Camaro SS and RS Drive at Barrett Jackson Scottsdale – 2017

If you follow this blog you’ve no doubt seen my posts on this past January’s Barrett Jackson event in Scottsdale, Az, you might even had caught my Facebook Live videos.

Of course I have to say it’s well worth the price of admission for all that there is to see and do.

One event is the Ride and Drive where you are allowed to drive some of the new cars.  They also have a few of the more powerful cars that they only allow you to ride along with a driver, cars like the Hell Cat and Viper and some of the Mustangs.  This year I chose to drive the SS and RS Camaro.

The key is to get there early because the line get long and the track gets crowded.  We arrived at the right time and got a more personal touch.  New for this year was the Breathalyzer test conducted by the Sheriff’s department, a smart idea, considering all the adult beverages available.  But it was a bit early for that.

Here’s  quick little slide show of my trip in one of the Camaro’s.

 

 

The auto cross course they had set up was pretty tight and for the novice this would a challenge and I think it was meant to keep the speeds down.  When you attend these you are accompanied by a local drive either supplied by the dealership or by the car company for this event.

I drove the SS V8 LT Camaro first.  I found the seat comfortable and driving position was really good.  The car had quick response and the V8 really pulled great with hitting the gas.  Not as good as my  2007 C6 Corvette but I was impressed.  As an SCCA auto cross driver I found this  course to  be a bit tighter the standard down here at the regional I’ve driven often.  The SS proved to be a bit sloppy in the corners at speed and it felt like a bigger car – of course it’s it a bit larger than my Vette.  Although I made it round the course with out killing any cones, it would be understandable given how it handled.

Immediately after parking the SS, they had an V6 RS ready and I jumped in.  I really appreciated that, having the SS drive still fresh in the never endign, it would make the comparison, a bit more visceral rather than homogenized by the thought process.

These days you know they can get a lot of power out of V6 engine and even 4 cylinders so I was curious to see how the RS’s V6 felt with my foot pressed to the floor.  I didn’t have any specific expectations, but I was hoping to feel “WOW – this is a only a V6?!?!”, but I have to say it felt like V6.  It was clear the power wasn’t there at the start line.  However, it did get up to speed fairly quickly and by the first real corner you could feel it.  The corner? Well, let’s say it was impressive. While driving SS the ride-a-long driver bet that I’d find the RS a much better handling car in the tight corners, due to the fact that the engine was set back a bit that changed up how the car made it though the corners.  I have to say it was correct.

It’s true that in auto cross that horse power isn’t all you need, in fact, too much can make for rough runs.  The key for any auto cross car is being able to handle the corner as the fastest speed possible.  The RS made it through the course with much sharper corners and it felt really good coming out of them with not a lot of body roll, it was surprising.
So the V8 SS felt powerful (relatively speaking) – more what I’m use to with my Corvette.  The RS felt like a V6 when getting off the line, but had the better cornering than the RS, basically verifying what the ride-a-long driver told me I would find.

It’s not often the average blogger, SCCA racer and car restorer, gets to take ride in or drive the newest cars which I think is a huge gap in what you see in the big time blogs and car magaiznes, so it’s always fun to poke them with the Average Guy’s thoughts when a chance for that experience can be documented.

Thanks for reading.

Tim

barrett jackson scottsdale 2017barrett jackson scottsdale 2017

It’s Car Auction Season – Barrett Jackson Car Show – Westworld of Scottsdale‎

I love this time of year here in Arizona.  Not just because you can work on your classic/muscle car in the garage without feeling like a Christmas turkey in the oven.  I love this time of year because it’s Car Auction Season!   For the next 3-4 weeks classic cars …

They Made How Many? 1959

I haven’t done one of these in a while, but I was reading an article from the ” Worlds Most Excellent” automotive publishing enterprise – Hemmings.  An article in the January 2017 issue of Classic Cars publication is a piece written by Jeff Koch (who is their – West Coast/Southwest guy) on GM’s Flattop designed cars of the 1959-1960 era.  These were massive cars with huge trunks and tons of  wrap around glass.

This a 1959 Pontiac Bonneville Flattop 4 door

This a 1959 Pontiac Bonneville Flattop 4 door- ain’t it huge?

According to the article these were just a two-year deal – ’59-’60.  So that got me to thinking how many were made?

Over all car production for 1959, which still saw the likes of DeSoto, Edsel (its last gasp of breath), Studebaker,  Imperial (as a separate brand…again) and even the Metropolitan, as producer of cars.    The leader for that year was Chevrolet in first place with just over 1.46 million cars produced followed by Ford in close range with 1.45 million cars produced.  The rest of the field looked like this:

Plymouth with 458, 261 (in third place which gives you an idea how the rest fared) followed by  Pontiac with 383k, then  Oldsmobile with 382K and  Rambler with 374k.   Buick managed 285K and  Dodge produced 156k, which was just slightly than Mercury with 15ok and Cadillac with 142K cars produced.  The field rounded out with Studebaker driving 126k out of the factory and a substantial for Chrysler with just 69, followed by Desoto with 45k, Edsel with 44k and Lincoln/Continental with just 26k.  At the bottom stood Metropolitan and Imperial 22k and 17k respectively.

So an estimated 2,655,686 cars were produced by GM in that year.  That’s a lot of flattops this include Cadillacs that didn’t escape the design.
1959-cadillac-sedan

chevrolet

Nor did the Corvair!!

So where are the now?  I just don’t see that many around and I’m sure it’s due to the 2 year only style and finding all that wrap around glass.

Have you seen one of these cool designed GM Flattops?  Drop me a note and pic and I’ll publish it up.

Thanks for reading.

Tim

I don't really need a Lambo....but.....

#TheyMadeHowMany

#projectsprotsroof

Car Production Numbers. They Made How Many? 1901

This is it. The beginning of it all.     What were they making in 1901? The top producer was the Locomobile car company with a total out put for the year 1,500 cars. Winton was second with 700 cars. Oldsmobile (ahh one we’ve heard of!!) was third with 425. White came in fourth with 193. Autocar was next …
Car Production Numbers. They Made How Many? 1911

1911 oh… that was a great year!  Well I don’t actually have any proof of that, but there sure were a lot of new car makes that year.  Here the list: Alpena; ArBenz; Atterbury; Carhartt, Case, Chevrolet; Colby, Crow-Elkhart, Dalton, Gaylord, Havers, Hupp-Yeats; King; Lenox; Mighty Michigan; Motorette; Nyberg: Penn; Rayfield; …
Car Production Numbers. They Made How Many? 1922

It is 1922 and the car industry is moving right along.  Small start-up car companies pop up here and there in the 1920’s. Here is how they stacked up for 1922. Top spot was Ford  producing 1,147,028 cars. Dodge was a very distant second with 152,653 car rolling off their assembly line. Chevrolet ran …
Car Production Numbers. They Made How Many? 1928

The Roaring Twentys – a great time in US social and economic history.  1928 things still looked pretty good and no indication of the tough economic times that would lead to the terrible 30’s. 1928 saw 8 car companies fighting it out for market shares. Chevy lead the way with just over a million …

Lingenfelter Unveils Wide-Body Kit For The C7 Corvette

I think this kit gives the C7 an awesome look…not that it needed it.

The kit widens the all-American sports car by roughly two inches either side. It consists of wider wheel arches as well as a new front splitter and rocker panels. Lingenfelter also adds a carbon fiber hood extractor to give an aggressive, tuner look. With the kit installed, you’ll be able to install 20-inch wheels rocking massive 335/25 size tires.

And to ensure that your C7 Corvette has the go to match its new show, Lingenfelter offers a supercharger package that even with mild boost pressure will see the stock 6.2-liter LT1 V-8 spit out 624 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque. Along with the supercharger, in this case an Edelbrock E-Force TVS2300, there is also a high-flow exhaust system incorporating Kooks headers and cat-back Corsa pipes.
Chase Motor Authority’s link to read the rest of the article.

Source: Lingenfelter Unveils Wide-Body Kit For The C7 Corvette

Thanks for reading.
Tim

lingenfelter c7

Lingenfelter Reveals Widebody C7 Corvette

Well known tuning company Lingenfelter has just unveiled its range of upgrades for the C7 Chevrolet Corvette including a widebody kit and a range of performance modifications. As for the bodykit, it isn’t quite as insane as the widebody kit offered by

 

Project Search Continues – 1974 Stingray…Missed it!!!

This story starts two weeks ago, as I was driving through my neighborhood headed off to run some errands.  As I rounded the a corner I see one of my neighbors with the garage door open and I think, “Wow!!!  What a clean garage!!”  Then I go…”Whoa…what is that?”  My eye had caught a C3 Corvette sitting to one side.  It was blue and had chrome headers and side pipes and an awesome set of wheels. Looked like needed some paint.

These were hanging out of it!!!

These were hanging out of it!!!

This wheels!!!

This wheels!!!

At that moment I planned to stop by on my way back, just to say hi and have some Vette chat!!!    As my luck often goes, the garage was closed and there were no cars in the driveway.  So I made mental note to check back another day.

Fast forward to the next Friday and I’m pouring through the on-line ads for my next project car and up pops a 1974 Stingray – Blue with a 350 engine, chrome  headers and a great looking set of wheels for sale.   Asking price…..wait for it…….$2000.00.   I immediately text the number on the ad and got some particulars.  The car needs some work, the 350 was good but need points/condenser and the side pipes installed.  The lady informed me that someone was coming to look at  and if they didn’t buy it she’d give me a call.

Fast forward to 4 hours later.  My wonderful wife arrives home and says…”Hey remember that Corvette you saw the other day?  They are loading it on a trailer.”

Well I thought….nah…can’t be. So I texted the number from the ad, just to check, and sure enough it was the same car I saw the past weekend.  I told the lady I was just down the street and hoped it was going to a good home.  She said…”If I knew you were a neighbor, I would have given you first chance.”

Although I did not weep openly, I cried like a baby on the inside!!!!

I was....THIS CLOSE!!!!

Missed it by this MUCH!!!!

 

Thanks for reading!!

Tim

 

 

Photos: Bear in the driver’s seat

Tommy Johnson of Lake Mary, Florida, and Brian Smith of Woodstock, Georgia took these photos of a black bear in a 1974 Corvette Stingray about a week ago in the Auke Bay Ferry Terminal parking lot. At one point, they said, they saw the bear scoop up a …
GM’s iconic Corvette at a crossroads

1974 Corvette Stingray. Barnstarbob | Wikipedia. 1974 Corvette Stingray. New life with a new Interior. As GM was sliding towards bankruptcy, work on the seventh generation Corvette slowed down. Once the automaker went into bankruptcy, there was a brief …
Waxing nostalgic

This 1974 Corvette Stingray was among the 112 cars on display during the Cecil Proffitt’s World of Wheels International Custom Auto Show at Heritage Park in Windsor. The show was held at the park for the first time as a partnership between Proffitt and

Journalist Crashes 2016 Camaro – GEEZZZE!!!

If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the video of the Jalopnik journalist hitting the wall with a 2016 mule Camaro.  Enjoy and then check below for my commentary.

Clearly the guy felt bad and a little shaken up, but the reality is, he shouldn’t have driven the car. If you just look at the beginning frame of the video or notice the position of his arms just before he hit the wall, you can tell there the skill set just isn’t there.

I auto cross my cars – my C4 when I had it and my C6 now (not to mention my drag racing stint with my Mustang). I’ve attended my SCCA Solo courses and even attended some training with Bondurant at Phoenix International Raceway with Formula 1 cars. And what I’ve learned is that you must have more than just enthusiasm over a new car, especially a powerful one. You have to have some driving skills and you must have respect for the car’s abilities and know yours.

Here is a parallel event I was part of with my corvette club.  We rented a part of the Bondurant facility to have an auto cross event.  It included all generations of Corvettes as well as a few other non-Corvette vehicles.   One of our members just purchased a brand new C6 and was very eager to run the course.  Short version of the story is – he lost it on his second run, went through the chain-linked fence at a post and got the car hung up on the concrete footing.  We had to dig him out and the Bondurant crew weren’t all that happy.   Clearly he wasn’t ready for the abilities/power of his C6 even though he had the enthusiasm (and for pete’s sake keep the traction control on until you are used to the car).

Don’t get me wrong, accidents happen, just watch any F1, drag or NASCAR race and you’ll see professional skilled driver hit the wall.  It happens.

Now back to the Jalopnik incident.  If you watch the video you can tell the journalist seems pretty excited. However his driving skills seem a bit off in a number of ways.  For instance, his sitting position is off, especially for track driving (maybe he’s just super tall or the mule car is not equipped with adjustable seats) for one.   You can tell by his expression in a corner, prior to his last corner and the contact with the wall, that he was at he edge of his abilities with that particular car.  As he goes into the now famous turn his arms cross – I didn’t realize a human could contort himself that much!!

I also found interesting was some of his commentary leading up to the crash with words like “rolly-poely”, “composed”, “nimble” especially in light of his comments that he was there to discuss the how it handles at the track.  You must have the ability to test those things to give your readers a comparison and the proper (or more familiar) terminology helps e.g., replace “rolly-polly” with “body roll”.   Wouldn’t GM want that too or at least his publisher?

There was a comment in his piece where he gave full disclosure, stating that GM wanted him to drive so badly, that they flew him out and paid for food and booze.  Don’t know if that’s ‘special’ or standard fare.  I also didn’t understand his comment – “GM asked me to leave the track” and they had to continued the video out in the street – seems a tough way to deal with someone, you really wanted there. Hopefully, GM doesn’t want their money back for the airfare or bill him for the damage to the mule.

Now I’m not a great blogger nor the greatest driver, but I do have car guy experience (including testing new models in a small auto cross scenario) and a fair grasp of the my native language.  I’m not sure what all of his credentials are, he did say he had some track time, and I did look over some of his other entries and gained my own opinions.

It suffices to say that I much prefer a “car guy turned journalist” vs.  “journalist turned car guy”, especially when to reading ‘car guy’ stuff and  certainly for reviews like this one.

I do feel badly for him and GM and but I’m also sure it wasn’t the first time on media day that a writer dented one of the cars.  He just had his published.  And thank the auto gods that he wasn’t driving a Z28!!!  I would have wept opening.

 

Regards

Tim

2016 camaro ss

Will the Redesigned 2016 Chevrolet Camaro Lead the Muscle Car Pack?

The 2016 Camaro SS is powered by a Corvette Stingray-sourced 6.2-liter V8 that produces 455 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque. By comparison, the 2015 Camaro SS has 426 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. No matter the engine, the …

 

 

Indy Driver Sam Schmidt hits the track again piloting a C7 Corvette!!!

You’ll love this story!!!

 

Sam Schmidt, who has been paralyzed below the shoulders since slamming into a wall 14 years ago, always believed he’d never drive again. On Sunday, he will–in a Corvette he will control by shaking his head and gnashing his teeth.

Schmidt was a promising driver with 27 Indy Racing League starts when he went into the wall at Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando, Florida on January 6, 2000. He knew he’d never race again, but one year later he returned to motorsports with his own team, now known as Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. He’s enjoyed a measure of success as a team owner, but driving seemed out of the question.

via This Quadriplegic Racer Drives a Corvette by Tilting His Head | WIRED.

 

Thanks for reading

Tim

sam schmidt

IndyCar team owner Sam Schmidt drives nearly two laps on Long Beach course …

LONG BEACH, Calif. — Sam Schmidt took a spin around Indianapolis Motor Speedway last spring, his first time behind the wheel since being paralyzed in a racing accident in 2000. He had a tougher challenge Sunday: Navigating the twists and turns of the …

Mel Martin’s Auto Museum – Corvettes

Last week my wife had to sit for a certification exam for her profession.   It was conducted over multiple days and held in Phoenix, AZ.  That is about a 1.5 hours drive (unless I’m driving the Vette, just joking always, obey the speed limits kids!!) north of Tucson and it made sense to grab a hotel room and spend 3 days.  While she was enduring the slow torture that they cleverly called “taking the exam”, I was left with a very rare, continuous span of free time.

I don’t know about you, but when I end up with unappropriated time and I’m in a hotel room, I don’t spend it watching HBO. I’ll jump on the WiFi and find some car action.  This was a perfect time to find some local car shows or events.  Just so happens on the way to the hotel I saw a sign, a few exits before the one we exited to reach the hotel, that read “Auto Museum”.

I gave that a Google and found the exact address.  The museum was called Mel Martin’s Auto Museum – “Phoenix’s Largest Auto Museum” and it was only open from noon to five the next day and asked for a $5 donation. So I put that on my to do list and head there the next day.

The museum is on a one way frontage road.  The building looks to be an old self-storage place converted in to businesses.  The museum entrance looks unassuming and you wouldn’t think it large enough to house 60 cars and a ton of automobilia.

Here are some highlights:

 

What kind of car museum would you be without a Corvette or two?

 

This beautiful 427 is an eye catcher!

This beautiful 427 is an eye catcher!

Check out Corvette Row!!!

VetteRow-3 VetteRow-4
VetteRow-5

 Here is a Vette you don’t see anywhere!!!

ListerVette-1

The 1992 Lister Corvette

ListerVette-2

Great lines…barely resembles a C4.

ListerVette-3

Front end looks like a Jaguar’s

ListerVette-6

I think the 17″ wheels are great looking!!!

ListerVette-5

The hood has those breathing holes for a reason. The LT1 under the hood…yeah it’s Vortech Supercharged!!! 500HP and 454 LB-FT of torque!!! Only automatic produced.

ListerVette-7   ListerVette-10

It also included the 1978 25th Anniversary Indianapolis Pace car.

Only 15 miles on this well preserved beauty!  (No I don't know why I took the pic this way.)

Only 15 miles on this well-preserved beauty! (No, I don’t know why I took the pic this way.)

 

Thanks for reading.  More coming up on Mel Martin’s Auto Museum.

Tim

 

mel martin auto museum

BangShift.com 1936 Chevy Bus

 

This 1936 Chevy Bus Was Made Into A Hose Hauler By The Fire Dapartment – Could It Haul Hot Rods?

Feb 16, 2015Brian LohnesBangShift XL, XL Online Find0

1936 Chevy Bus

1936 Chevy Bus

 

 

So there will never be a day when we grow weary of seeing, scheming about, or dreaming of cool car haulers. This 1936 Chevy school bus was converted into a hauler of sorts many moons ago by a fire department to move hoses around. They simply lopped off the roof of the passenger compartment and left a big open flatbed for them to throw their heavy hoses on. We’re guessing that this rig was used in a town that wasn’t too large because a 1936 Chevy school bus laden with rolls of heavy hose would likely arrive to the scene of a fire in time to help save the basement after the rest of the structure was consumed. As cool as its history is, how neat might the future be?

Sparse interior...even when it was new.

Sparse interior…even when it was new.

It would take some doing and a lot of dough but we’re thinking that this truck has serious possibilities as a hot rod hauler. The cab area would need to be reworked and likely everything from the windshield back would need to be formed by a metal shaping house like Marcel’s or someone of that creative genius level of talent so that it didn’t look like a high school project. The entire drivetrain would need to be swapped out for something more powerful and modern, the chassis would need to be beefed, the suspension revamped, and the there’s the issue of the hauler area itself. Leave it as a flat bed and simply add some ramps? Make some sort of a wedge deal on the back of it? This is looking like a Donald Trump level budget project but it is pretty fun to mentally design the truck as we would want it. Your turn.

via BangShift.com 1936 Chevy Bus.

 

I’m think it would be a cool toy hauler or maybe an awesome why to get your trailer queen to a car show!!!

 

Thanks for reading.

Tim

chevy bus

PPEP, Inc.

to southern Arizona farm labor camps. This was all done aboard a 1957 Chevy bus. PPEP was officially incorporated on December 10, 1969. PPEP TEC High

 

Engine Line Up – 1949 Chevrolet

1949 was the first year after World War II where Chevrolet did a complete maker-over of its offerings, meager in terms of variations as compared to what they would become in the next decade. With only the Special Series 1500 GJ, Deluxe Series GK, each with a Fleetline and Styleline Sub-Series you can bet that the engines were limited.  In fact there was one.

 

All units were powered by a six cylinder engine, even the 8 passenger wood and steel stations wagons.

 

1949 Chevy Woody Station Wagon.

1949 Chevy Woody Station Wagon.

 

The in-line 216.5 CID was the only option.  It was a cast iron blocked, overhead valved, straight six cylinder engine. Bore and stroke were 3.5″ x 3.75″with a compression ratio of 6.5:1. Add in solid lifters and four main bearings and topping off with a Carter downdraft single barrel carb (W1-684) it produced about 90 hp. That’s not a lot of power when you consider the lightest of the Series was about 3,015 pounds and the heaviest was 3,485 pounds.

 

216.5 CID

216.5 CID the “Thrift-Master”

 

We love seeing your pictures.  Post them up on Facebook  Average Guy’s Car Restoration and Mods, or twitter (@agcarrestore) or via email agcarrestoration@cox.net

Thanks for reading.
Tim

 

1949 chevrolet

 

1949 Chevrolet 3100 – True Blue

Sometimes our readers get frustrated because they feel the trucks we feature are too far away from what they were originally. While we do like to feature some stock restorations as we come upon them, we also like to show you how versatile these trucks

Car News Now (CNN) – 07/07/14 -2015 Corvette Z06

Well we just can stop talking about C7.   Just our recently are some very impressive specs for the 2015 Corvette Z06.

SAE says it will have an impressive 650 horse power (@ 6,400 RPMs) and even more impressive 650 LB-FT of torque (@ 3,600 RPMs). These numbers exceed the original speculations of 625.

The power is being delivered by a super charged LT4 and transferred to the pavement via a 7 speed manual or new for 2015 an 8 speed automatic!!!

Super Charged, Direct Injection LT4 Engine

Super Charged, Direct Injection LT4 Engine

'15 Z06 Corvette

’15 Z06 Corvette

Are you impressed?

Thanks for reading.

Tim

buyautomotive

#1: GM Parts 19171528 Valve Spring Retainer for LT1/LT4 Engine – 16 Piece: GM Parts 19171528 Valve Spring Reta… http://t.co/ZqnR3WgD5j

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 LT4 Will Be Built in Kentucky and New York

This new portion of the Kentucky production facility is already busy building the LS7 V8 that powers the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, but as production of the 2015 Corvette Z06 ramps up, these new hires will help to build the powerful LT4 engine for the most …

Vroom! 2015 Chevy Corvette Z06 boasts of 650HP

“The new LT4 engine builds on the design strengths of our previous supercharged engine and leverages the technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray – direct injection, cylinder deactivation and continuously variable valve timing – to take

Supercharged 2015 Corvette Z06 engine SAE-certified at 650 horsepower

The all-new supercharged LT4 engine from General Motors is almost the same size as the compact LT1 engine recently introduced in the 2014 Corvette Stingray. Getting big block performance out of small-block sized engines sounds almost like magic, but it