Tag Archives: Chevrolet

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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Engraved 64 Chevrolet Impala SS

Let’s take a look at this 1964 Chevrolet Impala recently seen at a San Diego, CA car show and check off some boxes.1964 Impala SS

1964 Impala SS     Check

Low Rider with a wicked stance     Check

Fantastic plaint job       Check

Chrome work     Check and Double CHECK it out!

Yep, that chrome has been engraved upon!  Anything that was dipped in  chrome is engraved including the hood latch which is normally closed as you cruise the boulevard.1964 Impala SS Engraved Hood Latch

Engraving a car’s chrome is a tedious and time consuming work and if you thought a cowboy belt buckle was intricate, take a look at this workmanship.  That takes detailing to a whole new level.

1964 Chevrolet Impala

The car is a wicked looking 1964 Chevy Impala SS, which by itself would be a keeper.  Add on a trick paint job and throw in that “in the weeds,” low rider stance and you have a winner.  But the engraving took it over the top.  What do you think?

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Classic Car- Drive it or Store it?

2003 Corvette Front EndIt is a continuing dilemma for the classic car market.  You run across a collectible car with ridiculously low mileage.  The car owner may even be asking for a premium for such a low mileage beauty.  The car probably comes with every artifact that came from the factory.  But here is the dilemma.  Do you buy the car and continue to keep it in storage and keep the odometer from rolling up? Or do you say the car was meant to be driven and keep the pedal to the metal, as the numbers on the odometer tick up?

There is an adage in collector car circles, that a car can only be original once.  Similarly the car can only have that low odometer reading once too.  Some fans will argue that to appreciate the car it needs to be driven and enjoyed.  But they acknowledge that by doing so, the value will tank. Others will argue it can be enjoyed while staying intact in the garage.  What to do?

This 2003 Corvette is a perfect example of this conundrum.  The first owner appears to have taken exceptional care of this stored classic.  He says he started the car every couple of months to circulate the fluids and moved the car every 4-6 months, to avoid flat spotting the tires.  He has all the marketing materials and even kept the interior lined in the factory plastic protective wrap. His “Buy It Now” price of $44,900 certainly is a premium to other models that sell with loads more miles showing.

The 2003 Corvette marked the 50th anniversary of the iconic nameplate and was highly sought after.   There is even a registry just for these cars. List price was probably over $56,000 and some dealers were aggressive in marking up these 50th Anniversary Editions.  11,632 of these Anniversary Red metallic C-5’s were made and occasionally you can find one with less than 20,000 miles; but this convertible has only 57 original miles!

So do you buy it and start driving it? After all the posting does say – “Drive it home if you want. It’s ready to go.”  Or maintain it as is, and keep the low miles?

Let us know what you would do if you were the new owner.

Please note images in this post is NOT the car for sale