Paint It Red
Builder: Robb & Robbie McIntosh
While all of the other cars on our list were built by accomplished hot rod shops, this 1971 Chevelle has a different story. It was a father-and-son project for Robb and Robbie McIntosh as a tribute to Rob's late wife, Colleen. While Colleen was battling cancer, she told Robb that he should go find himself a project car to have something to tinker on and take his mind off of things. Robb pondered the idea and decided to go ahead and find something. He had built a 1969 Camaro with his son years before and knew his tall frame didn't fit well inside it, so it needed to be larger. And speaking of frames, he wanted a car that had a full frame. After searching around, he decided upon a clean 1971 Chevelle. He picked it up, made some plans, turned a few bolts, but mostly it just sat, as his attention was too focused elsewhere. Toward the end, Robb asked Colleen what color she would like the Chevelle to be. She responded "red," and so the project entered a new phase.
Robb and Robbie really did need something to get their mind off of things now, so they dug into the Chevelle, further ignited by the drive to turn it into a tribute for Colleen that she would be proud of. We'd say they hit the mark: Not only did it catch our eye at SEMA, but it was also given a place of honor near the Meguiar's Car Crazy stage. It was good therapy overall, but Robb told us one of the best parts was getting to spend some quality wrenching time with his son again.
By The Numbers
Engine: 502hp Chevy Performance Parts ZZ502
Trans: 700-R4 four-speed automatic overdrive by Remac Transmissions
Suspension/Chassis: CPP tubular upper arms with Global West lower arms, QA1 adjustable shocks, lowering springs
Brakes: CPP big-brake kit with 13- and 12-inch rotors
Wheels & Tires: 19x8 and 20x10 Budnik G10 wheels with 255/40 and 295/35 Nitto Invo tires
1980 Trans Am
Builder: Westbend Dyno Tuning
Don't let the Turbo TA hood deceive you, this car is blown, but it's not what you expect. Back in high school when Brad Riekkoff of Westbend Dyno Tuning bought the 1980 Trans Am from the corral at a local car show, it was sporting a 455ci Poncho and a really bad header leak. Once Brad and his dad got the TA home and replaced the gaskets, they discovered that the leak was something worse: a bad rod knock. So that's when the project really began.
Over his four years of high school, Brad swapped in several engines as the budget would allow. After graduating in 1992 though, the TA sat in his dad's garage while Brad went out to make his way in the world. Round about 2008, Brad opened Westbend Dyno Tuning and decided to bring the TA out of hibernation. Unfortunately, 16 years of sitting had not been kind to the engine and the TA was in need of another swap. Now with plenty of experience and more funds, Brad decided to build something that would be a great in-house shop car, which for a dyno shop, of course, meant lots of power.
Rather than another Pontiac, Brad went with a Wegner Automotive LS3 topped by LS9 heads and a massive 3.3L Lysholm supercharger that belts out 950 hp without effort. To clear the big Lysholm, Brad fabricated a wider and taller factory-style Turbo TA scoop. It's a slick car overall, but that one touch, along with the unique alternative to the standard screaming chicken on the hood, really caught our attention.
By The Numbers
Engine: 950hp 416ci Wegner Automotive LS3 with ported LS9 heads, Callies crank and rods, MAHLE pistons, 3.3L Lysholm supercharger, Dailey Engineering dry sump
Trans: Tremec T56
Suspension/Chassis: Heidts front subframe, four-link rear, Afco triple-adjustable shocks all four corners
Brakes: 14-inch Wilwood with six-piston calipers front, 13-inch with four-piston rear
Wheels & Tires: 18x10 and 18x12 Formula 43 wheels with 295/35 and 335/30 BFGoodrich Rival tires
Contact: Westbend Dyno Tuning; 262-692-9035; WestBendDyno.com