Horsepower 101

This month’s Race profile takes a look at a basic Nova drag car — the kind of understated monster that stands out to car crazies like us, bright as a neon sign, even from 100 paces. And at the same time, it’s the kind of car everyday people tend to ignore. It just goes to show that despite how big the car world seems to be, it’s still in fact a subculture — albeit a Read More

Pay Less, Get More?

All of us are guilty of it. We buy an old car or truck but secretly wish it didn’t perform like one. It is like adopting a stray pit bull and hoping it won’t bite your toddler, or drinking a case of beer and thinking you won’t have a hangover. But the truth is that vehicles of a certain age just aren’t ideal for today’s roads — or sometimes even today’s owners.

Take, for example, Read More

Old Money

Our beautiful minds are badly illogical sometimes. We buy three cases of Cactus Cooler we don’t need because it’s on sale. We remit tax dollars instead of redlining our IRAs. And we miss owning the classic Corvette of our dreams because it “costs too much.” Say what?

There’s really no such thing as paying too much for a classic Corvette, and I think I can prove it to you.

Must pay to play

People Read More

Economy-Class Super Sport

By 1970, closing time was fast approaching the muscle car era, and it was just as apparent at the time as it is now in retrospect. The Clean Air Act of 1970 and safety concerns — along with subsequently high insurance rates — gave enough hints to anyone paying attention, and the auto industry certainly was.

For 1971, performance began to be emphasized less, and when it was, it was aimed Read More

Hold on, Hold Out

Recently, I drove down to the harbor to watch a neighbor launch his wood sloop, at last finished after 28 years under construction in his shed.

I wasn’t in a Corvette, but rather a 1967 Mustang that I recently adopted. The little Ivy Green coupe exerted a magnetic pull on a college-age young man, who ambled over to ask about its engine. This somehow took me back to my own college days, when my buddies Read More

Off-road Plymouth

Although the Jeep CJ, International Scout and Ford Bronco got the ball rolling on small personal off-roaders, it was the Chevrolet Blazer that really jump-started the interest in full-size SUVs.

Based on a shortened pickup truck platform, the Blazer was more of a play toy than a work truck. While it was able to go off road for camping, hunting, fishing or just boonie-whacking, most Blazers tended to be used on the highway as Read More

A Firm Stance

First impressions are a big deal in the car world, especially at auction. A car might only have a minute or so in the spotlight, and having it look just right for that minute can mean a difference of thousands of dollars on your bottom line.

Nothing can make or break a car’s aesthetic more than its stance. Is the nose too high up in the clouds due to reproduction big-block springs? Maybe it’s too far down in the weeds Read More

See and Be Seen

Face it: Your original muscle car’s headlights and taillights are old. Maybe they’re still as good as they ever were, but the world has changed around them. Drivers today are more distracted than ever, and even the most bland, blob-shaped commuter junk has better lighting than your prized stock GTO, Charger or Mustang. Do you really want to gamble that you’re going to be seen when you brave modern traffic in your classic machine?
With a little work, you Read More

Be Cool

Water-based coolants have been the standard since the beginning of the car industry. But those traditional coolants have limitations that car people have simply learned to accept. Coolant turns acidic over time, so we swap it often to eliminate electrolysis from eating our engine’s metals from the inside out. We replace plugged heater cores and radiators, full of scale and other deposits left by water. And we still deal with boil-overs on hot days and the high pressure needed to Read More

Tank Swap

The average muscle car is over 40 years old now, and it’s easy to forget that it lived a full life during that time — a life that likely filled its original fuel tank with rocks and rust scale. If you’ve ever run an old car out of gas, you probably cursed this stuff as you cleared it out of your fuel lines.

Worse yet are slow leaks from rear-end damage, which are a common problem on tanks that fill Read More