The bastard’s meanness comes from a 688hp 528ci Wedge based on a World Products aluminum block with Mopar raised-port Max Wedge heads. Providing perfectly metered fuel is a Holley HP EFI system with a Dominator flange to work with a converted Edelbrock intake. It’s Trans-Am inspired, so the beast has to handle. Up front that’ll be handled by an AlterKtion tubular K-member, rack-and-pinion steering, and coilover suspension with tubular control arms. In the rear it’s a four-link with coilovers from Street Lynx. Both ends get huge Wilwood discs and monstrous adjustable rear sway bars. Inside, it’ll be spartan, but with full instrumentation from Marshall Instruments mounted in a dash insert from Redline Gauge Works.

As for the flat, want to know what that color is? Mercedes-Benz Designo Magno Alanite Grey matte finish, Code 044.

From the Imagination of Tavis Highlander

Highlander Concept Rendering; www.TavisHighlander.com

Chevy Caprice

We’re not the only ones who think the boxy ’70s and ’80s Caprices are destined to be future hot rodder fodder, as we forecasted in Tomorrow’s Classics (Jan ’11). Kristina Albrecht sees the potential as well.

Starting with a ’78 Caprice coupe, Albrecht opted to accentuate the positive attributes of the squared-off body by liberating it from the easily removable stock gaudy trim and emblems. The rest of the brightwork around the windows gets a darker satin color complementary to the Dark Bronze body color to make it blend away. The wheel arches are subtly flared to cover the wide 18-inch BBS wheels and 285/40R18 and 335/35R18 tires. The large flat real estate on the hood gets a little heat extracting personality via five large-to-small Porsche-inspired louvers on each side of the centerline.

Up front, the egg crate ugliness makes way for a mesh grille treatment set in a custom grille shell. One-piece headlamps take the place of the double squares, and the bumper gets cut, shaved, and smoothed with matching mesh in the inserts and a mild chin spoiler beneath. Amazing how much that helped!

There are plenty of good bolt-ons for these cars, so the suspension stays simple with Hotchkis goodies, Belltech drop spindles, and KW coilovers with tubular control arms. As for the engine, drop in a 5.3L boneyard motor with an LS6 head and cam upgrade. Trust us, swapping in a manual in one of these is a pain, so go with a 4L60E.

From the Imagination of Kristina Albrecht

Hot Rod Kristina; www.HotRodKristina.com

Nash Rambler

Is it just us, or do you hear that song by the Playmates about the little Nash Rambler trying to pass the Cadillac in your head every time you see one of these? Nashes are a bit comical, but with the stuff artist Murray Pfaff has in mind for this concept, he’ll show everyone that a Nash Rambler is not a car to scorn.

Pfaff fully plans to build this wagon once he has debuted his Imperial roadster, but for now it’s still in the planning stages. He does have most of the body mods mapped out though. Up front the bumper will get smoothed and recessed while the grille will get cleaned up and refitted with a custom crossbar. The lights look totally at home, but are actually ’56 Oldsmobile headlights and ’66 GTO marker lights. The Olds lights will require some reshaping and peaking of the fenders to match perfectly, but the GTO lights will simply be frenched into the sheetmetal.

Up on the cab area, the windshield gets blacked out, while the trim on the side window gets removed. Speaking of removed, the C-pillar gets the ax as well, which of course means custom glass for the greenhouse. Some surprisingly appropriate side trim comes via a ’56 Chevy. As for power, it’s still up in the air, but we’re thinking a nice Gen III Hemi would keep pesky Cadillacs at bay.

From the Imagination of Murray Pfaff

Pfaff Designs; www.PfaffDesigns.com

Did our artists miss any dreary cars with potential? Are you building something slightly off the radar? Let me know about it by dropping me an email at Christopher.Campbell@sorc.com.