1970 Dodge Challenger
Albert Lavoie Riverside, CA
We know what you're thinking: that Challenger is way too nice to be a project. We thought so too at first, but its current non-op, non-running status that Albert Lavoie plans to tackle after he retires from the postal service in 2014 after 40 years does make it a legit project. He's just starting with something a lot nicer than most of us. Of course, that's because he took extra good care of it since he purchased it in 1973 from a used car lot for $1,100. Over the 40 years since then, Albert has put an astonishing 485,000 miles on the clock with three engines, two transmissions, two rearends, and three different coats of Go-Mango paint. In 2003 he pulled it into the driveway, put a cover over it, and it has not been driven since. "Covered does not mean forgotten," Albert reminded us. The Challenger looks exactly the same today as it did when parked. He fully intends to have it be his fun retirement project and does not plan to create extra work for himself in the meantime. Plus, after surviving 485,000 miles, it would be unforgivable to neglect it now.
BY THE NUMBERS
Engine: 225ci Slant Six with a Carter carb from a 318ci V-8
Trans: stock 904 TorqueFlite three-speed automatic
Rearend: 8.75 Mopar with 3.23 gears
Suspension: stock, front and rear
Brakes: stock drums, front and rear
Wheels & Tires: original 14x5.5 Rally with 225/60 and 235/60 Kelly Charger
Future plans: Cresting the 500K mark on the odometer, he hopes!
1977 Chevy Corvette
William Craft Portsmouth, OH
In 2006 at the age of 56, William Craft turned to his girlfriend and told her that he wanted to build a car that attracted a crowd whenever he took it out for a spin. To begin, he picked up a 1977 Corvette for $800, which needless to say, was in very rough condition. That was fine for William though since he had no plans to restore it to stock standards. Actually he had no idea exactly what he was going to do with it when he started. "I did not set out to build it this way, but I let my imagination run wild," William stated. "It just started taking shape, and I liked the changes. I just did not want it to look like anyone else's." William has done everything himself in his carport, including the paint. To make the C3 Vette look more unique, he cut out the centersection of the lower bumper and built a custom billet grille to fill it in. The pop-up headlights were replaced by a set from a 1994 Pontiac and Craft built a custom cover for them. He says it still has a lot of work to go, but we wager he's already getting plenty of attention.
BY THE NUMBERS
Engine: 350ci small-block Chevy with World Products heads, Erson cam with 488-inch lift and 292 degrees duration, Weiand blower with dual Demon carbs
Trans: Turbo 350 three-speed automatic
Suspension: rebuilt stock
Brakes: stock discs
Wheels & Tires: 15x7 Wheel Vintiques Rally with 255/60 Mastercraft tires
Future plans: Turning a lot of heads around Portsmouth, OH
1971 Chevy Camaro
Ken Pierson Stockertown, PA
When the second-gen Camaro first debuted in 1970, Ken Pierson knew he had to have one. Of course, he'd have to wait a while since he was only 8 years old at the time. When he turned 18 though, he hunted down a 1971 at a dealership in New Jersey for $2,000. He financed it for $99 a month and drove away a happy man. The Camaro was with him through many adventures up until 1984 when Ken got married. After that came three kids and a house, so all the Camaro money was diverted to family life. After getting a promotion at work that came with a company truck, Ken parked the Camaro in his barn. Life sped by and before he knew it, the Camaro had been in there for 17 years.
Last spring he decided to pull out his old friend and get it back on the road. First up was a new engine and trans since he had pulled and sold the original after parking it. Next, Ken replaced about a third of the body panels with better steel and reassembled the interior. It's been a family project with Ken and his wife and kids doing all the work. All those memories make the nearly two decades off the road all worthwhile.
BY THE NUMBERS
Engine: 400ci small-block Chevy with GM aluminum intake and Holley carb
Trans: 700-R4 four-speed automatic overdrive
Rearend: 10-bolt with 3.73 gears
Suspension: stock front and rear
Brakes: stock discs up front, drums in the rear
Wheels & Tires: ET Mags with BFGoodrich Radial T/A tires
Future plans: Taking his family for rides in the Camaro once it's finished in orange with black stripes.
1967 Chevy Camaro RS
Jon Floyd; Charlotte, NC
This Camaro began as a personal project for Jon Floyd, but has become a father/son project. It's been sitting in the back of a family friend's shop since the late 1970s and was an old street/strip car. When it finally came up for sale three years ago, Jon decided to pick it up and put it back together. He convinced his dad to get involved, and now it has become a passion for both of them. The body was in great shape, but Jon did have to spend some time running around to track down the missing doors and hood. So far, the 383ci stroker is built for it; Jon is working with fabricator Darryl Lail to get some minor bodywork finished, and they are now pondering the paint color. Originally the plan was a matte black finish, but Jon's mom hated the idea, and since she has been kind enough to give up garage space, the plan was changed to Marina Blue—her favorite color. Once all the metal fab is finished, the Camaro will head over to Kimbrell's Paint in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, to get that great hue, then back to mom's garage for the drivetrain install.
BY THE NUMBERS
Engine: 383ci small-block Chevy stroker with RHS Pro heads, COMP Cams solid roller cam, Holley Strip Dominator intake
Trans: Turbo 350 three-speed automatic with 3,200-stall converter
Rearend: 12-bolt with spool and 4.10 gears
Suspension: Mustang II front suspension and steering, stock rear
Brakes: Wilwood 11-inch discs, front and rear
Wheels & Tires: Cragar SS
Future Plans: A custom vanity plate, ROCK-67, in honor of his dad's nickname