Pontiac Firebird

1968 Pontiac Firebird

Lenny Halverson, Andover, KS

By The Numbers

Engine: Pontiac 400 with Edelbrock Performer intake, AVS Endurashine 670-cfm carb, COMP Cams Magnum roller rockers, “6X” heads

Trans: Turbo 350 automatic three-speed with 2,500-stall converter

Rearend: stock 10-bolt with 2.73 gears

Suspension: 2-inch drop spindles, Global West A-arms and coilovers, stock rear leaf springs with air shocks, polyurethane body bushings

Brakes: stock discs up front, SSBC disc conversion in rear

Wheels & Tires: 16-inch ARE, 16x7 (front), 16x10 (rear); BFG 225/50R16 (front), 255/50R16 (rear)

Cool Factoid: Just minutes after Lenny bought the Firebird from a local shop, the owners called the shop and told them not to sell it. It had been priced too cheaply—to the tune of $24K!

1971 Pontiac Firebird

Rob Gannon, Lee’s Summit, MO

By The Numbers

Engine: 350ci Pontiac with Edelbrock Performer intake, Pontiac “4C” heads, COMP cam (.488.491-inch lift, 230/236 degrees duration at .050), 600-cfm Edelbrock Performer carb

Trans: Saginaw three-speed manual trans

Rearend: 8.2-inch 10-bolt rear with 3.73 gears

Suspension: stock with Hotchkis springs

Brakes: stock

Wheels & Tires: American Racing Daisy 14x8 and 15x10 wheels, 235/60R14 and 295/50R15 BFG radial T/A tires

Cool Factoid: Rob originally wanted a Camaro, but “settled” for a Firebird Esprit. Now that he’s owned it three years, replaced the engine, and painted it himself in his garage (twice), he wouldn’t have anything else.

Pontiac Trans Am

1977 Pontiac Trans Am

Tim E. Herrera Sr., Little Canada, MN

By The Numbers

Engine: 406ci Pontiac with Edelbrock RPM heads, COMP cam with .508/.520 lift and 244/246 duration at .050, COMP 1.52 roller rockers, 830-cfm Q-Jet carb

Rearend: 8.5-inch 10-bolt with 3.73 gears

Suspension: Global West tubular control arms up front, Global West L-3 leaf springs in the rear

Brakes: stock discs and drums

Wheels & Tires: 15x8 Snowflake wheels with 255/50R15 BFGoodrich Radial T/A tires

Cool Factoid: Tim’s brother, Andy, bought the T/A new and sold it to him in 1986 with only 21K on it. Today it has only 41K and has gathered almost 40 trophies from cars shows.

Pontiac Ventura

1974 Pontiac Ventura

Gregory Kelp, Columbus, WI

By The Numbers

Engine: 427ci LSx with ported L92 heads, COMP cam (240/252 degrees at .050), Chevrolet Performance intake, 697hp

Trans: Turbo 400 with 2,800-stall Coan converter

Rearend: 8.5-inch 10-bolt with Moser axles and 4.11 gears

Suspension: stock with 90/10 drag shocks

Brakes: dual-piston front disc brake conversion, stock drums rear Wheels & Tires: Weld front runners front and Pontiac rally wheels rear, 215/75R15 and 9.50x28 Mickey Thompson ET Drag tires

Cool Factoid: Greg’s Ventura is affectionately named “Da Grinch,” due to its green color and nasty disposition. Though not technically street legal, the Ventura has laid down a best e.t. of 11.04/127. Imagine how cool that kind of power could feel on the street!


AMC Rebel Machine

1970 AMC Rebel Machine

Veronica Keip, Pardeeville, WI

The AMC Rebel Machine is one of the coolest off-the-radar muscle cars out there, and it’s not because of the eye-grabbing red, white, and blue graphics package; these cars were actually performers. Veronica and her husband have taken great care to return this original Machine back to exactly stock with its original, numbers-matching drivetrain. Right off the showroom floor the Rebel Machine’s 390 made 340 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque. Those burly torque numbers helped propel the Machine through the quarter-mile in 14.4 at 98 mph, according to the amazingly tech-heavy brochure for the cars. To put that in perspective, the ’70 GTO was advertised with a 15.3 quarter-mile. The restoration of the Keip family’s Machine took nine years since they wanted it to be as perfect as possible. That doesn’t mean it’s a garage dweller though; one of the family’s favorite weekend activities is the two- to three-hour cruises they regularly take. There’s usually no destination in particular, they’re just out enjoying the ride and all the turned heads.

By The Numbers

Engine: 390ci AMC with stock spec Elgin cam and Autolite dealer-option carb

Trans: T10 Borg-Warner four-speed manual with Hurst linkage

Rearend: AMC Twin-Grip with 3.54 gears

Suspension: stock, front and rear

Brakes: stock 11-inch Bendix four-piston discs up front, stock 10-inch drums in rear

Wheels & Tires: 15x7 American Racing Torq-Thrust D wheels with 225/60R15 and 255/60R15 Firestone Firehawk tires


1969 AMC AMX

Frank Russo, Hewitt, TX

By The Numbers

Engine: 401ci AMC with Indy cylinder heads, Erson cam, Indy intake and 650-cfm Demon carb

Trans: TorqueFlite three-speed automatic with 3,500-stall converter

Rearend: stock rearend with 3.54 gears

Suspension: stock, front and rear

Brakes: stock discs and drums

Wheels & Tires: Weld 15x7 and 15x10 wheels with Falken 195/60R15 front runners and Mickey Thompson 275/50R15 drag radials

Cool Factoid: Frank and his son have an ongoing challenge between their AMXs; once a year they get together and drag race them to see who’s on top. So far his son has won the first two, but Frank thinks AMX Smackdown III will be his this year.

1979 AMC AMX

Anthony Russo, Waco, TX

By The Numbers

Engine: 461hp 360ci AMC V-8 with Edelbrock intake, .540-inch lift COMP cam, Scorpion roller rockers, custom Diamond pistons, and Holley 780 HP double-pumper carb

Trans: 727 TorqueFlite three-speed automatic

Rearend: stock rearend with 3.54 gears

Suspension: stock

Brakes: stock

Wheels & Tires: Jegs five-spoke 15x6 and 15x10 wheels, 205/70R15 and 275/50R15 tires

Cool Factoid: This car was found in a field and purchased for $400. The shell had minimal rust, but needed an engine. It is the match-up to Frank Russo’s ’69 AMX elsewhere in the story.