1969 Chevy Camaro SS
I added the Hooker headers, traction bars, spoiler, racing shift kit for the automatic transmission, Holley 4-barrel carburetor, high-rise intake manifold, side exhaust pipes, wide rear tires. 1st-place trophy from Capital Raceway, 1/4-mile bracket race. The car came with fold-away headlights, electric windows and seats, full instrument panel (tachometer, oil & temp gauges vs. idiot lights), folding rear seats, deluxe upholstery and carpeting, and heavy-duty rear end, 350 ci small block. It was purchased in 1975 for $3,500 from a fellow named Mr. Cavey, in Bowie, Maryland (I lived in Mayo, MD).
My personal midlife crisis is still awaiting funds to be properly executed. When and if it (the money) ever happens, the first thing I'll do is buy two cars: One will be a professionally restored 1969 Camaro SS like the one I owned as a teenager (see pic), and the other a brand new Camaro Z28 of whatever year the aforementioned financial windfall occurs. Melanie would prefer the Mustang or Charger. My '69 Camaro SS had the same 350 cu. in. small block V8 and heavy duty automatic transmission that came in the Corvette of the same year. It was styled after the Indy 500 pace car for 1969. What precipitated this story was a headline about Dodge announcing the very first 700+ horsepower production car - the 707-hp 2015 Challenger SRT. The Ford Cobra Mustang (and GT500) provides a mere 600+ horsepower, while the Chevy ZL1 Camaro doesn't even quite make 600 hp. The 2015 Z06 Corvette does squeak into the 600-hp range, though.
This line of classic American 'muscle cars," while they appeal strongly to many to Millennials, was produced initially to satisfy the plea of 50- and 60-somethings to bring back the styling of cars they owned in their teens and early twenties. Revival of the large, round headlights was particularly desired, as was the stand-out, screw-on gas cap. Unfortunately, the last few years has seen a reversion back to the modern headlight outline, and the trademark body style lines are gradually fading back to the more aerodynamic forms of modern autos. As CAFE standards require ever-increasing average fuel economy levels and the EPA's Gas Guzzler Tax (did you even know that it existed?) continues to impose higher and higher penalties on makers of high power cars, expect most of the born-again muscle cars to lose their classic looks once again. Hopefully, they will never devolve back into anything nearly as atrocious as what Ford had done to the Mustang by 1990.
I long ago abandoned any hope of ever having time or resources to restore a car on my own, but still occasionally surf the Internet vicariously re-living the days of yore through the incredibly talented works of others. Window shopping will have to suffice for a while longer. I'll bet there are many people reading this who have the same sort of experience.
2015 Dodge Challenger SRT
2015 Dodge Charger
2015 Chevy Z28 Camaro
2015 Ford Mustang
1990 Ford Mustang (ugh!)
2015 Chevy Z06 Corvette
Posted July 11, 2014