1965 Chevy Chevelle SS
Owner: Chris Verbeke; Geneseo, IL
Photographer: owner/Nikon L16
Never mind the fact that when Chris Verbeke first laid eyes on this ’65 Chevelle SS it had purple flames and lots of rust. The apple of his eye had a spellbinding 350 small-block with a Dyers 6-71 blower and bug catcher protruding through the hood—and boy did it make the sweetest sounds.
Being a journeyman printer, Chris was pretty darned good with tools. This Chevelle SS might throw him some curves, but having previously cut his teeth on a ’55 Chevy half-ton truck resto, this Chevelle wasn’t going to put up much of a fight. Using nights and weekends, Chris spent time in his garage fixing the body, getting rid of the flames, and painting it Electric Yellow.
Mechanically, the SS has a Turbo 400 with a 3,500-stall converter, a 12-bolt rear with 4:10 gears, stock suspension, and a four-wheel disc brake conversion from The Right Stuff. Chris estimates the power from the 350 (which sports a COMP cam, stock iron heads, and twin Holley 600s) to be right at 500 hp.
1969 Chevy Corvette
Owner: Joe Jaffoni; New York, NY
Photographer: Nicole Jaffoni/Canon Rebel
After reading Joe Jaffoni’s lengthy letter, we can only describe him as a Corvette addict. (Are there any other kind?) Joe discovered his Corvette fetish at the impressionable age of 9, and made it his goal to own the American icon at his earliest convenience. Initially a midyear fanatic, Joe first owned a numbers-matching ’63 convertible with a 327/340hp solid-lifter small-block. Like many Corvette enthusiasts, he was a stickler for factory correctness, with the result being a car he felt was too nice to drive on the hellhole roads of New York City.
Joe’s next ride was a ’67 427/390 big-block coupe in Elkhart Blue. Not wanting to repeat the same errors, Joe decided that a 502/502 big-block crate motor would allow him to properly thrash the car. More upgrades eventually led to his introduction to drag racing at Lebanon Valley Dragway. But then Joe’s addiction turned to C3s, and an infatuation with Tuxedo Black ’69s. The result is the big-block stunner you see here. The 427 has been upgraded with a COMP cam, Edelbrock Performer intake, a massaged Quadrajet, HEI ignition, and big exhaust, the result being a best e.t. of 13.20 in the quarter-mile.
1970 Olds Cutlass Convertible
Owner: Dave Webster; Longwood, FL
Photographer: Art Higgins/Nikon D300
Both Art Higgins and Dave Webster are attorneys by trade, but also car guys outside the courtroom. Art is actually an accomplished restoration specialist with almost 30 years of experience and 27 full builds under his belt. He even runs Law Dawg Restorations in Orlando, Florida. While Dave’s Cutlass was a cool cruiser when he bought it, the stone-stock driveline with its tired 350 struggled to pull off a one-wheel peel. Not that lawyers do that kind of thing, but a built 455 with Edlebrock heads sure sounded like a much better way to go. While in Art’s shop, they decided to go all out and strip it down to steel for fresh custom paint, new BMR Stage 3 suspension, and a Keisler TKO 600 five-speed. Behind the slick 18- and 20-inch Bonspeed Big Block wheels are C5 Vette discs. Referring to the 455’s 450 hp and 540 lb-ft of torque, Art says: “A motor this strong is intoxicating. You can leave it in Third with no problem.” Of course, Art and Dave always obey all traffic laws, but if either one of them ever gets a bit carried away in the Olds, at least they know a good lawyer.