1967 Ford Custom 500
Dave Rink; Phoenix, AZ
As a kid, reader Dave Rink was more impressed by sleeper “grandma” hot rods than full-tilt muscle cars. That passion was especially strong for Fords, so when his ’67 Galaxie 500 was totaled by an inattentive cell phone user, he had to find a replacement. Dave found one in the form of a supposedly rust-free ’67 post car in Austin, Texas. It proved to need plenty of work though, and after renegotiating the price accordingly, Dave dragged it back to Phoenix for a complete restoration. Don’t look for a lot of fancy new parts underhood; Dave eschews new tech for original speed parts, choosing instead to fortify a scrap yard 428ci FE with period-correct Cobra Jet pieces, right down to the ported cast-iron heads and intake. Few concessions were made to “modernization,” save a COMP Cams bumpstick, Holley 780-cfm carb, and some Hooker Super Comp headers. It’s a true “day two” style resto, and Dave gives thanks to Mike Wood Restorations in Phoenix for making it happen. The remarkably stock big-block, with lots of “heavy breathing,” makes an estimated 450 hp and was wrenched together by Sunnyslope Auto Parts and Machine in Phoenix.
1968 Chevelle Malibu
Tom Radonski West Bend, WI
If we were going to build a ’68 Chevelle, it would be just like Tom Radonski’s. Come to think of it, we did build one just like it! Being a WyoTech graduate, Tom built it entirely in his garage over the last 17 years (with a break in-between due to selling and repurchasing it). Don’t be fooled by the sleepy look—that government-issue black paint and those 15-inch poverty cap steelies (6-inchers front, 8-inchers rear) hide a wicked 496ci big-block stuffed with a forged Eagle rotating assembly, JE 10.5:1 slugs, and a Lunati Voodoo cam. It’s topped with Merlin 3 heads, a Demon 850 carb, an Edelbrock Air-Gap intake, and a DUI distributor. It all adds up to a dyno-verified 571 hp—which Tom suspects is good for 11s in the quarter-mile. Those 275/60R15 BFGs will surely turn to smoke when that happens! Other beef- cake upgrades include a Moser 12-bolt with 3.73 gears and a built Turbo 400 with a Hughes 3,200-stall converter. If you hear those Flowmasters rumblin’, better take cover!
1969 Plymouth Road Runner
Michael Quan Santa Clara, CA
With all the horror stories out there about buying a car online sight-unseen, it’s refreshing to hear Michael Quan’s story about buying his ’69 Road Runner on eBay, and having it arrive in great condition after a nail-biting three days of cross-country transport by the seller. There was never any doubt about getting a ’69, in fact, Michael even got the Hemi Orange color and 440 6-pack motor he’d always dreamed of. Since getting the car in 2007, the 440 has blossomed into a 510ci solid-lifter monster (a big thanks goes out to Nick Rescino of Rescino Performance in San Francisco). Some quirky trans issues were fixed with a rebuilt A-727 trans (by Oller Brothers Auto in Santa Clara), along with a Hurst floor shifter and shift kit. The “junior” Pro Touring attitude is aided by Foose Legend wheels (18s and 20s) with BFG KDW tires, Edelbrock AIS shocks, Addco sway bars, and Magnum subframe connectors. Michael says he couldn’t have done it without the help of Lewis, Stan, and George at Oller Brothers Auto.
1969 Plymouth Barracuda
Rob Van Dyk Oak Harbor, WA
If only we had room for Rob Van Dyk’s entire story about the one that didn’t get away! This all-original—and rare—fastback 340 Formula S Barracuda was first spotted by a sharp-eyed 8-year-old Rob on tiny Whidbey Island back in 1971. His dad was looking for a new car, but by the time he told pops, the car was gone from the island’s single used car lot. Then a few days later, his uncle came rolling up the driveway in the same car. The joyride he got that day was burned in his head, and from that day forward, he knew he had to have this car. Eventually, he bought it from his uncle in 1985. The gorgeous car is still all original, right down to its bronze paint. Incredibly, Rob only has $2,500 in the car, but the story gets deeper. Over the years living in his small island town, Rob would occasionally see a nearly identical “competing” bronze Barracuda—a four-speed model (the other was an auto) with no stripe. When the car resurfaced many years later in his boss’ driveway, Rob bought that one—the only other ’69 Barracuda in town.