Frank Russo • Hewitt, TX
After finding a surprisingly clean and well-kept AMX in the Orange County, California, Auto Trader, Frank Russo set about making it car-show ready by applying fresh paint and freshening up the 390. After 15 years of showing it, Frank decided it was time to really play with it. The 390 was pulled and set aside and an Indy-headed 401 making 460 hp and 425 lb-ft of torque was dropped in along with a TorqueFlite with a 3,500-stall converter. Believe it or not, this wasn't just for quick e.t.'s (12.30s to be exact); Frank wanted to make the AMX into a more fun street car, and he now drives it regularly.

Photographer: Frank Russo; Hewitt, TX
Camera: Canon PowerShot A540
Engine: 401ci AMC with aluminum Indy heads and intake, Erson cam, Wiseco pistons, and Barry Grant 650 Speed Demon carb
Trans: TorqueFlite with 3,500-stall converter
Rearend: AMC Model 20 with 3.54 gears
Suspension: stock AMC
Brakes: stock discs and drums
Wheels: Weld Racing
Custom touches: The hoodscoop is an original SS piece from AMC.

'69 Mustang
Vince Poppler • Kernersville, NC
Back before stroker kits for small-block Fords were common fare, Vince Poppler went about it the hard way for his '69 Mustang, using a tech article from Street Rodder magazine. The recipe called for a Ford 400 M crank, Chrysler rods, Chevy bushings, and custom Keith Black pistons. Powerwise, it was the perfect replacement for his 302, but unfortunately, it still required a great deal of machine work, including cutting and reworking the crank. Of course as an Air Force enlistee living in the barracks, life was pretty meager for Vince for about a year as he sacrificed cash to appease the beast being built. It was worth it though; Vince says the 427 makes great power. As for the chassis, the Mustang has subframe connectors and CalTracs bars, and a full PST suspension is going in soon.

Photographer: Vince Poppler; Kernersville, NC
Camera: Canon Elura 85
Engine: 427ci Windsor with World Products heads and 2.02/1.90 valves, Edelbrock Performer RPM Air-Gap intake, Holley 750 double-pumper carb, COMP hydraulic-roller cam
Trans: four-speed Top Loader
Rearend: 9-inch with 3.73 gears
Suspension: stock front, stock rear with CalTracs bars
Brakes: stock discs and drums
Wheels: unidentified mags Vince found
Great quote: "In order for me to ignore all the creaks and rattles from a 40-year-old car, I have a high-power custom stereo system."

'72 Buick Skylark
Gerald Ziegler • Snohomish, WA
Gerald Ziegler's dream car is a completely numbers-matching Buick with only 72,000 miles on the clock that he uses as a weekend cruiser, as well as an occasional daily driver. One of the cooler things about cruising his Buick, Gerald says, is that it inspires plenty of people to come over for a closer look, and he ends up meeting a very diverse group. That's a bonus since he just moved from Seattle to the Midwest; meeting people is as easy as going for a cruise. That's actually one of our favorite parts about a cruise as well; it's like an icebreaker between folks who might otherwise never speak.

Photographer: Gerald Ziegler; Snohomish, WA
Camera: Olympus Stylus
Engine: stock 350 ci
Trans: four-speed
Rearend: original B.O.P.
Suspension: rebuilt to stock specs front and rear
Brakes: original drums all around
Wheels: American Racing Torq-Thrust II
Great quote: "What's to tell? You can see from the pictures it's an older fullsize Buick, so you know it's a great car!"

'66 Chevelle
Donny Pagel • Stevens Point, WI
Two years of searching for a Chevelle like the one he had in high school finally led Donny Pagel to this '66. Well, actually his nephew found it on eBay for him, but Donny made the deal after it didn't sell on the auction. This '66 had a 350 in it, but Donny had bigger plans in the form of a 468 big-block sitting on a stand in his garage, ready to go. After that, he had the body soda blasted and sprayed Viper Blue; he cleaned up the interior, made his own boxed rear control arms, and then set about driving it as much as possible. Since he bought it in March of 2010, he's racked up 3,000 miles of cruising-often with his two nephews driving their own Chevelle and Nova.

Photographer: Dan Pagel; Stevens Point, WI
Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5
Engine: 468ci big-block with a roller-cam conversion, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, and 830 Holley
Trans: M-21 four-speed
Rearend: 12-bolt with 3.55 gears
Suspension: stock front and rear
Brakes: stock drums
Wheels: original Rally
Great quote: "I have over 3,000 miles on it since March; it's just a blast to drive."