Corvettes for Breakfast
It turns out Mother Nature is a car chick with an appetite for horsepower. In the wee hours of the morning on February 12, eight Corvettes were devoured by a giant sinkhole that appeared beneath the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Victims included a '62 Vette, an '84 pace car, a '93 ZR1, a 40th Anniversary Vette, an '01 Mallet-modified Z06, and an '09 ZR1. As if that's not tragic enough, the other two losses—Corvettes No. 1 million (a '92 model) and 1.5 million (an '09 model) to roll off the production line—are truly irreplaceable one-of-a-kind cars. Due to Kentucky's vast underground cave network, sinkholes tend to pop up from time to time. Immediately after the 40-foot-wide by 30-foot-deep sinkhole showed its ugly face, structural engineers began working out plans to clean up the mess, which will involve reinforcing the fragile ground and removing sections of the museum's domed roof to make room for a crane. Once the cars are extracted, they will be shipped to GM for repair. The museum will remain open to the public during the entire recovery process. —Stephen Kim
The Last GT40!
Stories of stumbling across priceless cars hidden for decades under dust and rubble seem to be more common. Most of the time we hear about them stowed away in barns far away from civilization, but every now and again there is one sitting smack dab in the middle of suburbia sitting under an endless accumulating pile of junk.
Such is true for this recently uncovered Ford GT40, arguably one of the most desirable American racing cars of all time, buried under piles of personal belongings in a Thousand Oaks, California, neighborhood since the late 1970s. Attending a car show called The Friends of Steve McQueen, car collector Thomas Shaughnessy caught wind of this rare piece of automotive history rotting away in a garage.
Given that this is chassis P/1067, it makes this '66 Ford GT40 the last one ever produced, and it was sold in 1967 sporting a MK II rear clamshell, just one of three cars known to have that particular rear. To make this car an even rarer gem, this Ford GT40 is the only car known in existence to still retain the MK II rear.
This particular Ford GT40 was raced until 1977, when engine failure sent it into early retirement. The owner began repairs, but an injury hindered the process, and ever since this sleeping beauty has been waiting to be rescued. Now that this special car has been uncovered and saved, it can now be restored to original factory specifications or brought back to life with its '60s racing livery. —Scott Parker
Muscle Car of the Year 2014
I have a Ford that I am in the process of final assembly on, a '64 Falcon Sprint convertible. A brief list of the components is enclosed. All of this is wrapped up in a car with over-the-top paint, interior, and detailing. All built in a two-car garage. (Hey, a guy needs something to do in the winter in Wisconsin.) If it absolutely has to be a Mustang, I have included a picture of my 1966 that I autocross.
Beaver Dam, WI
From the subject line of your email, it looks like you are interested in competing in our annual Muscle Car of the Year competition on Monday, July 14. We will put you on our short list! Stay tuned …
The Engine Apprentice
Who says you have to be an Engine Masters competitor to build a 600hp 409? This is a '65 block, bored to 4.325. I've had it since the '70s, outfitted with some ported Edelbrock heads, Edelbrock dual-quad intake, and Edelbrock 600 carbs with their valve covers and water pump. It has an Eagle 4.00-inch stroke crank swinging 6.385-inch Eagle rods and JE pistons pushing it to 470 ci and lit by a MSD ready-to-run distributor and wires. Valves are lifted by a Bullet/Ultradyne solid-roller cam with only 251/251 (at .050 duration) and COMP lifters, pushrods, and stainless rocker arms. Oiling by a Stef's pan. Exhaust headers are 2-inch step tri-Y by Jardine. We made over 20 pulls testing timing, carb spacers, 600- versus 750-cfm carbs, and 1.8 rockers to find the best combination of power and throttle response. It will eventually make its way into a '64 Impala SS.
Via the Internet
Skip—sounds like you should enter your 409 into the AMSOIL Engine Masters Challenge! It's one thing to drop an engine on a dyno and call it a day—it's another thing altogether to do it on the exact same dyno as 29 other competitors at the same time and place. Your accomplishment is noteworthy, but until you go up against a real field of contenders, you'll never know if you're an Engine Master, or just an apprentice!
Hi, my name is Terry Fritsch. I am developing new heads for 455 Olds engines. I was wondering if you would be interested in doing an article on an engine I am doing. It is a 455 at 506 ci. I am projecting between 1,100 and 1,150 hp naturally aspirated. I feel this is the most high-tech Olds engine ever built. Includes a six-stage dry-sump, roller cam bearings, fully coated, bottom-end girdle, and valley girdle. The heads are approaching 450 cfm, new FCR design shaft roller rockers in 1.9 ratio, etc. Thank you for your consideration.
Terry, we'll tell you basically the same thing we told Skip with his 409—bring that badass bullet to the AMSOIL Engine Masters Challenge. We'll even up the ante: We love Olds motors so much, we promise you that if you enter your Olds into the AEMC, we'll do a full tear-down photo shoot on it. (You'll have to do some tweaking to be legal for the rules though.) We promise that overnight, you'll be the darling of the Olds world. Just go to Engine Masters (found here) , and download the rules and an entry application.
Though I loved the 42 Readers' Rides in the Jan. '14 issue, I do have two questions: Was the number of submissions really so low that one person with two entries had both printed? Did no one from Canada enter?
Kingston, Ontario, CAN
Glad you asked that, Paul! When it comes to crowd-sourced stories, we really are at the mercy of what readers send us. As things move more into the digital realm, people in general are increasingly less likely to do anything in the actual world—like go outside and take a photo. But there is hope. Like last year, we're giving away a killer prize—$800 in Auto Meter Custom Shop gauges—so we're optimistic that everybody will pitch in with their own ride. Can we count on you to represent Canada, Paul?