1975 Pontiac Astre
Josh Campbell, Gilbert, AZ
Best E.T.: 12.595/110
Josh Campbell ditched school one day during his senior year of high school, but he had his dad's approval this time; they were headed to a big estate sale at a salvage yard that was packed with vintage steel. The typical muscle car fare was out of his reach, but Josh was able to pick up two Pontiac Astres for $70 apiece. One was a parts car, but the other was a complete and solid '75 GT, only missing the gas tank.

As soon as he got it home, however, Josh proceeded to rip out the suspension and upgrade it with S-10 spindles, brakes, and a complete rearend since it's an easy junkyard swap for stronger parts. Next, the engine and trans made way for a basically stock Chevy 355ci short-block and a Turbo 350. The first iteration was intentionally mild since it was subject to smog regulations at the time, and Josh drove it daily to Arizona State University, reportedly getting about 10 mpg.

If you're thinking this must be the straightest Astre in existence, well you're probably right. Josh made the paint and body a labor of love, spending untold hours aligning panels, blocking, and eventually spraying, wet sanding, and polishing the paint himself. Even the GT stripe was hand traced by Josh, then cut from 3M vinyl by a graphics shop. We're positive they never looked this good new.

Mid 12s have been no problem, but now that Arizona has loosened the smog noose, and he's bought a separate daily driver, Josh has plans for making the Astre more of a dragstrip terror with a bigger cam, higher stall converter, and better headers. Other than that, Josh basically considers it done and still enjoys driving it as much as he did the first time. Plus, he also enjoys all the reminiscing when he takes it out; you don't see Astres much anymore, but a lot of people who see Josh's GT seem to have memories of them to share.

'75 Pontiac Astre GT: $70
Paint and body: $1,060
Interior: $1,184
Wheels: $350
Engine short-block: $1,532
Cam: $215
Pushrods: $35
Rockers: $260
Cylinder heads: $1,269
Intake manifold: $150
Carburetor: $142
Distributor and coil: $265
Ignition box and wires: $276
Radiator: $199
Water pump: $72
Cooling fan: $20
Suspension: $1,538
Misc. parts: $1,254
Total: $9,891

'75 Pontiac Astre
Josh Campbell, 23 • Gilbert, AZ
Total cost to build: $9,891
Type: Chevy 355ci small-block
Block: stock GM, bored .030
Oiling: stock pump and pan
Rotating assembly: GM cast crank, stock rods,
and 10.5:1 Keith Black hypereutectic pistons
Cylinder heads: Dart aluminum Pro1 with 2.02/1.60 valves
Camshaft: COMP Cams Xtreme Energy 268H .477/.480-inch lift
Valvetrain: COMP Cams 1.6:1 roller rockers,
and Cloyes double-roller timing set
Induction: Edelbrock Performer RPM intake manifold, Holley 750-cfm carb
Ignition: MSD 6AL box, distributor, Blaster SS coil, and plug wires
Exhaust: Sanderson headers, Purple Hornies mufflers
Cooling: Summit Racing water pump;
Tru-Kool aluminum radiator,
and single electric fan
Output: 292 rear-wheel horsepower at 5,700 rpm and 297 lb-ft at 3,700 rpm
Built by: Basko
Transmission: GM Turbo 350 , stock converter;
Hurst Quarter Stick shifter
Rear axle: GM S-10 rearend, 3.73:1 gears
Front suspension: S-10 spindles and ball joints,
CSK Suto V-8 Monza Springs,
Summit Racing 90/10 shocks
Rear suspension: four-link with Spohn adjustable
upper and lower control arms,
'80s Trans Am springs with Gabriel shocks
Brakes: stock '90s S-10 discs, front;
stock S-10 drums, rear
Wheels: Weld Draglite 15x3.5, front; 15x7, rear
Tires: 145-15 Nankang, front; 235/60R15 BFGoodrich, rear