About Cameron Tunstall

Beat up and ugly, just like all of my cars.

Barrett-Jackson 2020 – 1990 Corvette ZR1

For a generation obsessed with Mk.4 Supras and R34 GT-Rs the American king of the hill is all but forgotten. Four inches wider and 200lbs heaver than the standard Corvette, it made up for the weight with it’s 375hp DOHC 5.7L V8, designed by Lotus and hand-assembled by Mercury Marine.

That power train improvement connected to the ZF 6 speed manual was good for an impressive 4.9 second 0-60 and 13.4 in the quarter mile. Lotus was also responsible for RPO-code FX3 suspension package with Bilstein parts shares more in common with a Porsche 959 than the Corvette’s pedestrian brethren. You can bet with Lotus assisting in the design of your flagship car, it will turn at least as well as it will accelerate.

With only 2,985 miles on the clock this car had a buy-it-now price of $35,000.

 

Barrett-Jackson 2020 – 1995 Mustang Cobra


The final model of the 5.0L V8-powered Cobra, distinguished from the 96-98 models by the standard Mustang hood and horizontal bar tail lights. The signature SN95 Cobra hood would not be found on it until the DOHC 4.6L models the next model year. The 5.0L Cobra was good for 240hp and this particular model is equipped with the tremec five speed manual transmission. The combo is capable of 0-60 in 6.3 seconds and a quarter mile of 14.1 seconds. At the time performance was comparable to the Z28 and Formula offered by the General.

The Mustang however came with a much more robust aftermarket, easier accessibility to the engine for modifications and a serious upgrade in interior build quality. This all came at the cost of less aggressive looks in contrast either of the F-body twins or the boxy fox predecessor. With an asking price of $49,900 in the non-auction section of Barrett-Jackson this car has only 106 miles on the odometer.

Barrett-Jackson 2020 – 1985.5 Mustang SVO

This mid-year update to Ford’s turbocharged, four-cylinder Fox body brings the boost up to 15 psi, adds 35lbs injectors and an upgraded EEC among other modifications to bring the car from 175hp to 205hp. Equipped with a factory-installed Hurst shifter for the 5-speed manual model, ultimately multiplied by a 3.73:1 ring and pinion ratio. Paired with 16″ wheels over disc brakes at all four wheels, a Koni-designed suspension and comparatively lighter 2.3L inline four over the front K-member. That ensures this SVO isn’t just faster than the 5.0L model in a drag race, it also handles better in the turns.

The one you see here is painted in Medium Canyon Red Metallic and has only 23,000 miles. Showcased in the area of Barrett-Jackson that has cars for sale instead of at auction, it was priced at $24,900.

Return to SEMA (2019)

Last year I didn’t go to SEMA due to a combination of work constraints and a general sense of exhaustion with the pageantry of trade shows and Vegas in general. This year I plan on going back, but I’m going to be prepared mentally for it all. I think these are helpful enough that I’d like to share them as an addition to the typical “Rules of SEMA” articles you see for first timers. This is more for fifth, sixth and seventh timers.

I’m going to try to avoid the obvious things like “wear comfortable shoes” and “be sure to pack snacks”. These are amateur rules and I’d like to focus more on things to keep someone from slipping into a malaise when you find yourself away from home carrying phones, backpacks and cameras and also trying to dig out the morsels of interesting new things hidden between drab booths of everything that has been done before. The only burn-outs I expect to experience are going to be where the rubber meets the road. Continue reading

1986 Mustang SVO | Barrett-Jackson 2018

Time will always fondly remember the brash 5.0l H.O. Mustang GT. It’s fraternal twin: The refined SVO happens to be a more interesting vehicle.

Not just for its unique front fascia, or it’s pedals designed specifically for heel-toe shifts. Not even for its 3.73:1 axle ratio, it’s KONI suspension or it’s Lincoln Mark VII-sourced, five-lug four-wheel disc brakes.

The most important aspect of this vehicle is the turbocharged 200hp 2.3L overhead cam I-4. Coincidentally, the horsepower on the SVO never exceeded the GT year-for-year even though it was the faster of the two cars.

Due to its better weight balance, an overall lighter curb weight and a higher revving engine, this car was more of a match around a track with the BMW M3, the Porsche 944 and the Mazda RX-7 than it was deserving of slugging it out at the stoplights with a lowly tuned port Camaro.

Despite that, the SVO still wouldn’t struggle to show any f-body in 1986 it’s ass as it sped away to the tune of turbo whoosh over its glorified pinto engine howling.

Although most casual Mustang fans have forgotten this car along with some of the other odd things Ford was throwing at the fox body, that didn’t stop this beautiful SVO from reaching $33,000 at auction.

1981 Camaro Z28 | Barrett-Jackson 2018

This is the very last of the second generation of Chevrolet’s Mustang-fighter: the Camaro. Compared to its Ford competition the Camaro looks less like an unfortunate product of an economic crisis and instead more like time capsule for an era of a simpler time for the automotive enthusiast.

This car is well kept with a paint scheme that hasn’t aged poorly by comparison to its peers. Equipped with a four-speed manual transmission this car finds itself only held back by the 165hp LG4 5.0l V8; an engine with potential given its ancestry, but hampered by it’s notoriously problematic computer-controlled carburetor and distributor.

The 1981 has some visual queues that hint at what’s just around the corner for GM with the lighter, sporty and arguably superior third generation platform available in the next model year. That being said, when it comes to pure automotive machismo this Camaro can’t be denied. It’s no surprise it was able to bring in a final price of $28,000.

1979 Dodge Lil Red Express | Barrett-Jackson 2018

Available in 1978 and 1979 this truck has a reputation for being one of the fastest vehicles produced during those years. Although I’d like to be able correctly credit the reason why Dodge was able to squeeze a massive 225hp net rating out of the 360 under the hood, there’s a ton of conflicting reasons why.

Some say it was due to a loophole that allowed a lack of emissions equipment, specifically the catalytic converters. However another source claims the 1979 model has catalytic converters equipped on it, as well as a pointless 85mph speedometer.

What I can say is that Mopar was not able to match this number again until 1993 with the 230hp 5.9l Magnum V8. This truck has also fallen by the wayside along with the Warlock, Midnight Express and other Dodge trucks from this era that paved the way for trucks like the Dodge SRT-10, Ford Lightning, Silverado SS and many others.

This handsome piece of late 70’s lore sold for $20,000 in auction.

1988 Cadillac Eldorado | Barrett-Jackson 2018

This personal luxury coupe was an interesting choice for the discerning Cadillac connoisseur in 1988.

Equipped with the 155hp 4.5l V8 instead of the 165hp LN3 3.8l V6 available in it’s platform mates, the Oldsmobile Tornado and Buick Riviera. Cadillac’s penchant for “high tech” proprietary power plants in the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s instead of the venerable 3800 V6 would continue to haunt them until they stopped designing their own engines altogether.

Notable for also being shortest Eldorado at 191.2″ in length which would make it 0.5″ shorter than a current 2017 Ford Fusion.

This particular car was purchased by the local bank in Clovis, NM and managed to accumulate 58,000 miles. This car sold at auction for $4700.