Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Gassers...What Made Racing Great

by Andrea L. Algar
Motorheads Performance

When I got into cars with my husband Guy, I had no idea what the term "Gasser" meant, but I knew it was important in drag racing history, so I knew I had better learn since I was being groomed to live in the world of classic cars, muscle cars and cars that run on the street and on the drag strip!

First, let me say that "Gasser" is more a "style". It does not define a specific car, manufacturer, or a rigid setup. In many ways, it is a "culture"... and one that I predict is making a comeback in huge ways. In order to understand the culture, you have to dig much deeper than just how they evolved, the look they are famous for, or the contributions to our current sport of drag racing. It was a way of life that encouraged individuality, sportsmanship, camaraderie.....and FUN!

Some love the look of a Gasser, others do not...likening them to cartoons, but one thing you walk away with once you understand what they are and how they came to be, is that they are deserving of the special place they hold in automotive history. I like to think of them as pre-cursers to the muscle cars, for without the innovations the hot rodders made, we wouldn't have had them. Do I love Gassers?......You bet I do!

Over the years, I've learned that the term "Gasser" was created in the late 1950's -1960's for a vehicle that drag raced on gasoline rather than racing fuel. They were built to compete in "heads up" drag racing. Gassers were at their height from 1955-1968 when they dominated drag strips across the country. It can safely be said that Gassers were responsible for the successful launch of the NHRA. In fact, Gassers and Fuel Altered cars were the top drag racing classes prior to today's Top Fuel Dragsters, Funny Cars, and Pro Stock classes.

Gassers were often built, maintained and raced by the owner, or with a small "crew" of buddies. Professional "teams" did not exist at the time...they developed as the sport grew in popularity. As Gassers developed, racers made modifications to the suspension and wheelbase of their preferred car in order to go for a competitive edge. Some worked - others did not.

The best known modification is the straight-axle front suspension, which in today's "Gasser" world, is a necessity. Not only did the straight-axle create an intimidating stance, it served an important function of transferring weight to the rear wheels, giving the driver a big start line advantage. This is one reason why you'll see the "nose-up" stance which also helps to transfer weight to the rear "drive" wheels.


Most Gassers are based on production models from the ‘30s through the ‘60s that have been stripped of extra weight, modified with a solid front axle and “jacked up” with suspension modifications. Cars with shorter wheelbases are preferable due to lower overall weights. Other modifications were weight-reduction techniques including fiberglass body panels, stripped interiors, bumper removal and Plexiglas windows. Built for racing, Gassers are often subject to an engine swap and it’s common to include fuel injection and performance headers. These changes translate to faster speeds and lower elapsed times at the drags.

But, these modifications are not just thrown-together by shade-tree mechanics! There is science behind the choices, and they've been time-tested by the daring guys that jumped behind the wheel and raced them. And, there are rules you adhere to when creating a Gasser. Big meaty tires in the rear, smaller tires in the front, yes, but true Gassers adhere to a formula perfected by the pioneers, and it's one that is not often deviated from. Those who make them know, for example, that there are only 5 wheels you can put on the front of a Gasser!

Certain brands of cars were well-suited to being modified into Gassers. Most popular were the Willys, Anglia, Henry J, Austin, Studebaker, Thames and of course, Chevrolet and Ford. So what specific model cars are chosen for Gassers?  Although just about any car could be made into a Gasser style, the ones that were selected have remained the most sought after by those who covet them. Probably the best-known, most-popular, most-desired (and thereby most-expensive) is the Willys.

Willys vehicles dominate the "most-desired" list and have cars from two distinct eras, with the '41 Willys topping the list. The '41-'42 Willys were officially called the Willys Americar. Willys-Overland produced this style from '37 to '42, long before the company later became known as Jeep. The '40 Willys runs a close second with their distinctive two-piece grill assembly and slightly different trim design. The '33 Willys Model 77 Coupe is #3 on the list. Back in the day, $395 bought you a vehicle that now sells for $90k or more in original steel.

Other popular Gassers include the '55 Chevy Gasser, which many have dubbed as the "coolest" of all the Gassers. Chevy conversions were popular in large part because of the great monster stock engines that Chevy created. They were easy to work on, parts were affordable and plentiful, and they were customizable. Add a solid front axle, fiberglass front end, fenderwell headers, radiused wheel wells, slicks....you've got yourself a Gasser! It's no wonder why the '55 Gasser got starring roles in classic 50's movies such as American Graffiti, Two Lane Blacktop, and a lesser-known Sometimes They Come Back.

While we're talking Chevy, we can't forget the '55 Nomad. Popular as a stock street car, it is also a very popular car for gassers, making #7 in the top ten list. Other Chevys include the '57 Corvette (yes, a Corvette Gasser), which was a popular choice for those who could afford it. These C1 Vettes were popular because they came straight from the factory being able to do the 1/4 mile in an amazing 14.3 seconds! The '49 Chevy was another popular choice that produced monster Gassers.

Although Willys and Chevys seem to dominate, there were a few other models that stand on their own in the world of Gassers. 1955 was a popular year for Gassers, and Ford was not to be left out with it's contribution of the '55 Thunderbird, a car developed by Ford to compete head-on with the Corvette. In '55 they actually outsold Corvette 26:1 and made them a popular choice for Gassers.

A late-comer to the Gasser group was the '48 Anglia, a car manufactured by Ford in the U.K. This little car was once tauted as the "cheapest car in the world" because of their sparse features. Their lightweight body and short wheelbase made these little rockets popular in the 60's after the NHRA made a rule-change which allowed the shorter wheelbase.

And finally, another late-comer to the group of most-popular Gassers was the '51 Henry J, a car developed by the Kaiser-Frazer Corp. Their distinctive front-end certainly draws attention, but what caught the eye of the racers was the fact that they were 18" shorter than the average 50's car, and made great Gassers!

Over the years, many of these cars have been turned into formidable racing machines on the strip and street. Although they had lost their presence in current drag race classes, they can still be seen in nostalgia drag races across the country, and we're seeing a rise in popularity as many re-discover the Great Gassers!

RESOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Hot Rod Magazine - Gasser Heaven
Wikipedia - Gasser (car)
YouTube VIDEO - 2012 Gasser Reunion / Nostalgia Drag Racing Videos

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Andrea L. Algar is co-owner of a classic car performance and restoration design shop in Leesville, Texas. Motorheads Performance specializes in repairs, maintenance, performance upgrades and restorative work on cars and trucks from the 1930's through 1970's. Her husband Guy L. Algar is a Mechanical Engineer with over 25 years experience. He holds 5 ASE Certifications from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence and has been working on old cars and trucks for over 37 years. Together they share their passion for old cars and trucks with other enthusiasts from around the country.


Monday, August 17, 2015

Recovery of Stolen Vehicles is Rare & Often Disasterous

by Andrea L. Algar
Motorheads Performance

Today some great news came out of a stolen classic car that was actually recovered in tact! This is a rarity that anyone who has had their beloved ride stolen would love to experience, but seldom can.

In fact, recent Facebook fans have reported dream cars that were stolen and never recovered. If you are lucky enough to get it back, it is most often missing parts or damaged.

John Schnatter, founder of Papa John's sold his 1971 gold and black Z27 Camaro to help save his father's tavern in Indiana. After years of searching for the vehicle, he found it in 1971 and was lucky enough to buy it back.

Schnatter had the car at the Woodward Dream Cruise in Detroit this weekend, where the vehicle was reported missing on Sunday. Word spread quickly of the loss, and most everyone in the classic car world felt the pain of his loss. Around 10 AM Monday morning, however, news reports emerged that the vehicle had been found along with two other vehicles stolen at the event.

While we're impressed that the vehicles were recovered so quickly, and it doesn't appear that there is damage, we throw out the caution that it is ill-advised to get too comfortable even at events where co-enthusiasts gather.

For more information on how to keep your classic car or muscle car safe, read our series of articles:


ARTICLE RESOURCES:
AOL News

AUTHOR'S NOTE:  
Guy and I realize that the safety of your classic car or muscle car is extremely important to most owners. Everyone wants to protect their ride with methods that work, and that won't bust the bank. Guy Algar was an Installation Technician for LoJack at one point in his career, and served as a troubleshooter for difficult installations. A complete list of links for Theft Prevention and Theft Protection will appear in my upcoming article. Have a story you'd like to share? Leave a comment and we may publish your story! - Andrea L. Algar

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Andrea L. Algar is co-owner of a classic car performance and restoration design shop in Leesville, Texas. Motorheads Performance specializes in repairs, maintenance, performance upgrades and restorative work on cars and trucks from the 1920’s through 1970’s. Her husband Guy L. Algar is a Mechanical Engineer with over 25 years experience. He holds 5 ASE Certifications from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence and has been working on old cars and trucks for over 37 years. Together they share their passion for old cars and trucks with other enthusiasts from around the country.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

What Does It Take To Rebuild A Small Block Engine? 4 Minute Time Lapse Video Shows What Is Involved.

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There are a lot of do it yourselfers out there who do engine work themselves and do a fair to good job of it. But, if you're looking for real performance, it's often wise to turn to the professionals at a quality machine shop.

If you've got any doubts, take a look at this video which was put together by Hagerty to celebrate the 60th birthday of the small block. Time lapse video shows what it takes to pull together an engine rebuild in just 4 minutes!


Take a look at the equipment that is needed to accomplish the job with the precision needed to grind and polish components to exact measurements required to produce specific performance requirements for engines. Each piece of equipment can cost thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars and are designed to perform very specific jobs.

So next time you're wondering whether it's worth the cost, watch this video again and you'll probably gladly shell out the money to have your engine "done right". After all, your engine is the heart of your ride. Motorheads Performance believes in doing it right!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Ice Cream Automobiles - Remembering "Pop"

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This week we lost “Pop” but rather than be saddened I feel joy in remembering his life of almost 82 years and our "ice cream automobiles"!

My dad lost his rather short battle with a very aggressive brain tumor November 19th. While his passing happened in the most peaceful non-suffering way, which is a blessing, it stirred up a lot of memories as I looked for comfort in the last weeks and again as I reviewed his obituary. I’m inspired by my husband Guy, but my dad helped make the work I do with classic cars and muscle cars possible.

"Pop" as a boy next to the family car
I’m convinced that my memory of “how one chooses a great car” was quite different than that of most kids. For as long as I can remember, I recall my dad (referred to as “Pop” ever since my oldest daughter renamed him when she learned to talk) saying that the car had to: 1) know it’s way to the ice cream shop, 2) have head room, and 3) be big enough for all of us on the long car trips our family often took.

As a matter-of-fact, when I was a little girl, I actually believed that our car “knew the way to the Dairy Queen all by itself!” That’s what our dad said every time we were on our way to get a big cone, shake, or a hot fudge sundae. He would even raise his hands in the “look no hands” style, secretly steering with his knee, exclaiming, “Look, it’s taking us for ice cream!” much to the excitement of us all! Sometimes he’d pretend to “fight” with the car to try to keep it from taking us there, with us squealing and begging him to let it drive there. On long road trips, our cars all magically found old ice cream stands in the middle of nowhere so it was easy to believe that he was telling the truth!

Looking back over all the cars we had owned, they were always ranked as to how well they transported us to the local ice cream shop, Dairy Queen, or any (and all) ice cream stands along the road.  Top dog was “The Flying Rabbit”, a 1960's big white Olds 98 that was one of his two favorite cars. Second was “Molly”, the trusty and reliable white 1955 Chevy station wagon that transported all us kids throughout our early years. 

The car with the most notorious history (and almost equally adept at getting us to an ice cream store even though we were teenagers by then) was the green 1972 Lincoln Continental that was stolen and used in a Kenmore Square bank robbery in 1975! (Yeah, I know, not much of a collector car, but he did love the room in that one.) Never could get the red dye out of the rear seat so he reluctantly sold the car because you couldn’t drive in it without your eyes tearing, even after many attempts at professional cleaning. I don’t know what they used in the red dye in those days, but it was certainly potent!

My idea of an ideal car has always varied from my dads. He was one who loved the cars that I didn’t, but that didn’t stop us from talking about them and having fun debates. He was a fan of the Fords and the square-bodied cars of the early 1960’s – ones I enjoyed calling “ugly” just to get him riled up. Being 6’5” tall, he valued cars that had a bit of head room and a large roomy interior, so he was a happy camper during the 1950’s when headroom was never an issue, and through the 1960’s and 1970’s when big cars were easy to find and just kept getting bigger and bigger. 

I, however, had a taste for something quite different. Being 10-11 years old at the time, I remember being fascinated with the 1968 and 1969 cars. Didn’t really matter what they were – Mopar, Chevy, Pontiac and yeah, sometimes the Ford Mustang – there was just something about the sexy lines of the cars that made me love them. My favorites at the time were the Firebird and the Corvette Stingray. I couldn’t put one above the other though – I loved them both even though I was far too young for driving.

My dad, at the time, talked of putting together a Cobra kit car. He had bought every book and read every car magazine on the subject, and he felt it would be a fun thing to do because you were doing all the work yourself. There is truth in the saying that it’s one thing to drive it, another to drive something you’ve built yourself.

My dad was an inspiration to me. At times when I did not conform to the “girlie” things that most little girls did, he encouraged me and liked my enthusiasm. When I was about 4-5 years old I insisted that the only thing in the world I wanted for Christmas was a set of pearl handled guns (with holster of course) so I could be a cowboy, or the time when I was about 8 and wanted to build a go-cart, which he happily helped me plan out using old parts from all sorts of odds and ends I thought would do the job. These helped set the stage for feeling comfortable doing the unconventional. While I’ve always done the “girlie” things like being a part-time modeling instructor at just 16, I’ve always preferred simple, creative things that are much more satisfying - photography, horses, gardening...and now old cars.

Pop also opened my eyes to Guy, who was a friend I felt an unusual kinship to. We shared so many things in common and could have placed ourselves in each other’s home as a kid and thought we were still in our own. While I had always liked driving cars, Guy opened my eyes to the enjoyment of them. Working on them with him taught me how satisfying it was to “wrench”. Watching and feeling the passion he felt about the old cars was like flipping a light switch – I had a sudden understanding of what men see in their cars, (you know the things we women giggle or roll our eyes over) and I must admit, I’m hooked!

My ’73 Corvette Stingray is a testament to this, and to my constant love for my two favorite cars. I am finally knee deep in my own ambitious restoration that I am completing myself  - with guidance and welding from Guy when I need it, along with some enthusiastic help from our daughter who restored her own 1985 Jeep CJ7 - complete with it's bubble-gum pink engine!

Pop has supported our work with classic cars and muscle cars, and was always thoroughly impressed with Guy’s immense knowledge of them. Pop had a lot of knowledge he had obtained from reading just about everything, but not so much hands-on experience. His experience went about as far as planning the build that never materialized due to work, kids, bills, etc. – you know, the kind of things everyone who has ever owned a classic car or muscle car has had to deal with at some point!  Some decide to stick it out and stubbornly hold onto their dream, others let the dream slide by, and some get a start with something only to let it go at the wife’s urging or insistence (more on that in another article)! But Pop always loved hearing about the projects we had both in our shop and those of our own.


I’ll dearly miss our “Pop” – my dad – but he will continue to inspire us in the work we do at Motorheads Performance.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Is Illegal Street Racing Worth the Risk or the Penalty?

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Guy and I both love drag racing, and get out to the San Antonio Raceway, Royal Purple Raceway and the Houston Motor Sports Park as often as possible. As much as street racing can be downright enticing, it is often considered far better to get your grudge on at the drag strip where it can be done safely and legally!

After reading the article below, it certainly gets you to wonder, "Is it really worth the decision to race someone in a grudge match on the street?" Here's the consequences you could face if caught street racing in Texas:

Drivers - Class B Misdemeanor: $2000 fine, 180 days in jail or both, automatic suspension of license for up to one year (and 10 hours community service before reinstated)

Repeat Offenders - up to 2nd Degree Felony - Up to $10,000 fine, jail time 2-20 years, suspension of license. If two convictions, next offense could be life! Caught street racing while drunk is even more severe with first offense upgraded to 2nd degree felony regardless of blood alcohol level if open containers are found in the vehicle.

Other Cautions - Passengers can receive punishments just as severe. Spectators (anyone caught watching) can be fined up to $500 and have their vehicles towed. If anyone is accidentally killed, they can face manslaughter and/or felony charges.

So, Motorheads Performance asks you: Is it worth it? Cast your vote...

___ yes, I'd still chance it
___ no, I wouldn't risk it

See Story & Video

Thursday, July 3, 2014

July 11th Just Named "Collector Car Appreciation Day"

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SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association, has gone to bat for all the classic car enthusiasts who love their collector cars a special appreciation day. Now anyone who loves classic cars, vintage trucks, antique automobiles or muscle cars can commemorate in an annual event to celebrate the restoration of historic and classic cars and trucks.

Photo Credit: Super Chevy Show by AAlgar
Steve McDonald, SEMA Vice President of Government Affairs stated, "We thank the U.S. Senate for its continued recognition of the collector car hobby as a valued American Tradition and pastime. With Australia and Canada joining the celebration, Collector Car Appreciation Day has now become an international recognition of the collector car industry and the millions of hobbyists it supports. A number of states and local governments have adopted similar commemorative declarations as well."

Two SEMA councils, the Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) and Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA), worked with lawmakers in designing a resolution designating July 11th as "Collector Car Appreciation Day". The U.S. Senate passed Senate Resolution 493 (S. Res. 493) June 30, 2014, acknowledging the importance of collector cars in America. The Resolution was sponsored by Congressional Automotive Performance and Motorsports Caucus, a non-partisan member organization.

Rick Love, Chairman of HRIA said, "Businesses and car clubs across the country will be hosting car shows and cruises. More events are being held to commemorate this special day each year." Motorheads Performance, a repair and restoration shop serving San Antonio and South Central Texas, encourages enthusiasts to take part in 2014 celebrations by attending events in their area.

Guy Algar, owner of Motorheads Performance, states, "In the past, we have hosted a fun car show designed specifically for classic car and muscle car enthusiasts, and have recently heard from many of our customers that they would like to participate in one if we put one together again. We'd like to hear whether you would like to celebrate Collector Car Appreciation Day with us next year." Please contact Motorheads Performance if you would like to bring a car, help organize the event, or just attend.

RESOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION:
SEMA - Event List for Collector Car Appreciation Day
Motorheads Performance - Contact about organizing a Classic Car Show Saturday, July 11, 2015

ABOUT SEMA
SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association founded in 1963, represents the $31.3 billion specialty automotive industry of 6,537 member-companies. It is the authoritative source for research, data, trends and market growth information for the specialty auto parts industry. The industry provides appearance, performance, comfort, convenience and technology products for passenger and recreational vehicles. For more information, contact SEMA at 909-610-2030 or visit www.sema.org or www.enjoythedrive.com.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

New Forever Stamps Pay Tribute To The Hot Rods We Love

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Hot rod enthusiasts have something to celebrate! The U.S. Postal Service has just unveiled a new series of stamps called "Hot Rods Forever Stamps", with two stamps depicting hot rods that are instantly recognizable to all. Often referred to as the "Deuce", the stamps showcase the classic hot rod with a black 1932 Ford Roadster with orange flames as well as a red 1932 Ford.

According to a USPS press release, the stamps are available in booklets containing 20 stamps that can be used at anytime, even if postal rates increase in the future. The NSRA (National Street Rod Association) was on hand at a dedication ceremony to launch the newly released stamps. With the Street Rod Nationals in York, Pennsylvania as the location for the big reveal, it showed that some thought went into the creation and launch of the new stamp.

Whether you are into restoring, collecting, cruising, racing or just enjoy looking at them at a show or on the street, you'll probably agree that the tribute is long overdue.

Postmaster General, Patrick Donahoe, released a statement which said, "These hot rod stamps mark the beginning of America's fascination with customizing fast cars. And they're just as popular today as they were decades ago." I'd say that hot rods are probably even more popular today than decades ago. The resurgence of interest that was sparked a decade ago has grown faster and stronger than anyone would have imagined, and even through the economic slowdown, most enthusiasts have not given up on their dreams of owning and enjoying these great cars and trucks.

Motorheads Performance doesn't need any urging to begin using the stamps. We love the fact that hot rods have received some great attention that brings awareness and interest to a new generation of people who can get involved in classic cars, muscle cars, vintage trucks and other vehicles from our past that we continue to cherish and enjoy. We encourage all our followers to stock up!

What do you think of the new stamps?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Bizarre Seizure of Fully Restored Classic Car is Saddening

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There is a story I read that I just had to comment on because it's something any classic car owner or potential classic car buyer would be and SHOULD BE frightened of.

It's not so difficult to imagine yourself in these shoes:

You read an ad in Craigslist (or eBay, your local newspaper, or through a friend-of-a-friend) and see the car you've been dreaming of. You purchase the car, spend time and lots of money restoring it.....only to find that it had been a stolen vehicle. The car is seized by the State!

A frightening story to be sure. But, what if you had been given a legitimate title for the car from your State? Anyone would feel reassured enough to sink a bu__load of money into a restoration, right? The story is so bizarre I wouldn't think of paraphrasing it. You just have to read it yourself.

Motorheads Performance suggests you do your homework on any classic car or muscle car you may think of purchasing. There are many things to look for. Yes, the paint and body is important, as is the engine and drivetrain components. But just how many people think of looking at the VIN plates and checking out the title?

This may just leave you wondering whether that "great deal" you saw for a song is really worth it. No title?... Forget it!!!

What would you do if this were you?

RESOURCE:
azcentral.com - Dad Loses Classic Car After State Mistake

Friday, February 14, 2014

UPDATE: National Corvette Museum Sinkhole Buries 8 Rare Corvettes - Museum Accepting Donations

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News broke Wednesday about the 8 valuable Corvettes that were swallowed up and buried when a giant sinkhole opened up right in the middle of the National Corvette Museum in Kentucky. News was swift, and many enthusiasts were in sorrow to think that these legendary cars were lost forever. But are they?

Photo Credit: National Corvette Museum
General Motors announced yesterday that it will make efforts to restore all eight collector Corvettes. This won't be an easy task, since most are buried in the rubble at the bottom of a gigantic sinkhole that is 40 feet wide and estimated to be between 25 and 30 feet deep!

Structural engineers have reportedly been brought in to assess the site for safety and whether the vehicles can be retrieved from the Sky Dome. If any of the vehicles can be retrieved from the cavern that was created, they will be sent to the Mechanical Assembly facility at GM Design for restoration.

As reported in a General Motors press release, "The vehicles at the National Corvette Museum are some of the most significant in automotive history," said Mark Reuss, executive vice president of General Motors Global Product Development. "There can only be one 1-millionth Corvette ever built. We want to ensure as many of the damaged cars are restored as possible so fans from around the world can enjoy them when the Museum reopens." At least two of the cars have been valued at $1 Million apiece. Values of the other six vehicles have not yet been released.

Since the National Corvette Museum is privately owned and relies on fund raising and private contributions, they're going to need help restoring the facility and the attempts to retrieve the damaged cars. Most contributions come from private individuals and Corvette enthusiasts. The Museum is currently accepting donations on its website to assist in raising funds. Donations are tax-deductible.

As previously reported, the cars missing are:

  • 1962 Corvette
  • 1984 PPG Pace Car
  • 1992 1 Millionth Corvette
  • 1993 ZR-1 Spyder
  • 1993 40th Anniversary Corvette
  • 2001 Mallett Hammer Z06 Corvette
  • 2009 1.5 Millionth Corvette
  • 2009 ZR1 "Blue Devil"

Thursday, February 13, 2014

BREAKING NEWS: Huge Sinkhole Swallows Rare Collector Corvettes at National Corvette Museum

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A 40 foot wide, 20 foot deep sinkhole suddently opened up and swallowed eight extremely valuable Corvettes in the Sky Dome at the Bowling Green, Kentucky National Corvette Museum at 5:30 am Wednesday, causing shock and potentially millions in damages. The Sky Dome is home to more than 70 valuable Corvettes.

Photos: When the ground gives way
Giant Sinkhole at the
National Corvette Museum
The story broke from a variety of news sources who reported that the Corvette museum's motion detectors alerted security that something was wrong in the facility. What employees found was nothing short of shocking, as they discovered the enormous cavern created by the sinkhole, with what initially appeared to be one or two Corvettes in the rubble. But, what was later revealed added more distress as a remote controlled drone armed with robotic camera showed that at least eight valuable collectable Corvettes were amid the ruins. One additional Corvette is pearched perilously on a riser above the sinkhole.

The enormous sinkhole came at a bad time for the National Corvette Museum, as it is poised for over 5,000 pre-registered people to attend its 20th anniversary in August. The milestone event will also mark the opening of a 184 acre Motorsport Park with grand opening events. No doubt celebrations will go on as scheduled, but plans for the park opening will likely be subject to site testings to determine if this acreage might contain potential for sinkholes as well.

Museum spokeswoman, Katie Frassinelli, reported, "When you go in there, its unreal. The hole is so big, it makes the Corvettes look like little Matchbox cars." Geologists and engineers who have examined the site have determined that the structure is sound, but that there is "a cave" underneath the Sky Dome. Its interesting to note that the Mammoth Cave National Park is only a short distance from the National Corvette Museum. I'm sure that geologists will look to see if there is any connection, or if more underground caverns may exist on the site.

As is typical with museum displays, many of the vehicles are not owned by the museum. Some are donated by collectors and enthusiasts, others are lent to the museum for display. Two of the Corvettes lost in the collapse are reported to be owned by General Motors, with the remaining six donated from individuals.

Thankfully, there were no classic Corvettes lost, but among the losses are irreplaceable cars. The missing include:

  • 1962 Corvette
  • 1984 PPG Pace Car
  • 1992 1 Millionth Corvette
  • 1993 ZR-1 Spyder
  • 1993 40th Anniversary Corvette
  • 2001 Mallett Hammer Z06 Corvette
  • 2009 1.5 Millionth Corvette
  • 2009 ZR1 "Blue Devil"

Watch the amazing video caught by on-site surveillance:



Have you ever owned a Corvette? Share your story and make a comment in tribute.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Will Classic Cars Disappear From Cuba Following New Rule Change?

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News from The Guardian reports that Cuba's council of ministers has changed strict rules that controlled what Cubans were able to do with classic cars made before 1959. This marks the first time since Fidel Castro took power that Cuban citizens have had much choice in what they drive and own. Some say the move threatens the very existence of classic cars in Cuba.

Photo Credit: The Guardian
The old law, in place since 1959, meant most car imports were banned. Those who wanted to buy a car in Cuba had to get permission to do so first. It also meant that the vintage American cars they had once been able to freely purchase became icons to the world and the envy of many collectors.

Cuba is well known for roadways full of beautiful old cars and trucks. Chevrolets, Oldsmobiles, Pontiacs, Fords and others. Many of these vehicles have been sought after by collectors worldwide. With regulations on imports relaxing, this is all set to change, and it has many enthusiasts and collectors worried.

Over the last fifty years of U.S. sanctions, both fuel and parts for cars have been difficult to purchase in Cuba. However, current president Raul Castro recently changed the restrictions Fidel Castro put into place in 1959, opening the car market to all Cuban citizens for the first time in 55 years.

So why are so many people worried? With the new car market opening up with little regulation and potentially long wait lists, there is concern over what will become of the classics. Will they be made available for export, or will they be tossed aside and left to rust?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Muscle Car Movement Far From Dead - Mecum Auction Fetches $300,000 for Hemi Under Glass

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Just as Mopar celebrates 50 years of the 426 Hemi engine, and the great Plymouth Barracuda of the mid to late 1960's, I've heard grumbles of concern that the recent muscle car comeback may be waning. Could the movement be backtracking once again?

It certainly would not seem to be the case after reviewing the results of this weekends Mecum Auction where Barracudas reined supreme!  One of the cars drawing great interest was one I wrote about in a November article where Guy Algar of Motorheads Performance was surprised when Mopar's four car collection known as the "Hemi Under Glass" funny cars failed to meet reserve.

The seller, collector Bill Sefton, was determined to sell the wheelstanding Mopars he had acquired after restoration at the right price. Following the prior failure to meet reserve on all four cars as a bundle, Saturday's sale of the "crown jewel" of the four cars, a 1967 Barracuda, sold for $300,000 on it's own. This, many industry followers believe, will pave the road for good auction prices on the remaining three cars which will be sold individually as well.

The Mecum Auction this past weekend was considered successful, and another Mopar making into the top 10 included a 1971 Plymouth Hemi "Cuda" which sold for a whopping $560,000 ...UNRESTORED! Granted, it had a numbers-matching drivetrain, and the mileage was an almost unbelievable 33,000 miles, but for an unrestored car to grab such a great selling price at auction would seem to indicate that muscle car buyers are still willing to shell out top dollars for the right car.

RESOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Hemmings - Original Hemi Under Glass Plymouth Barracuda sells for $300,000
Classic Car News - Recent Classic Car Auction Yields Disappointing Results - Is it a sign of trouble?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Tim Allen Shares A Ride In His 1968 COPO Camaro with Jay Leno

by Andrea L. Algar

Any serious motorheads knows that both Jay Leno and comedian Tim Allen are both classic car enthusiasts. Did I really say "enthusiasts"? Many might call them "classic car nuts", but they certainly qualify for the "real car guys" category.

Just have to share a video that just appeared on YouTube that shows the two taking a cruise in Allen's 1968 Camaro - a 427 COPO Camaro to be exact! What a nice ride. One of my favorites.



It's always nice to appreciate a classic car that is enjoyed being driven. Too many just don't take the time to get out on the road to truly enjoy their classic car or muscle car for what it was made for...being on the road. Nothing wrong with an occasional trailer ride to a show, but even a show car deserves to get on the road to breathe a little!

Hope you enjoy the video.  More than one person has commented on Allen's expression when doing the burnout....what do you think?  Scared or just hamming it up? 

RESOURCE

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Andrea L. Algar is co-owner of a classic car performance and restoration design shop in Leesville, Texas. Motorheads Performance specializes in repairs, maintenance, performance upgrades and restorative work on cars and trucks from the 1920's through 1970's. Her husband Guy L. Algar is a Mechanical Engineer with over 25 years experience. He holds 5 ASE Certifications from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence and has been working on old cars and trucks for over 37 years. Together they share their passion with other enthusiasts from around the country.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

IRS Scrutiny Of Non-Profits Penalizes Classic Car Enthusiasts

You don't really expect that the scandals that have plagued the Obama administration will hit close to home. But that's exactly what has happened to the Horseless Carriage Club of America (HCCA).

In May of 2011, the HCCA received word that the IRS would be revoking the HCAA's 501(c)(3) non-profit status and would now consider it a for-profit organization. The non-profit club, which was founded in 1937, had spent much of it's time as a social club for vintage car enthusiasts. It had 501(c)(7) status for many years, until it switched to a 501(c)(3) in 2007. What this did for the organization was to enable donations to the club to become tax deductible. Club organizers hoped that this would lead to larger donations, helping the organization reach out to more enthusiasts around the country.

What they didn't realize was that it would lead to a two year battle with the Internal Revenue Service, who objected to the organizations change in non-profit designation. While they still are a non-profit, what was in question was how the IRS would view the $26,000 in donations. Under the newer non-profit filing, these donations would be non-taxable. The IRS apparently does not want to view them as such, and the HCCA has withdrawn their request to change to the 501(c)(3), and stay a 501(c)(7) non-profit.

According to an article in Hemmings News, "Richard Cutler, who served as president of the HCCA in 2011 and has since sparred with the IRS on the club's behalf, wrote on the club's website that he and other club officials decided that the club wouldn't just roll over and die. They responded to the revocation with a formal appeal and in the meantime came up with a fallback plan that included the formation earlier this year of two spinoff organizations: the Horseless Carriage Education Institution, a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated exclusively to educating the public about horseless carriages and early automotive history, and the Horseless Carriage Club of America, a 501(c)(7) non-profit that would assume the club's ongoing social activities - its tours, meets, and conventions."

Cutler wrote on their website, "It has been suggested by some that we continue to fight the ruling. All evidence indicates that this will only result in more expense with no change in status. It is time to get this behind us and move on."

Guy Algar states, "It is unfortunate that a club designed to be a source of community to vintage car owners and enthusiasts, offering a variety of events, tours, and educational materials would need to spend two valuable years fighting a costly battle because it wanted to improve the services it could offer." This is not a political organization that has come under scrutiny. Do you think the HCCA should be allowed to make changes that better reflect it's mission?

RESOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION
HCCA - Horseless Carriage Club of America
Hemmings - Horseless Carriage Club Shifts Away From Non-Profit Status To Satisfy IRS

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andrea L. Algar is co-owner of a classic car performance and restoration design shop in Leesville, Texas. Motorheads Performance specializes in repairs, maintenance, performance upgrades and restorative work on cars and trucks from the 1920's through 1970's. Her husband, Guy L. Algar, is a mechanical engineer with over 25 years experience. He holds 5 ASE Certifications from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence and has been working on old cars and trucks for over 37 years. Together they share their passion for old cars and trucks with other enthusiasts from around the country.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Stu Hilborn Pioneer of Fuel Injection Dies at 96

It's hard to hear the news that such an icon in the world of classic cars has passed away. Stu Hilborn has done more for performance and power than most others in our industry.

Stu Hilborn (credit: Hilborn Fuel Injection)

When many people think of "fuel injection", they think of modern fuel injected engines. When a classic car or muscle car buff thinks of fuel injection, they're probably thinking Hilborn Fuel Injectors! There's nothing else like them! And the father of fuel injection was Stu Hilborn. That legend died Monday morning at the age of 96.

I've come to know the virtues of Hilborn Fuel Injection through my work at Motorheads Performance. Guy Algar, my business partner and Shop Manager, is a huge fan of the constant flow mechanical fuel injector that was created and built by Stuart Hilborn.

Many of the younger hot rodders know nothing of how their performance cars got their start. It seems as if "Hot Rod Heaven" is getting mighty full lately. Hilborn is an icon whose legacy will live forever. I doubt if there was a name more singularly associated with high performance than Hilborn. Hilborn Fuel Injection was absolutely everywhere in the 1970's from the race track right down to the hot rodders on the street. It was usually the first words admiringly whispered when a hot rod or racer appeared with his injection system. And, it was certainly at the top of the "wanted" list that every hot rodder or racer dreamed of. It was simply the pinnacle of performance.

Hilborn was born in October 1917 in Calgary, Alberta, the son of a migrant worker. He moved to Southern California as a child. His introduction to hot rodding came in 1938, when he joined some friends on a trip to the Southern California dry lakes to watch the speed trials there. He is reported to have said, “There were fellows up there with no tools or mechanical schooling who were making twice the horsepower that Detroit was putting out.”

After decided to build a flathead V-8-powered Model A, Hilborn discovered he knew little about how to actually build the car he wanted. A neighbor and good friend Eddie Miller, who was a former Indianapolis 500 driver, was a mentor to Hilborn and gave him a lot of practical "hands-on" knowledge. Driven to finish his V-8 project and wanting to learn more, Hilborn enrolled in college, studying the equivalent of modern mechanical engineering courses of math, chemistry, and physics.

Hilborn knew he needed an alternative to the carburetors the hot rodders were using back in the 1940's. He had identified the carburetors as a major choking point in the delivery of fuel to the engine. Hilborn applied his knowledge of physics and specifically of fluid dynamics to calculate the necessary pump size to get precise amounts of fuel to each cylinder. Taking a surplus aircraft fuel pump and using a homemade system of nozzles, he built and tuned his first fuel-injection setup. Hilborn proved it's effectiveness in 1948 by becoming the first hot rodder to break 150 MPH at the dry lakes.

Hilborn’s extraordinarily successful business, Hilborn Fuel Injection, was created and remains the leader in the field of fuel injection today. As a new wave of technology emerged with electronic fuel injection, Hilborn Fuel Injection expanded into EFI offering quality manifolds and complete systems with the same performance that had made Hilborn constant flow mechanical injectors so famous. While old-school hot rodders still prefer the still competitive Hilborn mechanical injectors, the new breed of EFI injectors have become the choice of the new-school hot rodders.

Stuart Hilborn's death was announced on Hilborn Fuel Injection’s Facebook page. He is survived by Ginny, his wife of 60 years, his daughter, Edris, his son, Duane, four grandchildren and two great grandchildren. As of this writing, no funeral or memorial plans have been announced.

RESOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION:
http://www.hilborninjection.com/

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Andrea L. Algar is co-owner of a classic car performance and restoration design shop in Leesville, Texas. Motorheads Performance specializes in repairs, maintenance, performance upgrades and restorative work on cars and trucks from the 1920’s through 1970’s. Her husband Guy L. Algar is a Mechanical Engineer with over 25 years experience. He holds 5 ASE Certifications from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence and has been working on old cars and trucks for over 37 years. Together they share their passion for old cars and trucks with other enthusiasts from around the country.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Quick Thinking Lands Carjacker In Police Custody

No sooner do we do another article on car theft and carjackings when another story is in the news. Just breaking this morning as an article out of North Hollywood, California. A carjacker forced a man into his own car, allegedly by gunpoint, and had him drive, turning the initial carjacking into a kidnapping in the process.

However, the quick-thinking victim managed to drive to a local police station and alert the police, who were able to apprehend the suspect and arrest him for kidnapping and carjacking. (For the whole story, and the video, see more below.)

Just last week, Guy Algar wrote an article on this blog entitled, "They Shoot Car Thieves Don't They?". It was a piece designed to get people to think of solutions to this increasing problem. A television program over the weekend documented the issue of cars and even 18 wheelers being stolen, driven over the Mexican border and delivered to car theft rings who then sell the stolen vehicles.

Fancy imports reportedly are in big demand from mid-East countries. These stolen vehicles are smuggled out of Mexico via containers, slipped on large cargo ships and delivered to pre-arranged buyers.  The 18-wheelers are quickly becoming a favorite purchase by drug cartels who use the large transport trucks to deliver drugs and contraband back across the U.S. border.

Clearly, we have a big problem on our hands. Classic car and muscle car owners are worried. It's becoming more and more difficult to enjoy classic car ownership without driving yourself crazy with anxiety. Where to park when you do go out, how to avoid a carjacking, and even how to protect your classic car while it's parked at home are now a daily concern to many owners. These are no longer just a minor worry.



RESOURCES:
northhollywoodpatch.com - At Gunpoint, Man Drives Alleged Carjacker to NoHo Police Station
Classic Car News - They Shoot Car Thieves Don't They?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 
Andrea L. Algar is co-owner of a classic car performance and restoration design shop in Leesville, Texas. Motorheads Performance specializes in repairs, maintenance, performance upgrades and restorative work on cars and trucks from the 1920’s through 1970’s. Her husband Guy L. Algar is a Mechanical Engineer with over 25 years experience. He holds 5 ASE Certifications from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence and has been working on old cars and trucks for over 37 years. Together they share their passion for old cars and trucks with other enthusiasts from around the country.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Inspiring Our Youth Through Classic Cars and Trucks

I'm always excited when I hear of youth becoming involved with classic cars and trucks. Whether their inspiration comes out of their love for muscle cars, classic cars, old trucks, hot rods or race cars, so much can be learned in the process of learning about these vehicles.


Photo credit: uccsalem.org
In the desire to learn more, boys and girls read and research. Opportunities to join groups that share similar interests can instill confidence and feelings of self-worth and satisfaction. If these youth go on to start projects one day, they learn perseverance, patience and accomplishment that are hard to achieve in other endeavors.

So, there's no wonder that Guy Algar and I were very pleased to receive the following in an e-mail to our classic car shop:

"I came across your page (http://www.motorheadsperformance.com/HotRodLinks.html) while collecting resources for a machine history guide my youth group is putting together. A couple of our young members took special interest in classic cars and trucks, and found your reference page very helpful. I just wanted to send a quick thanks for the info!

"They suggested I pass along another great article we found on vintage and antique trucks.
(Link Below).


"I thought this was a very thoughtful suggestion and I think the boys would be thrilled to see their recommendation added to your page. Please let me know what you think, thanks very much! :)

I'd like to thank this youth group for their generous contribution. Guy and I are so pleased that their group has taken an interest in classic cars and trucks, and wish them the very best in pursuing these interests. I'm in the process of added the link to our site so that other visitors can benefit from their generous suggested reading. I hope you enjoy!

RESOURCE:
thetruckersreport.com - Trucking Timeline - Vintage and Antique Truck Guide

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Andrea L. Algar is co-owner of a classic car performance and restoration design shop in Leesville, Texas. Motorheads Performance specializes in repairs, maintenance, performance upgrades and restorative work on cars and trucks from the 1920’s through 1970’s. Her husband Guy L. Algar is a Mechanical Engineer with over 25 years experience. He holds 5 ASE Certifications from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence and has been working on old cars and trucks for over 37 years. Together they share their passion for old cars and trucks with other enthusiasts from around the country.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Recent Classic Car Auction Yields Disappointing Results - Is it a sign of trouble?

I've always been a fan of the classic Corvette Stingray. There's just something about the lines of the car that are so artistic. So, when I heard of an upcoming auction that was featuring a well-known 1963 Corvette, I was ready to follow it. Of course, it didn't hurt that there were also a collection of world-famous funny cars that were part of the same auction.
Harley Earl's Personal
1963 Corvette Stingray Convertible
 Last month Velocity TV covered Mecum's Windy City auction. One of the main draws was to see one of the crown jewels of Corvettes come across the auction block. Mecum offered up almost a thousand cars. Only 64% of the cars were sold.  Some blame the weather as having an effect on both the crowd and the bidding, which was very low.

High sale of the auction was Harley Earl's, known as the father of the Corvette, personal, one-of-a-kind, 1963 Corvette Stingray convertible which experts say should clearly have sold for more than the $1.5 million. Another sign that the bidding just was not as aggressive as in years past. This has some worried over why one of the most sought-after Corvettes in history (noted as one of the five "Crown Jewels") did so poorly in comparison to other recent auctions, such as the 1967 L88 Corvette which sold for $3.2 million at  Mecum’s Dallas auction. 
1967 Corvette sold for $3.2M

Another surprise of the auction was when the “Hemi Under Glass” Mopar funny cars, famous for their “wheelies”,  failed to meet the reserve. In fact,  the seller's expectations were so shattered that the four car collection will be broken up and sold individually in Kissimmee, Florida, in January. Guy Algar remarked, "It was a big surprise when a set of true collector cars with such an incredible, documented history did not meet reserve. And this with an auction company that usually sets all sorts of records." Does this mark a slow-down in the industry? 
While some insiders show signs of worry, others simply pass this off as one of those things that can happen at an auction when the attendees just don't get hyped up and excited. Some note the fact that most of the bidding occurred from phone-in bidders, and the lack of enthusiasm from the crowd, probably had a lot to do with the surprisingly poor results. There are many more auctions to come, and it'll be interesting to see whether this was indeed a "fluke" or if this is a new and disturbing trend in classic car and muscle car collecting.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 
Andrea L. Algar is co-owner of a classic car performance and restoration design shop in Leesville, Texas. Motorheads Performance specializes in repairs, maintenance, performance upgrades and restorative work on cars and trucks from the 1920’s through 1970’s. Her husband Guy L. Algar is a Mechanical Engineer with over 25 years experience. He holds 5 ASE Certifications from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence and has been working on old cars and trucks for over 37 years. Together they share their passion for old cars and trucks with other enthusiasts from around the country.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

They Shoot Car Thieves Don't They?

Guy L. Algar
Motorheads Performance
ASE Certified Technician

I love old Western movies. Growing up on John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, and others who fed my appetite for adventure. As I entered my teens, my attention turned to another type of horsepower...cars. And not just any car, I preferred the oldies. My very first car was a 1955 Chevy Belair that I saved up for and purchased before I even got my drivers permit. I still have that car.

Oh, I still had interest in the old Western movies, and now that I turned my training and work experience as a mechanical engineer to running my own classic car repair and performance shop, I find that my two worlds collide with the question of how to get a handle on the ever-growing problem of car theft. When I hear stories of treasured classic cars being taken from owners who have poured blood, sweat, tears and loads of money into their rides...only to have them ruthlessly parted out, I get upset.

Old West Hanging
Photo Credit: Legendsofamerica.com

That's when I return to my Western movie roots. Back in the early years of America, the horse WAS the equivalent of the car. A horse was essential to one's survival. It was a family's means of transportation and of providing food and housing by plowing fields, herding cattle and sheep, carting timber, pulling wagons and transporting people across all sorts of terrain and in all types of weather that we, alone, could not have accomplished. And, more importantly, the value of horses was widely recognized. Without your horse it was commonly thought that you were as good as dead.

This is why horse thieves were shot or hanged. To steal one's horse you were taking away their livelihood. A common phrase heard in the Old West was, "There ain't nothing lower than a horse thief!"

My opinion is that today's automobile, whether it's a classic car, muscle car, old vintage truck, antique, sports car, hot rod, or a modern car, is essential to us. We depend on our cars for so much in our daily lives in most all areas outside of the big cities where alternatives exist that can replace the need for cars.

So how do we stop car thieves?


If stealing a horse was seen as a hanging offense in the Old West, why not send a message to modern day car thieves by making the punishment for car theft just as bold?

Thieves today know that the justice system is broken. They know that with a good lawyer, or perhaps even with a public defender, they stand a good chance of getting off with a slap on the wrist. And it's a slap in the face of those of us who pour our heart and souls into the restoration of pieces of American history. If there is no fear of just punishment, the crimes will go unchecked and more of us will become victims.

The preceding is only an Opinion Article. I raise it in an attempt to get people to begin looking at where we stand in our attempts to Keep Our Rides Safe. On a much bigger scale, where we are plunging head-first in  "political correctness" that threatens many of the building-blocks that made America a great country. Preserving the "rights" of the few should not override or hinder the rights of all others, and it should not override good common sense. I realize that we can't and shouldn't return to the days of hangings and public lynchings. We all have rights of due process. At the same time, we need answers to the epidemic of car theft. Automobiles are our modern day livelihood and few can afford to have them taken from us.

REFERENCES:
legendsofamerica.com - Lynchings and Hangings in America
mnhs.org - The Waseca County Horse Thief Detectives
netposse.com - Old West: Wyatt Earp - Was Wyatt A Horse Thief?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 
Guy L. Algar is co-owner of a classic car performance and restoration design shop in Leesville, Texas. Motorheads Performance specializes in repairs, maintenance, performance upgrades and restorative work on cars and trucks from the 1920’s through 1970’s. Guy Algar is a Mechanical Engineer with over 25 years experience. He holds 5 ASE Certifications from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence and has been working on old cars and trucks for over 37 years. Together with his wife Andrea they share their passion for old cars and trucks with other enthusiasts from around the country.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Chevy's 2014 COPO Camaro Looks Like A Winner

Chevrolet's upcoming 2014 COPO Camaro was unveiled at the SEMA show and we're sure that they're turning heads!

These are great looking cars! But, what makes the limited production factory COPO Camaro so unique is that each race car is hand built on the same body shells that professional racers purchase from Chevrolet Performance. The COPO-specific parts are built for each car and include NHRA-approved roll cage, solid rear axle system and chassis and suspension components that are rated for performance racing.

2014 Chevrolet COPO Camaro
The 2014 limited production COPO Camaro will offer two race engine choices, including a new naturally aspirated 427 engine as well as a supercharged (2.9L Whipple screw-type supercharger) version of the 350 engine. Naturally aspirated 350 and 396 engines are also available.

Customers will need to select the engine based on their intended NHRA racing class. Chevrolet is also offering an option where customers with big pockets can purchase all four engines, each serialized to match the car!

To purchase one of the exclusive COPO Camaro's, potential customers must sign up for the COPO Camaro mailing list at Chevrolet Performance's website (see link below).

Serial number 1 of the limited-production run is a one-of-a-kind, painted in a beautiful metallic ice blue, which will be auctioned off at Barrett-Jackson’s annual auction in Scottsdale, Arizona this January. Proceeds of the Barrett auction will benefit the Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans, an organization dedicated to helping wounded veterans.

Only 69 race cars will be built for NHRA Stock Eliminator and Super Stock competition, and they will all carry the new styling of the 2014 COPO Camaro.

And, there's now great news for those wanting to take advantage of the great power of the high-performance COPO Camaro engines. The same race engines used in the COPO Camaro production race cars are available as crate engines for racers building their own Camaro race cars. Each of the new crate engines is engineered for NHRA’s Stock Eliminator and Super Stock classes.

The COPO crate engines available for 2014 include:

  • 427 7.0L naturally aspirated engine
  • 5.3L supercharged 327 engine with Whipple twin-screw 2.9L supercharger 
  • 5.3L supercharged 327 engine with 4.0L Whipple supercharger
  • 396-cubic-inch naturally aspirated engine
  • 350-cubic-inch naturally aspirated engine

Each high-performance engine is hand assembled at GM’s racing engine shop in Wixom, Michigan.

RESOURCES:
achillesinternational.org - Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans
barrett-jackson.com - Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale, AZ
chevroletperformance.com - Chevrolet Performance's COPO Camaro (use link to sign up)
nhra.com - National Hot Rod Association

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 
Andrea L. Algar is co-owner of a classic car performance and restoration design shop in Leesville, Texas. Motorheads Performance specializes in repairs, maintenance, performance upgrades and restorative work on cars and trucks from the 1920’s through 1970’s. Her husband Guy L. Algar is a Mechanical Engineer with over 25 years experience. He holds 5 ASE Certifications from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence and has been working on old cars and trucks for over 37 years. Together they share their passion for old cars and trucks with other enthusiasts from around the country.