Got a car you want the world to see? Send specs and pix to email@example.com
1977 Chevy Camaro
It all started when John Mastalerz’s buddy got a ’66 GTO; John was totally inspired. His hand-me-down Monte Carlo was cool, but not GTO cool. John decided to go to technical school after high school to become a mechanic. At his first job at a Chevy dealer, he saw all of the new cars that came in. He really wanted to buy a brand-new car, so he ordered a ’77 Camaro with no A/C and the factory radio delete option. Remember when you could do that? Most people look for a beater car or something with a ton of miles to modify, but John wanted to start off with a clean slate and not spend his time chasing problems and other people’s bad influences on cars. John told us: With Chevrolet not selling much that would spin a tire in 1977, I decided to build my own muscle car. The first things to go were the stock intake, heads, cam, and exhaust manifolds. Most of these changes John made before the odometer passed the 1,000-mile mark. Soon after, he swapped the four-speed for a Doug Nash five-speed, and pepped up the rearend with 3.73 gears and a new posi unit.
Like most of our readers, Joe Santillo of Poughkeepsie, New York, has been into cars since he was very young. He thought they were cool but what stuck in his mind was riding in his uncle’s ’66 Mustang fastback. Just like riding a roller coaster, the thrill left Joe wanting to go again.
Over the next 40 years, Joe had many fun cars, including more than a few early Mustangs, a Torino, a Thunderbird, and even a late-model Mustang. They were cool, and Joe had a lot of good times with them, but they weren’t in particularly good shape and sure weren’t worth a total restoration. Finally, he has a ride worth doing right. It’s a ’67 Fairlane that came from the factory with a 390-inch big-block FE motor, four-speed manual trans, and a 9-inch rearend. He had help from his family along the way, including David Santillo, who rebuilt the 390 with a little more pep than it started with.
As far as the styling, Joe wanted it to look untouched since the ’60s, but perform stronger. He chose a classic burgundy metallic, sprayed by Jim Secor of Lakside Auto. The color is truly a classic. Next on the to-do list is a five-speed conversion to keep the revs down on the long hauls.
Nearly everything Larry Dixon has ever owned was a hot rod in some sense. He’s the kind of guy who can’t leave well enough alone and has to upgrade. His first car was a ’49 Chevy four-door that he used to commute to school with. It was a bold metallic green, had louder-than-sin glasspacks, and a dual-carb setup.
Larry has spent most of his life wrenching on his rides, and after almost 60 years of working, he’s just not able to do it anymore. So when he saw this ’70 Opel at a car show in Pro Street trim, he had to jump on it. It was exactly the way he would have built it if he was still physically able. He hopes to make Goodguys Columbus in Ohio this year, and it will be the Opel’s biggest show yet.
One-owner cars are hard to find, especially in Canada. This car was bought by a couple in La Habra, California, and lived there until their grandson brought it home with him up north. Dave Boyer drove by the car one day, stopped, and asked if it was for sale. It wasn’t until years later that the grandson agreed to sell the car, and it was only because he knew Dave was a Maverick guy.
The first things the Maverick got were disc brakes, a water pump, a battery, and a couple other driveability necessities. Dave’s best friend, Mike Tucker, is a licensed bodyman, and suggested he repaint the engine bay since it was looking a bit dingy. They couldn’t stop there, so they smoothed out the entire body and added a ’71 Grabber hooda find Dave had been hoarding for the right project. Tucker shot it with PPG base/clear paint in the factory Green Gold color. While in the paint shop, Dave built a new 302 for it, storing the original motor just in case he wanted to go back to stock later. This car was completed and running in 2008, and now Dave is building another Maverick with his oldest daughter who’s turning 16 soonlucky girl!
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!