, intake, valve cover, and exhaust gaskets, Mr. Gasket thermostat, PCV valve, and more.
When it comes to muscle cars, I have a soft spot for well-done pro-touring builds. This 1966 Chevelle from The Roadster Shop has not only been restored, it’s been improved to perform better than it did when new!
We’ve featured The Roadster Shop’s work in the past when we covered their gorgeous 1962 Corvette C1RS from Barrett-Jackson 2013. This car was featured in Super Chevy magazine in December 2007. I saw it at the Fountain Hills Concours in February 2014, wearing a set of Canadian plates.
When you get right down to it, a car is a machine that does work. It transports people and cargo from one location to another. For most people, a car is just another appliance which is no different from an alarm clock or a garbage disposal. It is a purpose-built machine that makes our lives easier in some way. You use it when you need to, fix or replace it when it breaks, and feel no special attachment to it.
From the beginning of the automobile era, cars were designed with functionality in mind. Early automobiles were simply boxes on a ladder frame with some wheels. Today, cars have evolved into sophisticated, computer-controlled machines – but I would argue that the majority of cars on the road are still more functional than beautiful.
The appearance of a car hasn’t changed much because it hasn’t needed to: a car doesn’t need to be beautiful to get us where we are going. While I can certainly appreciate the intrinsic beauty of something that is purely functional, I can also appreciate when things are both functional and beautiful.
This car, a customized 1962 Corvette roadster “C1RS” is one of the most aesthetically beautiful cars I have ever seen. This vehicle transcends the definition of a car or even a hot rod, it is a work of art.