Luckiest Guy In The World Award
We featured the ’70 Boss Snake Mustang built by Curt Ukasik and his band of brothers at RPM back in our October issue. We told you about the Snake’s trendsetting body styling, the Kaase-built big-block Boss 520, and the take-no-prisoner’s suspension in our October issue, at which time we mentioned it would eventually be given away to one lucky Goodguys member. That day finally came at the Goodguys 13th Southwest Nationals. Twelve lucky members were chosen at random at Goodguys events leading up to Scottsdale, each of them given a key to try in the Snake’s ignition at Scottsdale. On this day, the lucky key that breathed fire in the Kaase Hemi was held by Tom Ramsey of Hazelwood, Missouri.
John Spencer (Mesa, Arizona) is another modern hot rodder who believes that the muscle car experience just isn’t complete unless you practice what you preach. His Mulsanne Blue ’68 Camaro Z/28 was built for driving—and racing. Vintage Trans-Am racing doesn’t allow a whole lot of modifications, and those that are allowed are usually period-correct mods, like the vintage four-wheel disc Corvette brakes, the Ford 9-inch rear, the Muncie four-speed, and some Global West bushings. The stout little solid-roller 302 small-block makes 485 hp at 8,000 rpm. Once John gets some laps under his belt, we’ll check back in with him.
Muscle Machine Of The Year
Barry’s Speed Shop of Corona, California, built Dennis DeCamp’s ’70 Ford Mustang, which won the Goodguys Muscle Machine of the Year at Scottsdale—a real nice follow-up to DeCamp’s previous America’s Most Beautiful Roadster Award in 2007. In spite of the fact that the Roush 427-powered fastback cost a small fortune to build, DeCamp left the trailer at home and drove it over 9,000 miles to six Goodguys shows. Says DeCamp: “If you don’t drive it, what good is it?!” We totally agree. One of the best perks of having the Muscle Machine of the Year award bestowed on you is that Snap-on gives you a custom roll-around toolbox with a huge wrap of your car on the front of it. Congrats to Dennis DeCamp and all the talented builders at Barry’s Speed Shop!
When Chevy came out with Tuned Port Induction (TPI) on the ’85 Corvette, it was considered state of the art. Its long runners worked with small ports and a short-duration camshaft to produce prodigious amounts of torque for its era. Engineers were working under heavy constraints mandated by the EPA and CAFE, and TPI allowed the greatest performance gain with the technology then available. But times changed and technology marched on. TPI is now just a footnote—its torque merit badge having since passed on to the LT1, then the LS1, and now the LS7 and LS9. Some folks, however, still appreciate the look, sound, and power of a good TPI, and Jack Hodson (Glendale, Arizona) is one of its proponents. His homebuilt ’67 Camaro features a fuel-injected 383ci small-block TPI with a secret weapon—an ATI intercooled ProCharger. The extra cubes and blower handily make up for ground lost to the LS! It’s also great to see something besides an LS stuffed between the fenders in this nice near-retro move.
Cruising With Style
The year 1967 was the first for the “modern” Buick powerplant, and nowhere was it showcased better than the Riviera. Always a styling icon, the Riv turned heads, and with few exceptions, was the aspirational luxury car of its era, much like a Mercedes-Benz, BMW, or Lexus is today. Nevertheless, the Riviera has been scandalously ignored by modern hot rodders, its sleek lines, unequalled comfort, and glass-smooth handling completely spurned. Gil Losi of Murrieta, California, however, has kept the flame lit for the big boat Buick. The original 360-horse 430 V-8 and Switch-Pitch Turbo 400 have been well maintained, to which Losi has only added a complete RideTech suspension, nicer two-tone paint, and modern rolling stock. It might not be the fastest thing on the road, but we’ll bet it has caused more accidents from rubberneckers!