1987 Buick Grand National
Kent and Marcie Buckles • De Soto, IL
Though new compared to the muscle cars of the ’60s, these Buicks have earned their place as classics. Kent and Marcie Buckles’ ’87 Grand National is a great example of a car that’s been modified but is still true to its original style. The Buick Grand National could be ordered in any color as long as it was black, so Kent kept it that way with the addition of custom “Stroker” logos in place of the factory emblems. The 231ci V-6 (now stroked to an unspecified displacement) uses custom CP pistons, a custom camshaft, and ported factory heads. There isn’t much that Kent hasn’t changed out on this car. He re-covered every interior surface at his shop, appropriately named Buckles Motorsports. He took the Grand National and Stroker logos throughout the interior and trunk inner panels, giving it a cohesive theme. Kent and his wife, Marcie, love this car, and they aren’t alone. In the 12 shows attended last year, Kent won four Best of Show awards. He won Best Engine, one Big Dog award, and a score of 97 out of 100 in Bowling Green’s GS Club of America show.
1972 Chevy El Camino
Steve Turtle • Santa Clarita, CA
Steve Turtle has been an El Camino fan since he was 6 years old. Uncle Eddie had a ’66 big-block four-speed that was the epitome of muscle to Steve. It’s easy to guess that Steve’s first car would be an El Camino. The first was a ’65, next came a ’67, and the latest two were ’72s. He has built a majority of these cars himself but this particular one was an abandoned project he found with a price he couldn’t pass up. Though it could be considered “done” to someone else, Steve had to employ his own plan for it. The big-block Chevy has a COMP cam, Edelbrock intake, and a Holley 850-cfm carburetor. The drivetrain and suspension had been upgraded as well with a 3.91-gear 12-bolt, TH400, and has been lowered 2 inches. Next on his list is to bolt on a supercharger to make real use of the Mickey Thompson tires stuffed into the tubbed rear.
1969 Chevy Camaro
Jeff James • Somewhere In Germany
Military man Jeff James had to travel far to pick up the ’69 Camaro he has always wanted. Only a quarter-way through his four-hour trip home from picking it up, he was asked to sell it. Of course he declined. The first thing he did when he got home was to give the ’69 a thorough inspection. He found that he was in store for much more work than he originally believed. Someone had welded quarter-panels right over the rusty originals and blended in the mistake with an inch of filler. Jeff had every panel but the 2-inch cowl hood replaced, including the roof. Jeff built a 496 big-block stroker with a COMP Mutha Thumpr cam, AFR 325cc heads, and an Eagle rotating assembly to produce 9.1:1 compression, and got it to clear the cowl hood with a 3-inch air cleaner. He wanted this engine to run effortlessly on pump gas. Jeff’s wife, Tina, played a big role in the build, helping Jeff stay on track and even choose the color. They wanted a car they could enjoy driving, so they opted for a T56 six-speed with a hydraulic clutch setup from ATS. Being stationed in Germany, Jeff and Tina have access to some of the most legendary roads in the world, including the Autobahn, Nürburgring, and Hockenheimring. They’ve already hit the Autobahn, the ’Rings are next!
1965 Ford Mustang
Chris Spicer • Austin, TX
This ’65 Mustang has been in Chris Spicer’s family since the early ’70s. His grandfather bought it for Chris’ mom and aunt to drive around while they were in high school. Mom was in a little accident, so grandpa confiscated the car and parked it for 10 years. He would start to tinker with it again and take Chris for rides once in a while. This jump-started Chris’ interest in Mustangs. That’s when Chris bought, built, and raced a 600hp ’97 Mustang Cobra, and restored a ’93 Fox-body Mustang with grandpa’s inspiration. In 2005, the ’65 was handed down to Chris. Conveniently, Chris worked for a classic Mustang restoration company so he could get right to work on this sentimental piece. He sold both his other Mustangs in order to re-create and preserve his new old car. The factory small-block made way for a 347ci stoker putting out 450 hp. Chris put in a C4 automatic and 9-inch rearend to support the new power. He has a lot more to do but he wants to keep the car looking as factory as he can so he’s keeping the bench seat and the carburetor.
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!