Tag Archives: Chevrolet

Corvette Turns 65 Happy Birthday

Congratulations to the Corvette, America’s Sports Car for turning 65 today.  The longest running passenger car marque first had their production run start up in Flint, Michigan producing the first Corvette on June 30, 1953.  So the Corvette is officially a senior citizen now.1953 Corvette Passenger Side

First Year Corvette

All the first year Corvettes were produced as Polo White with a red interior and a black canvas top for the convertibles.  Only 300 models were produced in the first year and they all had a Blue Flame straight six cylinder engine and automatic transmission.

Corvette enthusiasts might have the T-Bird to thank for continuing the lineage as Chevrolet was strongly considering dropping the Corvette until the Ford Thunderbird entered the market in 1955.  Lucky break!1953 Corvette Front Quarter view

Building the 1953 Corvette

The first year Corvettes were all made by hand, without an assembly line and so the fit and finish and actual parts used varied a bit as building techniques evolved.  All came equipped with AM radios and a heater as the only “options.”

Surprisingly, with only 300 originally built there are a few originals that can’t be accounted for.  Our guess is they were “just a car” back then and went into somebody’s junkyard for scrap.

 

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Turtle Wax Exterior 1 Waterless Wash Wins

Turtle Wax, a leader in the consumer car cleaning sector, has come out with a smashing lineup of products, including a Turtle Wax Waterless Wash and Wax, labeled Exterior 1. Often times car owners are faced with a dirty car and no access to water, hoses and buckets. This product allows a car to be cleaned with just the spray bottle of waterless cleaner.Bottle

Dirty Car

Our test car was a 1968 Camaro that unfortunately was parked outside when a sudden and dusty rain storm hit. The dust stayed after the rain went away and spotted the car immensely. Of course the green and silver paint really showed the Arizona dirt. So this presented the perfect opportunity to try out Turtle Wax’s product.Rain and Dirt Attacks 68 Camaro

Applying Turtle Wax Waterless Wash Exterior 1

Now there is a technique to using these styles of cleaners. Get a clean microfiber cloth, the thicker the better, and fold the towel into quarters. That will give you four surfaces to work with on each side of the towel. As you spray on the Turtle Wax Exterior 1, cover one panel of the car, at a time. Dirty Hood

You’ll see that the liquid will actually cover the panel and gently lifts up the dirt from the surface. Use an edge of the microfiber towel and gently drag it over the surface, with the cloth just barely touching the paint.

You do NOT want to rub hard or go around in circular motions. That creates a risk of the dreaded “swirls” in your paint. Just a gentle glide over the metal will grab the liquid and the dirt. On you next pass, just move the towel up an inch or so to expose a fresh, new swatch of material. Repeat until the whole panel is clean. Repeat the process over the entire car. Change out the quarter of the microfiber as each section gets dirty.

Exterior 1

The bottle contains 26 ounces and I used about two thirds on the whole Chevy. This include the glass and hubcaps.Glass Cleaned with Waterless Washa nd Wax

The result was a clean car with no dirt or residue. If you find some tree sap or bird droppings on the car, just saturate the offending matter, and it will generally come off with a little prodding.

The scent is pleasing with a slight lemon hint. It comes out clear and did a great job eliminating the rain induced dirt.After use of Turtle Wax Waterless Wash and Wax

This would be a great product for a road trip, where your hotel might be objecting to you dragging out buckets of soapy water in the garage. For those of you facing water shortages and car wash limits, this is a viable option as well. I know I’ll be utilizing this on my next road trip, how about you?

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Drag-U-La Selling at Russo and Steele

If you are a certain age, you’ll remember the TV hit- The Munsters. This comedy featured some famous bits and even some neater cars, like the Drag-U-La. It seems strange that the producers would allow purpose built cars that would last for only a few episodes. But we’re glad they did.DragULa Front End

Drag-U-La

The story line was that Grandpa had to build a dragster to race and win back Herman’s “The Munster Koach”. So Hollywood had George Barris produce the car/casket vehicle. While Barris has been known for claiming credit for builds that are barely linked to his firm, this one was designed by Tom Daniel under his auspices. Richard Korkes took on the build and used an actual coffin for the “body”.

The original car moved among sellers after the series and a movie ended. At one point it was owned by Planet Hollywood. The Volo Car Museum had it for a while before flipping it. By then it had a 302 engine and an automatic transmission.DragULa Passenger Side Close Up

Drag-U-La Recreation

So why are we talking about a custom car from the 60’s? Because auction house Russo and Steele has a recreation of the Drag-U-La on their docket for this weekend. We had a chance to part the crowds at a recent Cars and Coffee and check it out on the flat bed tow truck.

Drag-U-La’s Design

This version has the reliable 350 ci engine and a two speed PowerGlide automatic transmission. With such little weight, only functional rear brakes were installed. Just like the original, the exhaust pipes sweep up to look like a church’s organ pipes. The seller claims plenty of “vintage” car parts but also indicates the have “custom made vintage air cleaner”.DragULa Passenger Front

This front engine coffin will certainly be a crowd pleaser when you pull up, but the single seat does limit the ability to hop onto the HOV lanes. Hopefully this is a car you would “die for?”

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Gas Monkey Garage at Barrett-Jackson Auction Scottsdale 2018

Gas Monkey Garage at Barrett-Jackson Car Auction

At this week’s Barrett-Jackson Car Auction, the presence of Gas Monkey Garage is sparse. A 56 Nomad done for Mountain Dew and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in a can’t miss green and silver color scheme is the most obvious car linked to the Gas Monkey Garage crew.Gas Monkey Garage 1956 Nomad Side View

Gas Monkey Garage

For a spell the bar outside the auction stage was a Gas Monkey Garage theme, but that has dropped out. I suspect that Richard Rawlings might show up since he’s selling his 2016 Shelby Mustang GT350R with only a scant 200 miles clicked on the odometer. But who knows for sure? That Mustang is slated to sell on Friday.

Gas Monkey Garage Past Offerings

We’ve kept a close eye on Gas Monkey garage’s offerings even before the series became a monster hit.  Remember this hot rod from the early years?

As for the Nomad, who wouldn’t remember that bright green custom wagon? The current owner has a neat set of sunshades on the rear windows. Gas Monkey Garage 1956 Nomad Rear Window ShadeThe wagon has a 350 CI Chevy ZZ4 crate motor, TH350 automatic transmission, air conditioning and all the trick goodies. This video shows the wagon in action.

Gas Monkey Garage Season 4 Fast N’ Loud

Gas Monkey Garage built the car in 2013 during their fourth season on Discovery and of course they had an impossible deadline to beat. This car was used as a promotion for Mountain Dew, one of Earnhardt’s sponsors and hence the color on the 56 Nomad. Of course fans of Richard Rawlings know that his favorite color is green. Both for cars and for money.Gas Monkey Garage 1956 Nomad Passenger Side 2

The car had previously been offered for sale on eBay at $78,500 nearly four years ago. It also was offered on the internet at $69,500. So it will be interesting to see what the car fetches on prime time Saturday. Any guesses?

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FAST at Barrett Jackson Changes Meaning Here’s Why

FAST at Barrett-Jackson Car Auction

FASTAt the Barrett-Jackson Car Auction, FAST usually 2018 at all of Craig Jackson’s car auctions, FAST will have a totally different and potentially lifesaving meaning.

FAST PSA

For the first time Barrett-Jackson will focus for the whole year on heart disease as a public service message with the American Heart Association. The auctions have always been known for their charity car sales which now approaches almost $100 million in donations. But for 2018 Craig Jackson explained that they will be sending out a heart safe message to their participants.FAST Craig Jackson

FAST

FAST also stands for the warning signs of a heart attack.

F              Facial drooping

A             Arm weakness

S              Speech slurred

T              Time to call 9-1-1

 

1988 Corvette Charity Car

As part of the year-long notification, Jackson had his personal Bugatti Veyron wrapped in red and silver with the #DRIVEN HEARTS hast tag splashed across the sides. FAST Veyron Front Left ViewPlus at next week’s Scottsdale, AZ auction he will be donating the sale of his 1988 Chevrolet Corvette to help fight heart disease. Ironically this sports car had been given him by long time auction consignor and car dealer, Dave Ressler. Ressler recently died from heart disease so this re-gifting is so suiting.FAST 88 Corvette

In addition Barrett-Jackson is sponsoring a special Arizona license plate theme, with $17 of the state yearly fee going to the American Heart Association. FAST AZ license plateSo there are several ways that Barrett-Jackson will help benefit the hearts of car fans!

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Turbos Are Old School Like 1962 Oldsmobile Jetfire

Turbos

While car manufacturers have been releasing new models with turbochargers as power adders, they have actually been around for quite awhile. Recently turbos were added to the Ford Focus and Fiesta engines, and even the trucking F-150. Turbos gain their power by using the exhaust gases to spin a turbine to help compress the incoming air to the engine. The denser the air, the more power the engine can make.

With the right engine, today’s shade tree mechanic could add their own turbocharger to easily increase the power. Completely spec’d kits are available, or you could piece out the individual parts.

Grand National TurbosBuick Grand National Turbo

Buicks made a case for the turbos with their 1984 Regal Grand National and gained quite a following, until they stopped production in 1987. Another early innovator was the Corvair, that offered a turbo in 1962 to help polish their “sporty” image. The turbo charged Spyder engine made 150 horses as an option for the Corvair Monza coupes and convertibles.1962 Chevrolet Corvair Monza Club Turbo

Jetfire Turbos

But Oldsmobile rushed out their Jetfire to be the first turbocharged engine offering to the American motoring public in 1962. The Jetfire was a spin off on the F-85 Oldsmobile hardtop. It came with a 215 CI V-8 engine with a Garrett turbocharger making 215 horses (one horsepower per cubic inch of displacement). To avoid deadly detonation, the owners had to blend in a water and methanol mixture of “Rocket Fluid”. The other performance engine from Olds, without the turbo, was the same 215 CI engine but with just a four barrel carburetor. it could only offer up 185 horsepower.1962 Oldsmobile Turbo Jetfire

A 1962 Oldsmobile Jetfire was recently offered on eBay and the red exterior mimicked the sales brochures from the day. The owner indicated it is a ground up restoration but with a few items still needing a look at. The owner installed a new turbocharger and added in air conditioning for comfort.Jetfire Turbo Engine

So when your neighbor pops the hood on his Ford Fiesta ST and brags about his beastly turbo on his three cylinder engine, you can tell him that turbos are old school too.

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SEMA Collector Car Appreciation Day Is Today

Any day is a good day to drive a classic car, but Friday July 14th will be exceptionally good.  That is the day that SEMA will celebrate their annual Collector Car Appreciation Day.  This will mark the eighth year that SEMA seeks to acknowledge the vital impact classic cars and their owners contribute to America.

The US Senate has passed resolutions noting the collector car  celebratory day each year.  SEMA is encouraging collector car owners to set up special cruises or events to mark this day (or even the whole month of July, since many might not be able to participate on a workday.)

So expect an interesting view in the employee parking lots this Friday.  And if you don’t have a classic to drive consider these three iconic cars. They’ll always be popular and cool

32 Ford Deuce

The truly iconic looking roadster has been celebrated on US stamps and is an eye catcher, although driving “topless’ in July’s heat may not be the best choice. A roadster by definition has no top and no side windows.  It was designed to be fast and look cool. Mission accomplished. 

Corvette convertible

Hard to go wrong with any year of America’s sportscar.  To down weather is here and the Corvette’s are meant for the open road.

 

57 Chevy

57 Chevy post
1957 2 door sedan

The display of chrome and sharp angles is a classic look for the late 50’s and reflects our interest in the upcoming Space Age.  The 1957 model was the last year of the “tri-five” Chevys and some might say it was the best of all three years. There are always a ready supply of parts for these Chevys and plenty of reference materials. Plus restored vehicles are readily available.

Some may say that any day is a good day to drive a classic.  Plus driving these cars are good for them and you!  So take a cruise in a classic today and everyday!

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Arizona Concours D’Elegance Shuts Down

Arizona Concours D’Elegance

Last month the Arizona Concours D’Elegance regretfully announced that after a successful four year run, they were discontinuing the show. Held at the beginning of Arizona Auction week in January on the grounds of the Arizona Biltmore, they drew a diverse collection of cars, in unique classes. The grounds at the Biltmore made for a great background for those cars too.

Arizona Concours D’Elegance Accomplishments

Over the years we’ve covered the event and met a great group of car owners and volunteers. The show was able to raise over $300,000 for their designated charity, Make A Wish. So in many measures it was a success. But without support from sponsoring companies with deep pockets, the organizing board opted to shut down the show.

Here are some links to previous coverage

2017 Coverage

2016 Winners and More Coverage in 2016

2015 Coverage

Arizona Auction Week

Arizona Auction Week will be held next year from January 14-21, 2018. Last year seven different companies had auctions in the area. It is hard to imagine but over $260 million of dollars traded hands in one week; buying and selling American and imported metal and fiberglass, with nearly 3,500 vehicles available to buy. These Arizona auctions are highly anticipated; setting the tone for the classic car market for the year.

Here is the text of the board’s notice –

Thank you

We are humbled by the critical acclaim bestowed upon the Arizona Concours d’Elegance over the past four years by the public, the media and our participants. However, the long-term success of events such as the Arizona Concours is built on sustained corporate support. Although the event has been a critical success, it unfortunately has not established the financial foundation necessary to support it sustainably into the future.

There will not be a 2018 Arizona Concours d”Elegance.

Our sincerest gratitude goes to the dedicated Concours Committee, many faithful volunteers, our wonderful entrants and judges, as well as numerous sponsors.

We thank every one of those who have supported us with your investment of time, talent, enthusiasm and resources. You all have been directly responsible for raising more than $300,000 for Make-A-Wish® Arizona, enabling the granting of more than 30 wishes for young people who face the most serious of life’s challenges.

“In the beginning, we set out to achieve a word-class Concours and an event that would positively impact the lives of children in need. The group of people responsible for the Arizona Concours take great pride in what has been achieved and we thank all of those who worked so hard to make this, our dream, a reality. As Dr. Seuss said, ‘Don’t cry because it is ending…be happy because it happened!’” Kevin Cornish, executive director of the Arizona Concours

 

 

Arizona will miss all of your efforts and benefits

 

 

Alumatub by Boyd Coddington Sells at Barrett-Jackson

Alumatub, Boyd Coddington’s third all aluminum build sells at the Barrett-Jackson auction this week.  This was the third in a series of aluminum bodied customs that Coddington produced.  The top can come off to allow for a roadster feel. Alumatub Passenger Side

Alumatub Specs

This one is powered by a Chevy small block 350 and sends power to the back through a Chevrolet TH350 transmission with a quick change rear end.  The body work was done by famed master Marcel‘s Custom Metal and is hard to believe this was hand formed and not stamped out on a press.  Our friends at Hot Rod sure loved it.Alumatub Driver's Side

Alumatub Build

This hand crafted Boyd Coddington build was showcased on his TV show, “American Hot Rod” TV series which can still be seen on the Discovery Channel. After Coddington’s untimely death, it was thought that his builds would increase in value as his output was now finalized. Alumatub Rear End

Alumatub Prices

Alumatub first sold at Barrett-Jackson in 2005 to Ron Pratte with a listed price, including commissions, of $170,500.  He sold it ten years later for $187,000 in 2015.  The current owner is selling this year and it’ll be interesting to see what it sells for.

Any guesses?

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Hennessey Venom GT Selling at Barrett-Jackson

Steven Tyler’s 2012 Hennessey Venom GT convertible is selling next week at the Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale, AZ. Tyler, from American Idol and Aerosmith fame, bought the first convertible that Hennessey built and is donating the proceeds to a child abuse group- Janie’s Fund which he created.

Hennessey Venom GT Spyder

The Hennessey VENOM GT convertible holds the top speed record for convertibles at 270.49 mph, set in 2014 at the Houston Space Center. 0-60 times is a scorching 2.7 seconds while the 0-200 mph time is a “sedate” 14.5 seconds.Hennessey Venom GT Front View

Hennessey Specs

How did Hennessey created such a speed demon? Take a 7 liter V-8 (Gm’s 427 ci LSX engine) and add twin turbos to created 1244 horsepower. Craft the mid-engine convertible out of carbon fiber, sitting on a composite/aluminum monocoque frame so it weighs in at 2,743 pounds. It is actually based on the Lotus Exige.

The car has a Ricardo 6 speed manual transmission, Brembo six piston brakes, electric assisted rack and pinion steering and adjustable coil overs. The car even has a JL Audio system.Hennessey Venom GT Rear view

It’ll be interesting to see what this supercar sells for at Friday’s auction spot.  What’s your guess for the hammer price on this Hennessey Venom GT?

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