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'69 Yenko Camaro

Pro-Street Camaro RS


'78 Camaro Z28



Movie Posters Wheels Day Grand National Roadster Show


Camaro ZL1

Ben Klemenzson


HAPPY SPRING & 50TH! a century after the original was launched, that great automotive rivalry between the Mustang and the Camaro is still going strong, as proven by Chevrolet’s latest high-power offering from the franchise in the shape of the 2017 Camaro ZL1 which offers an eyewatering 650bhp and 650ft-lb of torque. But make no mistake, this is no dragstrip special, the General has pulled all the stops out to make this an agile, responsive track car too. You can read all about it in our feature on page 31…

Ben Klemenzson, editor

Image: GM

Well, the first big car show that’s of significance to American car owners – the Surrey Street Rodders’ Wheels Day Show, held in Aldershot – has been and gone and with a bit of luck we’re now on a roll to a warm, dry summer… (he says hopefully!). We’ve got a full report on this event starting on page 77, with all the hundreds of other images from the show on the Classic American website (see www.classic-american. com). After a few difficult years with a move to a new venue and then limits on the number of cars allowed to attend, the Surrey Street Rodders’ event seems to be back to its former strength and as a one-day show is a welcome marker of the end of winter and the start of spring for American car owners who can liberate their vehicles from months of hibernation. Now, just in case you didn’t notice, this month we’re celebrating 50 years of America’s other iconic pony car, the Camaro. It’s amazing to think that half

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Contents June 2017



06 12 14 16 18 20 22 63 66 84 106 111 114 120 122 134

24 31 36 42 49 56 70

News Letters Across the Pond Muscle Car Files Here to Obscurity Subscription Offer CA Shop Tech Reviews Scale Autos Discoveries Drive Buy Events Tex Private Classifieds Services Directory

1968 Camaro Yenko 2017 Camara ZL1 Fox 1978 Camaro Z28 Camaro History 1973 AMC Hornet 1956 Pontiac Movie posters

Events 77 Wheels Day 87 Hot Rod and Kool Kustoms Show 95 GNR Show 92 American Modified News 101 1969 Pro Street Camaro

36 101 5

Classic American

News Wheels Day has come and gone and the first heat winner of this year’s competition was selected at the show, which saw even more cars and traders than in previous years – it looks like Wheels Day is back to full strength! The skies may have been grey and the weather chilly, but that didn’t stop Diego Presenza from bringing his beautiful white 1963 Ford Falcon Futura convertible to the show, along with his whole family for a great day out. Diego has painstakingly restored this Falcon over the years and it now looks like a new car. Fitted with Ford’s failsafe 170cu in straight-six motor and three-speed manual, the car has had just about everything restored or replaced, with a stunning interior and shiny new paint. Even the tyres look brand new!


The very happy Presenza family with their winning ’63 Falcon.

The Falcon has spent time in both the Canary Islands and Barcelona, but is now residing in Richmond, Surrey and we look forward to

welcoming it on to the Classic American stand at the Classic Motor Show, at Birmingham’s NEC over the weekend of November 10-12!

READY FOR BRISTOL? The weekend of June 17-18 will see Classic American’s parent company, Mortons, hosting the 38th annual Bristol Classic, held at the Royal Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet, Somerset. Known and loved by many in the scene for its friendly atmosphere, the intrigue and interest starts the minute you get through the gate with the hundreds of vehicles which pack into the classic car park. There are plenty of car club displays, as well as a wide range of independent traders including specialist suppliers of parts, tools and vintage memorabilia, along with service providers. One of the largest areas is dedicated to a huge

indoor autojumble where showgoers lose themselves for hours rummaging around the bargains in search of that rare find. In recent years the event has also been a heat of the Footman James Classic American Car of the Year competition, which sees a winner picked to go through to the final stages of the prestigious competition held at the NEC Classic Motor Show in November. And as always, the weekend culminates in the Charterhouse Auction, where there’s always a fantastic line-up of classics waiting to go under the hammer. Visitors are free to browse through the lots on Saturday, with entry on Sunday by catalogue only.

Bristol boasts loads of indoor traders and autojumble.


LAUNCHED Classic American’s parent company, Mortons, is organising the firstever Epsom Classic Car Rally, to be held this June. Classic vehicle insurance broker Footman James and specialist auction house H&H Classics are to sponsor the event, held in conjunction with The Jockey Club on Investec Derby Day at Epsom Downs Racecourse. The event, on Saturday, June 3, will take place at the famous Tattenham Corner, giving drivers and passengers the opportunity to watch the day’s racing while showcasing this fantastic collection of desirable vehicles. The organisers are hoping to create an American section and clubs are also welcome and can be positioned together if they get in touch with Mortons. Classic cars must be 25 years or older, and must be booked in advance to take part in the rally, with tickets priced at just £29. Drivers can enjoy all the benefits of betting facilities, catering, live music, funfair rides and much more within ‘The Hill’ – an area inside the racecourse that attracts tens of thousands of visitors. Those interested in registering their vehicle into the rally can do so by visiting www. or calling Mortons’ customer services team on 01507 529529.

RARE CORVETTE C1 HEADS TO AUCTION Silverstone Auctions has consigned an early 1954 Corvette C1 into its May sale. It’s a very original car with an indicated mileage of 44,382 and now recommissioned. Silverstone reckon that if the car had been six months older it would be around the half a million dollar mark, so at an estimate of £50,000 to £60,000 it could be a great value way of somebody owning a lovely, early Corvette. Fitted with a blue-flame straight-six motor, the car was allegedly found in Arizona and was shipped back to the UK where it underwent an £18,000 paint job and was retrimmed

in the original material. The brakes have been refurbished and the bumpers rechromed. The auction takes place on May 13, so Classic American subscribers may well still be in time to bid. For more information about the sale, see www.

The paint job alone was £18k!

IS YOURS A CAR OF THE YEAR? The first heat of the Footman James Car of the Year competition has already taken place at this year’s Wheels Day show and will be rolling out all over the UK for the rest of the show season at the following events: 1. June 17-18 Bristol Classic Car Show, Shepton Mallet, Somerset 2. July 1-2 Stars and Stripes, Tatton Park, Cheshire 3. July 9 Rally of the Giants, Blenheim Palace, Oxon 4. July 23 Damn Yankees, North Weald, Essex 5. July 28-30 Mopar Euro Nats, Santa Pod, Northants 6. Aug 19-20

Atomic, Sywell, Northants 7. Sep 30-Oct 1 Prescott Hill Climb, Cheltenham, Glos. 8. Nov 10-12 NEC Classic Motor Show, Birmingham, NEC We’ll be looking out for suitable candidates at these shows. There are no entry criteria; ideally cars should either be original or restored and ‘stock’, without aftermarket wheels or suchlike. Heat winners are guaranteed a place on the Classic American stand at the Classic Motor Show, held at Birmingham’s NEC and also win a bespoke handcast brass trophy, a cheque for £100 and a feature in the magazine (if their car hasn’t already been featured). 7

Classic American

News On April 12, during a special ceremony that kicked off the third annual Cars at the Capital exhibition, three iconic American custom cars were added to the National Historic Vehicle Register. The three cars, the McGee Roadster (a 1932 Ford V8 highboy), the Hirohata Merc (1951 Mercury custom coupe) and Gypsy Rose (a 1964 Chevy Impala lowrider) were each awarded their own special display inside a transparent glass case on the walkway that links the National Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian to the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. The McGee Roadster is a hot rod based on a 1932 Ford V8 Roadster. It was built by Bob McGee; a soldier who, upon returning from the Second World War, attended and played football for the University of Southern California. McGee raced the car on the dry lakebeds of California and used the car to promote hot rod safety. The iconic car was featured on the cover of Hot Rod magazine in 1948. “Hot rodding is something so important to our American heritage, and it was almost forgotten. This car exemplifies the pinnacle of that,” said Bruce Meyer, owner of the McGee Roadster and founding chairman of the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. The Hirohata Merc is a 1951 Mercury

ICONIC CUSTOM CARS ADDED TO NHV The Smithsonian, Washington DC, where the cars to be displayed in turn.

Coupe that was purchased by Bob Hirohata and extensively customised by master craftsmen Sam and George Barris at their shop in Lynwood, California, in 1952. It was striped by Kenneth Howard – aka Von Dutch – and featured modified design elements from Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ford and Lincoln. Under Hirohata’s ownership, it was driven cross-country from Los Angeles to Indianapolis and on to Detroit and back. The car collected more than 150 trophies during the first several years it was shown. In 1959, at the age of 16, Jim McNiel purchased it from a used car lot for $500. “The Hirohata Merc really isn’t mine; it’s had an effect on a lot of people’s lives. When they come to see it, a lot of them, they just

COSMOTRON CLEANS UP Taking best of show at this year’s Wheels Day spectacular was Cosmotron, brought along by Martin Smith from Bexleyheath, Kent. This bubble-topped marvel has, somewhere underneath that jaw-dropping bodywork, a BMW. Owner Martin is big man, but somehow he manages to fold himself in and out of this super-cool rod, with its fully functioning Perspex bubbletop, which opens and closes like something out of a Fifties sci-fi movie. It was a worthy winner indeed and you can read our report from this year’s excellent event on pages 77 to 80, with more images on the Classic American website!

Martin Smith and Cosmotron.


break down. It’s all about the history of the car,” said McNiel. Gypsy Rose is a 1964 Chevrolet Impala designed to go ‘low and slow’ when it cruised East Los Angeles in the Seventies. It was known as one of the most extravagantly painted lowriders of the era, landing it a spot in the opening credits of the Seventies sitcom Chico and the Man and on the cover of Lowrider magazine in 1980. “You’re only going to find certain iconic cars that are still around. This is one of them, and I think it was our foundation, our cornerstone of all lowriding,” said Joe Ray, editor of Lowrider magazine. Each of the three cars was due to take its turn to be on display in the glass case from April to May. HE

SELL YOUR CAR FOR FREE IN CLASSIC AMERICAN If you’re fed up with time wasters and hidden fees on certain on-line based auction sites, fear not, Classic American has the answer with our free private classified advertising section. It’s really easy to use and you can either upload your ad with a picture on the Classic American website at or for those who prefer to do things the old fashioned way, just fill in the form at the back of the magazine on page 122 and send it in with a photograph. Your ad will appear in the magazine for three issues and can easily be renewed by phone or e-mail and best of all? It costs nothing an puts your car or truck in front of the biggest audience of American vehicle enthusiasts in the UK!

FAST AND FURIOUS 8 Fast and furious… and noisy, bloody and dumb – but, says Mike Renaut, there are some really cool American cars in the newest one! There are some who dismiss the Fast & Furious films as two hours of improbable CGI stunts, cartoon violence and ridiculous plots. And they’re completely correct. The latest episode, Fast and Furious 8, begins in Cuba – you’ll appreciate the hundreds of beautiful, shiny classics lining up in Havana as the film’s hero, Dom, arrives in a stunning 1961 Impala 409. He’s immediately in a street race with a local’s 428ci Cobra Jet 1956 Ford sedan, the twist being Dom must drive his cousin’s junker 327ci turbo 1950 Chevy Fleetline. Fortunately a John Deere digger transmission gives it four reverse gears too! After some fast-paced racing Dom meets Cipher; a woman dressed as Angelina Jolie who forces Dom to commit a theft because…, well forget the plot. Instead watch the background and you’ll see a blue ’58 Dodge, it appears to be a rare Canadian export Kingsway… The action eventually switches to New York with Dom’s stunning 1972 Plymouth GTX (they reckon 5000bhp but when it overturns you’ll see a stock frame) chased by his family in a variety of cars; most of interest to us is a customised 1966 Corvette. It’s a wild chase that destroys countless, thankfully modern, Dodges and Jeeps – and joyfully a Toyota Prius too. The final act has the gang on Russian ice chased by army Lada Nivas that somehow outperform Lamborghinis... You’ll only have eyes for Dom’s wild 4x4 1968 Dodge Ice Charger, it’s got a ‘70 front but by the time it explosively takes on a nuclear submarine you’ll have lost that many brain cells you won’t care any more. F&F8 is noisy, stupid, very violent fun with enough cars to keep you entertained while the 15 main characters read their scripts out loud at the nearest camera. At the time of writing it’s also made the biggest profit by any film in its first weekend and is number one at the UK box office. Take earplugs.

The Ice Charger was four-wheel drive and had a Hellcat motor.

The latest news, every issue SUBSCRIBE ON PAGE 20 9

Classic American

News Famous ex-Gerry Marshall ‘Baby Bertha’.

Ray Barrow’s winning Camaro fends off second place TVR.

CSCC THRUXTON THRILLER The Classic Sports Car Club’s Thruxton Thriller certainly lived up to its billing with a weekend of terrific racing under sunny blue skies. This was the club’s second visit to the fastest race circuit in the UK, its inaugural meeting being last August. Saturday was mainly for modern-ish cars but Sunday was for classics and the grids were packed with interesting cars. Among the Chevy-engined machines running in the Special Saloons and Modsports was Joe Ward’s ‘Baby Bertha’, the steroidal 5.7-litre V8 Vauxhall Firenza made famous by the late, great Gerry Marshall. During the Seventies Gerry raced it five times at Thruxton and won every race. In the Future Classics, Alex Thistlethwayte was out in his recently acquired 1968 Camaro, a car built by Bill Shaw Racing for the 1970 British Saloon Car Championship, driven by Roy Pierpoint and then successfully campaigned by Martin Thomas in the UK and Europe. Ford Mustangs and Falcons diced it out with Lotus Elans, TVRs and MGs in the Mintex Classic K race, but the best of the American action came in the very last race, the 40-minute-long Swinging Sixties race. Neil Merry qualified his 7.4-litre big block ‘Budd’ Corvette (a CA feature car) in second place, his best ever grid position at Thruxton, with Ray Barrow in his 1969 5.7-litre Camaro in third. A light and nimble Lotus Elan bagged pole but was quickly overhauled. Merry took the lead but was

then hounded by a 5.0-litre Ford V8-powered TVR Tuscan until the compulsory pit stop when he lost time. Barrow, however, had a lightning fast stop and gained the lead which he held to the flag, with the TVR second and Merry’s Corvette third. Barrow, who has raced his self-prepared modified car for the last six seasons, said: “I was surprised when they told me I’d won. I thought I was racing the TVR for second. It’s a very fast track, but it’s hard work because you are nearly always in a turn.” Third overall was Merry’s best Thruxton result. He also won his class for FIA spec, Dunlop historic tyre-clad cars. He said: “What a great race. I was clocking 144mph in places. I completely destroyed my left rear tyre and once I was completely sideways coming into the chicane.” A thrilling end to the Thruxton Thriller. SH

Frank Slevin’s Falcon Sprint rumbling over the rumble strips.

Chris Mallard’s Shelby Mustang GT350 in full flight. Neil Merry was a fine third in his ‘Budd’ Corvette.

This Camaro was raced in period by Roy Pierpoint and Martin Thomas.

CHEVY OFFERS RALLY SPORT TRUCK (RST) SUBURBAN AND TAHOE General Motors’ Chevrolet brand has introduced two new sporty offerings based on its full-size Suburban and Tahoe SUVs. Available in the autumn of 2017 as 2018 models, the new trucks pay homage to modern aftermarket trends and feature a number of exterior and mechanical performance upgrades. These include elimination of exterior chrome trim and features such as a body-colour grille surround and door handles; gloss-black grille and mirror caps; black roof rails, window trim, badging and Chevy bowties. RST models will also ride on exclusive 22-inch wheels wrapped in Bridgestone P285/45R 22 tyres.


Mechanical upgrades include a standard 6.2-litre V8 rated at an estimated 420bhp and 460ft-lb of torque (the first time this engine is offered in the Tahoe); plus GM’s new 10L80 10-speed automatic transmission. There’s also a standard performance tuned Borla exhaust system (said to be good for an extra 7-10bhp at the tyres) plus an available Brembo brake package with six-piston front calipers and 16.1-inch rotors, along with a Magnetic Ride Control active suspension system with specific performance calibrations. The new Tahoe RST is said to deliver 0-60mph times of around six seconds, while still being able to tow 8400lb. HE

2018 Chevy Tahoe RST.

Classic American


Email us at: or write to: Classic American Magazine, PO Box 99, Horncastle, Lincs LN9 6LZ



AMERICAN CAR INSURANCE SOLUTION Dear Classic American, Hope you’re well. Just reading the letter pages in the April issue and see a reader, Colin Hoyle, is having trouble finding insurance to cover his US road trip. I have dealt with Chuck Wasoski ( at Grundy Worldwide who has helped me twice in the past, most recently last year for my 1973 Electra. I took a year-long policy and cancelled after a month for a

full 11 month refund which they, eventually, applied to my card. This took a bit of talking but was achieved. I think the insurance cost me about £25 after I got the refund. They will assume a US address for you as the address of the seller, but will send the documents by email. Danyel Mills via e-mail Thanks for that Danyel… yyou

could always get an American driving licence and use the address of a friend or relative (or even the vendor of the car you’re buying) and most US insurance companies will consider you. Editor Ben Klemenzson took a driving test in California and only had to answer a 30 question multiple choice questionnaire before being handed a California driving licence, enabling him to obtain insurance from State Farm insurance.

INSURANCE SHOCK Dear Classic American, I am not easily shocked, but this takes the biscuit on car insurance quotes. I went online for some quotes for a 2007 Chrysler 300C Hemi 6.1-litre and okay, it has had an LPG conversion, K&N filter and supercharger fitted, so not quite standard. Although I am in my early sixties, I still like a bit of speed and own a 1992 GMC Typhoon. So with a 0-60mph of just over five seconds, it’s no slouch and is quite the sheep in wolfs clothing! So back to the insurance comparison sites for the Hemi, and bearing in mind I have four years’ NCB, no convictions and annual mileage of

FELIXSTOWE FUTURLINERS Dear Classic American, Thought you might be interested in what I snapped at the port of Felixstowe last week. I don’t know where it was going or came from. But only 12 were made in 1939 and one sold at Barrett Jackson for $4,000,000. In 2015 it’s a rare beast. Gary Judge via e e-mail mail Wow! Well spotted, I wonder where it was headed, maybe a Classic American reader knows… over to you dear reader!

3000 for social use only, I was given just four quotes for the vehicle out of 120+ companies. The first quote being just under £700 and the other three quoting between £9000 to just under £12,000! Yes you read that right! £9k to £12k! So I was wondering, have any other readers experienced such out of space numbers? Gerry Morgan Newport Gwent We passed this titbit on to Footman James to see if they could shed any light on this and will report back when we have a response!


Dear Cl Classic i A American, American Have you ever done a piece on unconventional promotional items car manufacturers have branded which actually have nothing to do with cars? Do your readers have anything else similar to this Chevrolet-branded On The Move LP I recently picked up from my local charity shop, containing some smooth hits from the day? Like alternatively, maybe Ford’s Funky Faves, The Easy Edsel Listening Collection or even Buick’s Beat Selection?! Sanjay Shabi Aldgate East London E1 Now that really is a find… obviously they have a much better class of charity shop in London than elsewhere in the UK!


SOMETHING FOR NOTHING Dear Classic American, I am a new subscriber to Classic American with a recently reborn interest in the subject. Firstly let me say how much I enjoy the magazine but special congratulations on your Viewpoint page. Anyone with knowledge and expertise should never give it away unless perhaps to a worthy charity. We have to stand up to the ‘something for nothing’ fraternity. Having had my own fishing TV series I have had similar approaches and firmly believe that if one has an area of expertise then its worth should be recognised. As my old dad used to say: “Nothing’s for nothing!” The picture above is of a very nice Corvette that I owned in the early Eighties with my son, then 12, perched on the roof! My reborn interest has caused me to try and trace the car, but all I can find is that after I sold it the new owner sprayed it red and then there is no further record (details also below). Is there anyone on your staff that could help with my further research or at least point me in the right direction? Chris Sandford via e-mail Well a check with the DVLA website suggests it hasn’t been on the road for many years. Anyone out there know what happened to Chris’s old ’Vette?

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