1966 Chevy Chevelle
Lynda Jacobs, Elburn, IL

As a little girl, Lynda Jacobs loved hanging out at the dragstrip with her father, Joe Turek. He drove nitro-injected rail dragsters and would let Lynda ride with him on the return road, leaving a lasting impression on her. Dad also had a '66 Chevelle, which would also influence her later in life. Of course, being married to another Chevelle lover-Chris Jacobs-played a part in her inevitable path toward ownership of this Lemonwood Yellow '66 Chevelle convertible. Back in 2001 when Lynda and Chris bought the completely stock drop-top, they didn't have any intention of racing it. That need was filled nicely by the couple's '01 Corvette. Nevertheless, the factory drum brakes, two-speed Powerglide, and stock suspension were soon replaced because Lynda loved driving the Chevelle any chance she could get. Now fast-forward a few years. The road race facility they normally attended had a change in insurance regulations, and the C5 could no longer be used. This opened a huge void in Lynda's automotive life. As chance would have it, Lynda and Chris attended one of the first Goodguys events at Chicagoland, and decided at the last hour to make a few autocross laps. "We saw people autocrossing but we didn't know the rules," Lynda says. Now, the couple is a popular fixture on the autocross and Pro Touring road course circuit, with Chris piloting his Mist Blue '66, and Lynda running her Lemonwood Yellow convertible. The mods have picked up speed in recent years, both underhood with an impressive 496-inch big-block (Lynda doesn't mess around!), and in the chassis department with even larger Wilwood brakes, Global West suspension, QA1 coilovers, and a splined DSE sway bar.

By The Numbers
Engine: 496ci big-block Chevy, Brodix oval-port heads, Holley 750-cfm double-pumper, COMP Cams hydraulic 268 Extreme Energy camshaft
Transmission: 700-R4 overdrive automatic (built by Finish Line Performance) with Precision 2,800-stall converter
Rearend: factory 12-bolt with TrueTrac differential and 3.31 gears
Suspension: Global West front control arms and springs, QA1 single-adjustable coilovers (front and rear), DSE splined sway bar
Brakes: Wilwood SuperLite 6-piston calipers on 13-inch rotors (front), 2-piston D154 calipers on 12-inch rotors (rear)
Steering: AGR steering box, 12:1 ratio
Wheels & Tires: ARE Torq-Thrust II Classic (17x8 and 18x10), Nitto NT05 (245/45R17 and 275/40R18)

1957 Chevy Bel Air
Joel Bernbaum, Western Springs, IL

When Joel Bernbaum found this '57 Bel Air, it was just a bare steel body surrounded by boxes of parts. The owner had stripped it down to begin a restoration, but became overwhelmed and decided to let it go. That worked fine for Joel; his plans called for starting from scratch anyway. Joel's plan was to blend vintage '60s hot rod style with modern power and performance. We love the traditional flames over black paint with injection stack poking through the hood paired with the custom cut blue glass and mild custom interior. Beneath all that though is a thoroughly modern and very capable platform, beginning with a full Roadster Shop Chassis equipped with their front and rear suspension. Those stacks topping the Merlin-based 632ci big-block Chevy are retro-style Hilborn units, but they are controlled by a FAST XFI fuel injection system to make the 800hp easily driveable. With a five-speed Lenco and teeny 2.90 gears, it works quite fine on the street thanks to over 750 lb-ft of torque. Despite that, Joel decided he really wanted to go pure retro: basic big big-block with a carb. We grabbed this shot of Joel burning through the autocross course in Columbus, Ohio, during competition for last year's Street Machine of the Year, and it was mighty impressive!

By The Numbers
Engine: 800hp Merlin-based 632ci big-block Chevy with Brodix heads, LS1 firing order cam and coil-on-plug conversion, Hilborn injection with FAST XFI computer
Transmission: Lenco five-speed manual
Rearend: 9-inch Ford with 2.90 gears
Suspension: Roadster Shop frame and chassis with Roadster Shop four-link in the rear
Brakes: Wilwood 6-piston calipers with 14-inch rotors (front and rear)
Steering: power rack-and-pinion
Wheels & Tires: 17x8 and 20x10 Billet Specialties wheels

1971 Ford Mustang
William Shores, Concord, AL

We waited for years for someone to figure out exactly what stylistic touch the '71-73 Mustangs needed to bring them back from the brink into the aggressive muscle car sensibility. William Shores and the crew at Goolsby Customs hit the nail on the head with this completely reimagined '71 SportsRoof. Perhaps the biggest styling offender was the rear window. At only 14 degrees from horizontal, the fastback design may help with airflow, but it creates a huge piece of glass that only offers the driver a tiny sliver of rearward view. To remedy the situation, Goolsby took a styling cue from Ford's semi-exotic: the Pantera. While leaving the quarter-panels alone, Goolsby sunk the rear glass downward to create flying buttresses to each side and a pass-through spoiler at the rear. It's exactly what we wish Ford would have done on these cars. The rest of the car is a heavy blend of 1971 and 2011 Mustang design cues inside and out. The work isn't all cosmetic either; Pegasus (as it's known) rides on a Roadster Shop Fast Track chassis and is powered by a Coyote 5.0-liter and Ford's new six-speed automatic. The combo made this Clydesdale-size pony much more nimble; Pegasus cut through the cones on the Goodguys autocross faster than we've ever seen any Mustang of this generation move.

By The Numbers
Engine: 2011 Coyote 5.0L, factory 2011 Mustang multipiece composite intake
Transmission: Ford 6R80 six-speed automatic
Rearend: Ford 9-inch housing with 31-spline axles
Suspension: Roadster Shop Fast Track chassis with Fast Track front suspension using C6 Corvette spindles and Z06 hub assembly, adjustable Afco billet coilovers, 1.25-inch splined front sway bar with C6 Corvette endlinks. Triangulated four-bar rear suspension with adjustable Afco billet coilovers
Brakes: Wilwood
Steering: Roadster Shop power rack-and-pinion
Wheels & Tires: Nutek 515 wheels (19x10 and 20x12), Pirelli tires (255/30R19 and 335/30R20)

1949 Cadillac
Hayden Groendyke, Enid, OK

The La Carrera Panamericana is one of the last great road races that is still run much like it was when it began back in the 1950s. During its heyday from 1950 to 1954 it was widely considered to be the most dangerous race of any type in the world. The resurrected version today is a bit more civilized, but it's still by no means for the faint of heart. Hayden Groendyke is a veteran of the Panamericana, and after just finishing the seven-day, 1,800-mile race with codriver Charles Samples in a mildly modified Hudson Hornet that was plagued by a laundry list of mechanical issues, Hayden decide he'd had quite enough of unreliable ancient equipment for racing. Upon arriving home, he pulled out his nicely restored '49 Cadillac Sedanet and delivered it to Jim and Jason Smith at the Hot Rod Shop in Sand Springs, Oklahoma, with the intention of building the ultimate vintage competition vehicle. Now armed with a custom designed Art Morrison chassis and suspension prepped for the rigors of road racing in a heavy car and an LS9 under the huge hood, the Sedanet has run not only in the La Carrera Panamericana but also the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, the Chihuahua Express Rally, and, of course, the Goodguys autocross where we caught this photo.

By The Numbers
Engine: Chevrolet Performance LS9, LS9 roots-style supercharger with Lingenfelter blower inlet and drive pulley
Transmission: Jerico five-speed manual
Rearend: Strange 9-inch with 3.25 gears
Suspension: Art Morrison chassis with unequal-length control arms in the front and Art Morrison three-link setup in the rear
Brakes: Wilwood 6-piston calipers on 14-inch rotors
Steering: Woodward rack-and-pinion
Wheels & Tires: OZ Superleggera wheels (19x10 and 19x12) with Kumho tires (285/35R19 and 345/30R19)

1966 Chevy Nova
Danny Griffin, Hermitage, TN

Years ago, Danny Griffin was a typical car show guy, sitting in a chair in a hot sweaty parking lot. But that got old in a hurry. A resident of Hermitage, Tennessee, Danny was neighbors with both Mark Turner and Brian Finch-both well-known cats in the Pro Touring world. Hangin' with Turner and Finch quickly led to an interest in autocrossing and road racing, and being that Danny was a lifelong Chevy II guy, there was but one choice: build a full-on Chevy II autocross machine. An exhaustive search turned up a nice '66 hardtop in Florida, which Danny brought home. After a short evaluation, he bought an LS1 off eBay and carried the shoebox down to Ken Overby for a fresh coat of Marina Blue paint. With DSE's Chevy II components not yet in the pipeline, Danny turned the car over to G&S Fabrication & Suspension for a Mustang II front clip and rear four-link. After the LS1 was mated to a T56 six-speed, Danny was ready to pound on it, which he obliged for us at the Goodguys Lone Star Nationals event last spring. Danny, Turner, and Finch hit most of the Goodguys autocross events in the summer, and to be honest, there's a little bit of one-upmanship going on. "We all drive each others' cars and hang out together," says Danny, who eagerly admits that he's got four other Chevy IIs, including a new '67 that's in the works which he plans to dominate the autocross with next year. In fact, Danny's other autocross ride-a red '66 Chevy C10-won the truck autocross class at Nashville this spring with Finch behind the wheel.

By The Numbers
Engine: GM LS1, stock LS1 rebuild, Painless Performance Products camshaft, computer, and harness
Transmission: Tremec T56 six-speed manual, Zoom clutch and flywheel
Rearend: Ford 9-inch with 4.10 gears, aluminum centersection
Suspension: G&S Fabrication & Suspension (Athens, AL) Mustang II (front), splined NASCAR-style sway bars (front and rear), QA1 single-adjustable coilovers, G&S Fabrication four-link (rear)
Brakes: Wilwood 4-piston calipers on 12-inch rotors (front and rear)
Steering: power rack-and-pinion
Wheels & Tires: Coys Gunmetal 18x7 (front) 20x10 (rear), BFG KDW

1967 Ford Mustang GT500
Michael Merritt, Waite Hill, OH

Michael Merritt is a Mustang fan and has always loved the look of the GT500, but he'd become a bit spoiled by modern touring cars, so any vintage project would need to be up to par and not feel like a compromise just for vintage style. He knew he wanted to start from scratch, but rather than pick up a Dynacorn body, Michael found a 289ci powered four-speed '67 fastback out of Arizona that was solid. After stripping it down and selling off all the usable parts, Michael delivered the shell to local hot rodder Todd Redensher to begin the build. One of the other major goals of the project was to keep the look as pure Shelby as possible, so all of the changes had to happen within the sheetmetal. For some serious motivation, a 667hp 447ci Dart-based Windsor stroker was mated to a Rockland Standard Gear Tranzilla T56. Power doesn't equal prowess through the curves though, so rather than work with the factory subframe, an Art Morrison G-Max chassis was chosen as the platform. Michael says his goal of building a GT500 clone that would drive as well as his M3 and M5 BMWs has been easily met.

By The Numbers
Engine: 667hp 447ci Dart-based Windsor with Dart Pro 1 CNC heads, Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake, Demon 850-cfm carb
Transmission: Rockland Standard Gear Tranzilla T56 six-speed manual
Rearend: 9-inch Ford with 4.10 gears
Suspension: Art Morrison G-Max chassis with Morrison front suspension and G-Max three-link rear suspension
Brakes: Wilwood 6-piston calipers on 14-inch rotors (front and rear)
Steering: power rack-and-pinion
Wheels & Tires: 18x8 and 20x12 Billet Specialties, Michelin Pilot Sport tires