Year One & Ghostworks Garage
As one of the largest sources of quality aftermarket and restoration parts for muscle cars, the crew at Year One can see trends coming just by watching what their customers are buying and asking about. That sort of litmus testing, plus near unlimited parts access, allows their in-house Ghostworks Garage to turn out innovative builds regularly.

One of the top things Phil Brewer of Year One sees is that no matter what kind of car or what style enthusiasts are building, the quality of execution across the board has gone up dramatically. "What guys considered acceptable 10 years ago isn't even in the game now," Phil says. Better parts availability and quality, coupled with the dramatic increase in tools and resources available to the average guy in his garage are a big driving force, but we'd be willing to bet that continual exposure to the endless stream of high-end cars out of top shops is as much a factor.

On the other hand, the styles that worked 10-plus years ago seem to be enjoying a renaissance. Phil says it's not so much a complete revisit as it is a backward glance with rose-colored glasses. The car may have retro flavor, but still take advantage of modern parts and technology to make them better than they ever could have been. Take the Cherry Bomb Camaro going together in Year One's Ghostworks Garage, for example. The premise is: "What would a '68 Camaro built in the '70s look like if modern parts were available?" It'll have slot mags, side pipes, and a blower sticking through the hood, but those slots are 18 inchers, and the intercooled and EFI'd BDS 8-71 will sit atop an LS engine. The exhaust is Cherry Bomb's side pipe system, but of course, even they've been refined for better quality over the originals. Look for the PHR-exclusive debut of the Cherry Bomb Camaro in the months ahead.

The product design staff at Year One is fully on board with this emerging trend, and plan on putting out new products to support it. For example, look for a dozen or so new vintage-inspired aluminum wheels from Year One in the next year. Designed along the same lines as their popular snowflake homage to '70s Pontiac Trans Am wheels, they'll be available in large diameters and fat widths to accommodate modern rubber and performance parts while still giving off the appropriate vintage vibe.

Along a different mindset, Phil is also seeing a strong drive toward serious open-track muscle cars. Sure, it's being driven by the amazing array of well-engineered suspension systems developed for muscle cars in the past few years and the recent surge in autocross events like the Goodguys course, but there's something else afoot: new production Mustang and Camaro bodies. While owners of real vintage cars often feel as much like caretakers of history as gearheads, those building a muscle car from one of Dyncorn's repopped shells don't have such hang-ups. "Sure, some cars deserve to be in museums, but these new bodies deserve to be driven hard," Phil says. And it could get much better soon; Phil has been hearing sincere rumblings of starting a spec race series based on the cars, similar to spec Cobra or the Miller Mustang Challenge. Just imagine 30 or 40 '67-70 Mustangs and '67-69 Camaros decked out in Trans-Am livery coming over that pucker-inducing big hill at Road Atlanta. It could be the rebirth of the golden era of Trans-Am racing.

Year One