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1969 Chevy Camaro
Domenico Buffa Long Island, NY
Dom Buffa's father set out for a routine pickup for his towing business when he pulled up to this '69 Camaro. He started chitchatting with the owner about why he needed the lift, he answered that it was always hassling him, and he was looking to sell it. Needless to say, the Camaro never made it back to the owner's house, but was towed home as Dom and his father's newest project. This was a dream for Dom, as he had always admired the classic '69 styling from afar. Together Dom, his two younger brothers, and his father worked on the car as they grew up. Being the oldest, Dom took charge of the project and continued to build it as the years passed. He hit some roadblocks as most projects do, and the boys and girls of Pro-Touring.com helped him get through it. His vision for the Camaro has changed over the years, but ultimately he set aside the matching-numbers motor for a stroker small-block, beefed up TH350, and a race-ready suspension and interior.
1970 Plymouth 'Cuda
Spiro Varthos Albany, NY
For many, family is the ultimate motivator. Spiro Varthos grew up very close to his brother-in-law, who owned and ran an automotive repair shop. Spiro looked up to him, and since he was a Mopar fan, Spiro became one too. He bought his first car out of the repair shop before he even got his license. That '74 Satellite needed some work, so he started his first project car. That was the first of many, but the long-term hauler has been this '70 Cuda, which was given to Spiro 12 years ago by his uncle, who was the original owner. Spiro sat on the project until the day his uncle died, that's when he decided it was time to get crackin' on the build. He dragged it over to his friend Harry's shop, where they got the car up on a rotisserie and began the bolt-by-bolt restoration. It wasn't a factory job; they stroked the 383 it came with out to 496, mixed in a ton of performance goodies, and made 550 hp and 630 lb-ft of torque. For ultimate fun-to-drive factor, he opted for a Tremec five-speed and Hotchkis adjustable strut rods, Magnum Force adjustable control arms, and some big, fat 13-inch Brembo brakes.
1970 Ford Mustang Coupe
Pat Unger Sierra Vista, AZ
Coupes are cool, too! Owner Pat Unger was the third person to buy this 'Stang 33 years ago. Pat was deployed overseas in the army for most of that time. The Mustang spent much of its life in storage, waiting for the day it would be rebuilt. In the meantime, he sent the motor along to friend and builder, Dave, to assess the damage. He found a broken ring, faulty valveguides and seats, and a couple of bad lifters. Rather than start over, Dave punched it .010-over at his shop in Herndon, Kansas, and put it back together with some new TRW pistons, a Crower Beast cam, an Edlebrock Torker intake, and a Holley 780-cfm carburetor. Once Pat retired, he had a lot more time and money to put into the Mustang. He stripped it of all its trim and brought it to Carr's Autobody of Tombstone, Arizona, where it got straightened and painted Grabber Blue. This coupe is up and running with a brand-new interior, but next on the docket is a Tremec five-speed and possibly a better set of cylinder heads for the Cleveland small-block.
1968 Pontiac Firebird
Steve Bourdon Navarre, FL
As part of a divorce, this Firebird found its way onto the pages of an AutoTrader magazine when Steve Bourdon spotted it. He met the seller, talked him down on price, and brought it home. Most of the components were factory, which made it reliable, but nothing special. Over the seven years Steve owned it, he added an MSD 6AL and Pro-Billet distributor, aluminum radiator, better wheels and tires, a new gas tank, and a clutch for his factory Muncie four-speed. With only 89,000 miles on the clock, Steve says this thing drives like a new car and has never left him stranded. After some research, Steve found that the 'Bird came from the factory with a gold-on-gold color scheme, then it was painted green. Both color combos were ones he didn't predict would be coming back anytime soon. He was quite happy with the red metallic sprayed by a previous owner. Steve's 14-year-old son is eager to help him upgrade the suspension with tubular control arms, CPP steering box, and big brakes. They are also tossing around the idea of hopping up the engine with a set of Edelbrock aluminum heads and a beefy cam.
Mothers Picture Perfect Award
This is the place to show off your pride and joy to the rest of mankind, so we figure those readers who took the time to capture a really cool shot of their hot rod should get a little bonus. Mothers agreed, and decided to come to the party with some freebies for the best picture submitted to PHR.
Each month, the editors at PHR will sift through the images and pick the one with the best composition, lighting, and overall quality. The winner will get a cool assortment of Mothers products to keep his or her ride looking nice and shiny. Mail us a CD with digital images in JPEG form, along with a written description of your car. Remember that digital images need to be 300 dpi, and the bigger the image, the larger it can run. Also, be sure to include info on the car, along with your name and address. Good luck!