The fact that Tommy Williams has been able to turn out such a sweet-looking '69 Camaro for $17K is nearly a miracle in this day of rusted $10K rollers. Of course, it helps to buy a project like this in 1992, like Tommy did, for just $6,500. It's been slow and steady ever since; gradual improvements include adding the requisite underhood chrome, changing the interior from blue to black, and adding wheeltubs to accommodate those huge 33x21.5-inch Mickey Thompsons on Weld Pro Star wheels. The biggest expense, says Tommy, was the new paintjob, which set him back $7,200. Cruise-ins are Tommy's favorite function, which account for approximately 1,500 miles a year. Tommy writes: "The model in the photos is my beautiful daughter, Teri York. This is her first attempt at modeling, and I think she did a wonderful job." We concur.

1969 CHEVY CAMARO
Car Owner: Tommy Williams; Indianapolis, IN
Photographer: Bekah Williams; Indianapolis, IN
Camera: Kodak DX7590
Model: Teri York
Photo location: Indianapolis, IN
Engine: 327ci small-block Chevy
Cylinder heads: factory, 202 castings
Camshaft: factory
Intake: Edelbrock Performer
Carb/induction: Edelbrock
Transmission: Turbo 350
Rearend model & gearing: GM 12-bolt
  with 4.56 gears
Suspension/brakes: factory
Peak hp: n/a
Best 1/4-mile time: n/a
Years owned: 16 years
Cost to build: $17,000

Finalist
The story behind Gary Ball and Brandon Bussard's altered-wheelbase '65 Coronet is fascinating. We'll just let their letter do the talking: "This car started off as a '65 Dodge Coronet two-door hardtop. We then had Rich Lefever in Seattle perform the alterations to the exact specs of the 12 '65 altered-wheelbase cars that were built. The factory used hardtops, and then fitted them with sedan doors, so a pillar had to be fabricated. The rear floorpan was moved up 15 inches, and the front suspension moved forward 10 inches. The goal was to build a correct altered-wheelbase car, down to the looks, fiberglass bumpers, fiberglass fenders, rear-mounted battery, correct interior, etc.

"We installed a 440 Wedge instead of a Hemi for practicality, and a four-speed for fun. The car was even built with the inner fenderwells cut for fenderwell headers; however, we are running '64 Max Wedge manifolds instead. The car is all correct in looks, even the Hilborn through the hood. The exception is that we are running four grille headlights (the originals had just low beams); we are running the four-headlight system to be DOT approved!

"We built this car to drive, not to race. That is the reason for the fake Hilborn air cleaner and the 440 Wedge over the Hemi. The interior is all correct, even the dash with heater and radio delete. The car does have A/C and windshield wipers for those hot summer days and DOT regulations. In keeping with a stock appearance, the A/C controls are hidden in the glovebox, and the wiper switch is where the cigarette lighter used to be. The car has the correct A990 seats, lightweight brackets, door panels, and even has Lexan windows with correct window straps instead of window regulators. We hid all the wiring and electronics instead of putting those ugly items on the smoothed firewall."

1965 DODGE CORONET
Car Owner: Brandon Bussard/Gary Ball; Warsaw, IN
Photographer: Ken Rieves; Fort Wayne, IN
Camera: Canon 30D
Model: Amanda Hypes
Photo location: Warsaw, IN
Engine: 440ci Mopar Wedge
Cylinder heads: factory, cast iron (ported)
Camshaft: COMP Cams "Purple shaft 509"
Intake: 1964 Max Wedge manifold
Carb/induction: Edelbrock 750-cfm, "fake"
  Hilborn injection
Transmission: Mopar 4-speed
Rearend model & gearing: Mopar 8 3/4-inch,
  3.55 gears
Suspension/brakes: factory torsion bar (front),
  "super stock" rear leaf
Peak hp: 450 hp (estimate)
Best 1/4-mile time: n/a
Years owned: 5 years
Cost to build: $60,000

Mothers Picture Perfect Award
This is the place to show off your pride and joy to the rest of mankind, so we figure those readers who took the time to capture a really cool shot of their hot rod should get a little bonus. Mothers agreed, and decided to come to the party with some freebies for the best picture submitted to PHR.

Each month, the editors at PHR will sift through the images and pick the one with the best composition, lighting, and overall quality. The winner will get a cool assortment of Mothers products to keep his or her ride looking nice and shiny. Mail us a photograph or, if you're a modern guy, e-mail us a digital image. Remember that digital images need to be 300 dpi and, the bigger the image, the larger it can run. Also, be sure to include info on the car, along with your name and address. Good luck!