Classics Huge Muscle Car Turnout for 2017 San Marino Motor Classic

19:50  01 august  2017
19:50  01 august  2017 Source:   HOT ROD

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Margaret Alley talking about her five decade-long love affair with her 1966 Shelby GT350.

The seventh annual San Marino Motor Classic (SMMC), building upon the success of last year's event, assembled another outstanding field. The concours included a diverse mix of more than 350 vehicles, with brass-era cars , American Classics , sports cars , hot rods, muscle cars

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This year's Muscle Car and Pony Car classes were especially strong. Class cochairmen Joe Salvo and Paul Ginsburg invited more than 30 exceptional cars over the four classes: Class N1 GM Muscle Car Hardtops and Sedans; Class N2 non-GM Muscle Cars (Ford and Chrysler) Hardtops and Sedans; Class N3 Muscle Cars Convertibles, all manufacturers; and Class V, all Pony Cars, AMC, Chrysler, Ford, and GM.

Salvo explains the recruitment process: "Once the actual classes are determined in September of the previous year we begin to recruit. The recruiting process is ongoing, and essentially we recruit all year long for the event. We attend dozens of car events all around Southern California as well as outside the area. [In fact, two entrants for 2017 came from people Salvo recruited from MCACN in Chicago!—ed.] For each entry we ask the entrant to include a photo as well as a detailed description of their automobile with their entry.

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"For cars that will be judged, we try and hold a strict line of integrity for the American Muscle and Pony Car Classes in that we are looking for original cars, not modified cars. Every now and then a car will slip by the process, but for the most part only original and original-equipped cars are what the SMMC is looking for. We have a little more wiggle room if the car is not going to be judged, however. The SMMC does try and take as many cars as we can, since we are raising money for charity at the end of the day."

Here's a look at some of the outstanding muscle and pony cars that came out for the SMMC.

  Huge Muscle Car Turnout for 2017 San Marino Motor Classic © Hot Rod Network Staff

1964 Ford Fairlane 427 Thunderbolt

Not only did this 1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt earn First place in class N2, but it was also awarded the Muscle Car Review trophy as the San Marino Motor Classic's top muscle car. Given the outstanding quality of the field, this honor was well deserved.

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"My early Thunderbolt is one the documented 100 produced and is one of the few remaining examples of Ford's all-out assault on drag racing in the 1960s," John Karelius explains. "It was delivered to Max Larson Ford in Goldwater, Michigan, on December 26, 1963. It was then resold on April 21, 1964, to Jack Reformed Ford in Springfield, Ohio, where it was campaigned throughout the Ohio Valley."

Karelius tells us that Ford delivered these "'Thunderbolt' Fairlane 500s to Dearborn Steel Tubing as K-code, High Performance 289, four-speed cars. They arrived less the engine and transmission. By ordering the K-code engine, the car was shipped with larger brakes and the legendary Ford 9-inch differential."

At Dearborn Steel Tubing, the chassis was reinforced and modified to accommodate a 427 High Riser FE engine with two four-barrel carburetors. The original steel hood and front quarter-panels were replaced with fiberglass panels. A special teardrop hood was installed to accommodate the massive FE power plant.

"The early Thunderbolts were delivered with a fiberglass front bumper, which was later replaced with an aluminum one," Karelius says. "The interior was modified with the following changes: radio, heater, defroster, side mirror, and door panel armrests were deleted. Rubber floor mats, a single driver's sun visor, single driver's windshield wiper, single driver's seatbelt, and lightweight Bostrom Thinline racing seats were added. The Thunderbolts were also delivered with drag racing slicks as standard equipment."

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  Huge Muscle Car Turnout for 2017 San Marino Motor Classic © Hot Rod Network Staff

1965 Chevrolet Chevelle Z-16

This gorgeous Z-16 Chevelle was voted First place in Class N1. "It was funny when someone came up and questioned me about the trim on the rear," says Frank Rodrigues. "I explained that this is a very rare Chevelle Z-16, the first Chevy to get the then-new 396 big-block. It's very limited production. Just 201 were built in 1965, and it's just one of 76 that we know left in existence."

He bought the car from a town outside of Chicago from Jerry Huffman, "who has his own Z-16 that he had in high school. This restoration took four years, done by Chris Daniels, who is one of the noted experts on the Z-16 Chevelles. He still has two Z-16s of his own that he bought back in the 1970s and has restored several. I assisted with the restoration, and I can say that it was truly a labor of love."

Rodrigues says, "What's noteworthy is that at one time this car was owned by the automotive writer, Terry Boyce. I have some photos and documents of the car that goes back to the time he owned the car."

  Huge Muscle Car Turnout for 2017 San Marino Motor Classic © Hot Rod Network Staff

1968 Shelby G.T. 500KR

Robert Cassling

Robert Cassling's "King of the Road" Shelby was voted top in the N3 class. He tells us, "I purchased my KR convertible approximately three years ago following a five-year search for a black KR convertible with a four-speed transmission. Little did I know this was quite a rare combination, as there were only 18 made in this configuration. Having a black top made it even rarer, with a total production of only five triple-black KR convertibles."

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He first spotted the car on television, at a Mecum auction. "After years of fruitless searching, I gave Mecum a call, and they gave me information on the owner. It turned out that he lived only 5 miles from me! So the transaction was easy. The car was rotisserie restored by a well-known Shelby restorer and won gold awards at SAAC and Team Shelby in 2016. I think my car's greatest attribute is its rarity."

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1965 Shelby G.T. 350

Bruce Meyer

The winner in Class V for Pony Cars was noted car collector Bruce Meyer for his first-year G.T. 350. "It's truly one of my favorites, which I've owned for 30 years," he says. "It was restored almost 30 years ago by Cliff Lipke in Colorado and driven ever since. It has been on the California Classic Rally as well as the Copperstate 1000 Rally. This car does it all: comfortable, old-school fast, and handles like a dream. Very predictable with no surprises."

Meyer says the G.T. 350 "just speaks to me. It's a pure American automotive piece of art. Just nothing like it. A California hot rod Mustang in the traditional American color scheme perfected by Briggs Cunningham, white with blue stripes. In addition to its wonderful aesthetic, it dominated on the race track as well. It walked the walk and won multiple SCCA B/Production championships. It's everything a Shelby should be."

  Huge Muscle Car Turnout for 2017 San Marino Motor Classic © Hot Rod Network Staff

1970 Chevrolet Chevelle LS6

Ward Grappa

"My Chevelle was sold new in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on June 6, 1970, at Ed Black's Chevrolet Center to Tom White," explains Ward Grappa. "Tom was a 19-year-old pharmacy major at the University of New Mexico. The purchase price of this car was $4,454.60. The original owner used this LS6 Chevelle as daily transportation until late 1980. By that time it had acquired 91,000 miles. Tom's four daughters came home from the hospital as newborn babies in this car."

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In early 1981, White sold his LS6 to its second owner, Greg Compagnone, also from Albuquerque, for $4,500. "Greg drove this LS6 infrequently and kept it until late 1984," says Grappa. "During that period he had the rings and bearings replaced in the engine because of excessive oil consumption, and had a 'Mop and Glow' paint job done because the original paint job was faded."

Grappa has his car's full owner history: "On December 12, 1984, this LS6 passed to Jerry Cogswell from Los Lunas, New Mexico, its third owner, for $5,500. From late 1984 until late 2001, Jerry put less than 1,000 miles on this car. At the time I purchased this Chevelle on January 13, 2002, it had traveled 95,575 miles. A complete, 2,000-hour, body-off restoration was finished by me in February 2003. All components are numbers- and date-code matching. Documentation includes the original Protect-o-Plate Warranty Folder and the new car purchase order."

  Huge Muscle Car Turnout for 2017 San Marino Motor Classic © Hot Rod Network Staff

1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS396

Keith Watkins

"I've owned the car for three years now," says Keith Watkins. "I purchased it from a restorer in Atlanta who purchased it from the original owner. The car underwent a frame-on cosmetic restoration prior to me buying it. Once I bought it, I went through the car again to finish up all the fine details and get the car as close to original as possible. This included new fenderwells, OE battery and cables, OE spark plug wires, N.O.S. fuel pump, N.O.S. AM/FM radio, upgraded OE gauge package, N.O.S. tilt column, and all new correct hoses and clamps."

The Chevelle "looks and drives exactly as it did when it left the factory in 1969, and it's been a ton of fun working on and enjoying this time capsule," Watkins says. "The car has the original engine, transmission, rearend, carb, snorkel air cleaner, and brakes, and sports its correct 789 Tuxedo Black paint, along with correct 11C Garnet Red interior. All the glass except the windshield is original to the car, along with the original body panels. Inside the car smells like steel and vinyl and takes me back to my childhood every time I go for a spin."

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  Huge Muscle Car Turnout for 2017 San Marino Motor Classic © Hot Rod Network Staff

1970 Ford Torino Cobra

John Chencharick

"I purchased this original, numbers-matching car with 24,000 miles in 2005," John Chencharick tells us. "It now has 26,000 miles. I documented the mileage by contacting the second and third owners. The engine internals were photographed and documented by engine master Jim Van Gordon, and the transmission was inspected and photographed by John Saltzman. The original torque converter was also inspected and photographed. The engine compartment was expertly detailed by John Coute's Arrow Auto Air in San Bernardino, California. The painting was done by Rounsville's in San Bernardino, California. Parts were supplied by Jeff Sneathen at SEMO Mustangs, and any technical detail information was furnished by Phil LaChapelle."

Chencharick says he has been "actively involved with most phases of the restoration from either a hands-on or research aspect. The originality of the car is its most amazing attribute. The car has participated in three concours events and had been very well received. It was invited to the Fabulous Fords event to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Torino and has just been invited back for the 50th celebration. It has also been invited for a major, yet unannounced, event coming up in January 2018. The car has done very well in shows, and I look forward to more highlights for this special car."

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1969 Ford Galaxie 500XL

Mark Rice

Mark Rice tells us he bought his Galaxie in 1979 "for $400 out of an ad placed in Hemmings. It was in a repair shop where it had been parked for five years. I am sure the shop told the customer that they had blown up the engine. Don't know how the owner of the shop had the authorization to sell it, but he did, maybe for the customer. It was the first car that I brought back, and I drove it after doing some valvetrain work on the original motor."

The Galaxie was far from how it looks now. "It had no rear glass and had been out in the rain for four years, so it had lots of rust," says Rice. "The entire floor section had to be cut out of another 1969 convertible that I found at an Ecology Center. My dad and I cut it out on one Easter Sunday. It also needed the right door and trunk lid replaced. In the late 1970s into the 1980s you could find four to five cars a row at the junkyards and still find a fair amount of new parts at the local Ford dealer."

The Galaxie was born with a K-code 429 two-barrel that came with a single exhaust. Rice says, "I upgraded it to a 460ci crate motor in 1985. I never liked the way it ran—no bottom end. A man in Signal Hill [California] began the rebuild of the 460 in 1999 with the correct DOV-C heads from a 429. It is completely balanced and port-matched with Cobra Jet cast-iron headers. I helped in all the intake and exhaust porting. I restored the car myself with the exception of the paint and upholstery. It was painted in late 1989 and still has that paint on it. It's been a part of my life for the last 38 years."

016-2017-san-marino-motor-classic-sullivan-1968-ford-shelby-gt500.jpg© Hot Rod Network Staff 016-2017-san-marino-motor-classic-sullivan-1968-ford-shelby-gt500.jpg

1968 Shelby G.T. 500

Christopher Sullivan

"Mine is a true Los Angeles Shelby G.T. 500," says Christopher Sullivan. "It was originally purchased from Downey Ford, Downey, California. It was built on December 21, 1967, and received at Downey Ford on January 11, 1968. It's all factory-correct, matching-numbers with its original, unrestored factory interior. It has benefited from a six-year rotisserie restoration process—every nut and bolt—using all the actual parts that came on the car wherever possible. All correct factory colors, details, and using correct date-coded original N.O.S. parts, turn signal switch and so on."

Note that the Shelby has its original black and yellow California-issued license plates with the original Downey Ford dealer license plate frame. Sullivan says, "This dealer frame was the personal frame of the original owner of Downey Ford, Mr. Graham Sr. which was given to me by his son, Mr. Jim Graham from Santa Margarita Ford. He told me, 'So you own the green hot rod. I knew that car when I was 14 years old running around my father's shop!'"

The Shelby (No. 00909) was raced at Lions Drag Strip in Long Beach, California, and at the Riverside International Raceway. "The car had some vintage Lions Drag Strip decals under the hood when I purchased it in 2009. It took many years to get the G.T. 500 to the level it is today. And I really enjoy driving it around Venice Beach," says Sullivan.

  Huge Muscle Car Turnout for 2017 San Marino Motor Classic © Hot Rod Network Staff

1966 Shelby G.T. 350

Margaret Alley

"In 1967 my husband Paul and I traded our VW Beetle and a little bit of cash to one of our neighbors for this car," Margaret Alley recalls. "Over the years he would drive it to work, racing on the Long Beach freeway. He loved it, he wanted a muscle car so bad. He loved fast cars. Together we drove it in slaloms, time trials, and gymkhanas."

Over the years, with Paul driving it back and forth to work, "the car went through several paint jobs, some not so good, the cheap-type stuff," she says. "Over the last couple of years, I dug it out of storage and had Mike Abssy, the owner of Schraders' Speed and Style in Azusa, do all the work. It is a true muscle car, no power brakes and no power steering. You just muscle it around, which I do about once a week."

We shot a video of Margaret at the show and posted it on Facebook. "As I left Lacy Park on the day of the show, that video must to have gone viral," she tells us. "As we drove the car off the field, people were shouting at me, 'You're the real little old lady from Pasadena!' That was so much fun, the perfect ending to a wonderful day. And now my G.T. 350 will be in Muscle Car Review magazine."

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1964 1/2 Ford Mustang

Robin Grove

"Salli, my 1964 1/2 Mustang convertible, found me through a friend whose father, M. E. Evans, had just passed away," Robin Grove says. "I am the car's second owner. Mr. Evans was a big Ford truck buyer for his ranch in Texas in the 1950s and 1960s. He bought his wife a present for her birthday, which was a triple-black, fully loaded, Tiffany-advertised, hot-off-the-assembly line Mustang. He had her delivered on a large flatbed truck with a bow."

She says the engine had some problems in later years, so it became a father-son project. "Somehow they never finished it, and it sat in their garage for 30 years, all parts in boxes and accounted for.

"My first car was a black 1964 1/2 Mustang, and over the years because of that I was named Mustang Salli," Grove continued. "Hence, when my Mustang found me, she had to be named Salli. Salli's a babe, and us girls always stick together. At shows, when someone recognizes it as a 1964 1/2 Mustang, I love pointing out the almost dozen or so small differences between the half-year, 1964 1/2 cars—such as the generator and sharp-edged hood—and the changes made for the full-year 1965 cars."

020-2017-san-marino-motor-classic-humphrey-1972-mercury-cougar-xr7-convertible-front-three-quarter.jpg© Hot Rod Network Staff 020-2017-san-marino-motor-classic-humphrey-1972-mercury-cougar-xr7-convertible-front-three-quarter.jpg

1972 Mercury Cougar XR-7

Skip Humphrey

Skip Humphrey's Cougar is a rare cat, one of just 32 convertibles built with the 285hp 351 and a four-speed manual transmission. "I ordered the car in September 1971 from Hempstead Lincoln-Mercury in Hempstead, New York," he says. "It took until December 23 for the car to be delivered, as Ford had trouble getting it to pass Federal smog requirements because of the four-speed transmission. On the weekend of July 4, 1973, I read that Ford had built its last convertibles. At the time she had 39,000 miles on the odometer. I went out and bought a used Falcon Station wagon, and put the Cougar in my garage, to be used only weekends and only in good weather."

Humphrey moved to Southern California in 1988 and had the Cougar, then with 63,000 miles on the clock, shipped west. This past April, while Humphrey was driving home from the Fabulous Fords Forever show at Knott's Berry Farm, the odometer rolled over to 85,000.

"This car is as original as I have been able to keep her," he says. "In 2012 at the Knott's' show, I was award the Johnna Pepper Memorial Trophy, presented to me by Henry Ford III, the great-, great-grandson of the founder of the Ford Motor Company. She is lovingly cared for and driven to numerous shows, mainly in Southern California."

  Huge Muscle Car Turnout for 2017 San Marino Motor Classic © Hot Rod Network Staff

1968 AMC AMX

Mark Melvin

"My car came with an interesting history, as it was Angela Dorian's grand prize for being named Playboy's 1968 Playmate of the Year," says Mark Melvin of his distinctive AMX, which we featured in "Pretty in Pink" in the Jan. 2016 issue (hotrod.com).

"Although the pink car was a beauty in 1968 when formally awarded to Dorian, the car was very rough when spotted for sale on a used car lot in Southern California," he recalls. "A contract was signed and title transferred, ending the Playmate's 42 years of ownership, which made me the second owner of the 'Playmate AMX.'"

The AMX, wearing black paint, was put into storage for two years until "a combination of local club members agreed to help take on the project of restoring the AMX back to its original 'Playmate Pink' glory," says Melvin. "The restoration, led by club member Allen Tyler, took nearly three years, as every nut and bolt came off the car and every component was rebuilt."

He says his AMX "does very well at all shows. Even if it misses out on an award, it still gets looks from everyone, especially the girls, who can't pass up an opportunity to have their picture taken with the pink AMX."

  Huge Muscle Car Turnout for 2017 San Marino Motor Classic © Hot Rod Network Staff

1970 Dodge Challenger

Peter Treglia

A couple of cars on the Lacy Park lawns were veterans of previous SMMCs. One was Peter Treglia's Challenger. He says, "I bought the car about two years ago, 90-percent restored, from Greg Nelson, a big Mopar guy who runs The Mopar Ponderosa in Minnesota. Since then it's been an ongoing project to make it as correct as possible. I entered the show here last year, where I was pleased to be invited, and finished last in my class. That inspired me to do better, and over the last year we fine-tuned where we felt we came up short. This year I took home the Second place trophy, which I think is quite an accomplishment."

Treglia says his Challenger was "inspired by the remake of the movie Vanishing Point in 1997. It's equipped with a numbers-matching 440 Six-Pack, transmission, and rearend. It's a Dana 60 Super Drag Pack car with a 4.10 rearend. It's finished in B7 Blue, which is one of the rarest colors and is the color the car was when it left the factory."

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1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429

Warren Seko

Another SMMC veteran was Warren Seko's Grabber Blue Boss, which earned the MCR award at last year's show. He says, "The Boss 429 Mustang is a rare muscle car and was homologated by NASCAR to build at least 500 street examples for Ford to use in racing," Warren explains. "Total production was 859 made for 1969, and 499 for 1970. My car is KK number 2171."

Seko's late father, Saburo, was the third owner. The car had a repaint back in the late 1980s "with single-stage paint in its original Grabber Blue color," he says. "The interior is 100 percent original, with its slight patina, vinyl scent, and the white comfort-weave seats. The Decor Group with the woodgrain side panels was an option for the 1970 model year."

Seko points out that "all 1970 Boss 429s were equipped with the Hurst shifter, while the 1969 models came with the Ford handle. The car has been in the show circuit in the L.A. area since the 1980s and has won numerous awards throughout the years. It currently has 25,000 miles on the odometer."

According to the Marti Report, this Boss was one of 10 built for the Los Angeles ordering district. As such it is equipped with the special California evaporative emissions equipment on the gas tank, air cleaner tube, and a charcoal canister under the engine block.

"It was delivered to Culver Motors Ford in Culver City," he says. "My late father, when he first purchased the car, verified its performance at the dragstrip by clocking a 13.99 at 104 mph at Orange County International Raceway, in factory stock condition, including the full complement of smog equipment and original tires. We still have that time slip to this day, as well as old Polaroid and 35mm photographs as a tribute to my dad."

Class N1 American Big-Block Muscle Cars 1962-1974 GM

2. Dan Bishop, 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle LS6

3. Keith Watkins, 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS Coupe

Class N2 American Big-Block Muscle Cars 1962-1974 non-GM

1. John Karelius, 1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt

2. Peter Treglia, 1970 Dodger Challenger

3. Les Juhos, 1965 Dodger Hemi Coronet

Class N3 American Big-Block Muscle Cars 1962-1974 Open

1. Robert Cassling, 1968 Shelby G.T. 500KR

2. Dann Allen, 1969 Mercury Cougar

3. Mark Rice, 1969 Ford Galaxie 500 XL

Class V Pony Cars Through 1973

1. Bruce Meyer, Shelby G.T. 350

2. Jim Mikkelson, 1969 Chevrolet Camaro

3. James Powers, 1967 Mercury Cougar

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The 2018 Suzuki Jimny Should Be A Perfect Tiny 4x4 .
Just look at Indian Autos Blog’s renderings of the 2018 model. It’s perfection. You know what makes the hot-selling Jeep Wrangler so legendary? It sticks to its roots. It’s got two solid axles for maximum articulation and durability, a tough ladder frame, and boxy styling that harkens back to days of yore. Its biggest weakness—at least from an off-road standpoint—is its girth. Even in two-door guise, the Wrangler is a fat-ass, much heavier and much wider than its predecessors.

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