A quick look at today’s automotive offerings and you’ll notice that almost all passenger cars are front-engined, while most sports cars come with a mid-engined configuration. The Porsche 911 is the most known exception from this rule, having its engine mounted above the rear axle. The 911 isn’t the only rear-engined car on the market, the Smart ForTwo and ForFour, Renault Twingo, Tesla Model S, and Tata Nano have similar configurations, but all of them are part of the minority. However, it wasn’t always like this.
Decades ago, rear-engined vehicles were significantly more popular. The first notable rear-engined car dates back to 1886, when Karl Benz launched the Patent-Motorwagen. The concept gained more traction in the 1930 and remained somewhat popular until the 1980s. Mostly found in small, affordable cars, the layout allowed for the rest of the vehicle to be used for passengers and luggage. It was also preferred by many carmakers since the drivetrain can installed easily at the factory compared to front-wheel-drive layout where the driven wheels also steer the car.
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Ebay Find of the Day: 1962 Chevy C10 Patina Pro Touring Restomod
Restomodding has become extremely popular these last few years, with guys restoring old cars while giving them new life with modern parts. It’s like a Goldilocks special – the best of both worlds wrapped into a single project. A perfect example is this 1962 Chevrolet C10 pickup that’s been completely reworked from bumper to bumper. Now it’s our eBay find of the day.
The truck has been fully restored, complete with a painted ladder frame, custom cargo bed with tubbed wheel wells, and an awesome flat flame red paint job. Black accents help define the C10’s bodylines while breaking up the monotony of the slab sides. Inside, the red color scheme continues with red carpet, a red dash, and red seats. Black accents on the steering wheel, gear shifter, gauge cluster, and seats help pull off the two-tone theme.
Power comes from a 355 cubic-inch small-block Chevy with a Rowdy Thumpr cam from Comp Cams. It’s kept cool with an aluminum radiator and an electronic fan. The engine is decked out with chrome valve covers and a matching air cleaner sitting atop the four-barrel carburetor. The V-8 is mated to an automatic an automatic transmission with a floor shifter. Power, of course, is sent rearward to the fat rear tires. Though the gearing isn’t specifically stated, the listing says the rear end is geared for the highway – likely making this a great cruiser.
The truck rides on a bagged suspension, making the ride height adjustable for the show and for the road. A set of 20-inch, five-spoke wheels ride up front with 22-inchers out back. They come wrapped in high performance rubber. Performance disc brakes up front and new drum brakes out back pull the truck to a stop.
There’s more to this truck, so keep reading for the full details.
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1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible
The Chevy Bel Air was pretty much an instant classic when it hit showrooms back in 1950. The first generation, which ran between 1950 and 1954) sported a revolutionary design, with hardtop models designed as a convertible with a non-removable hard top. It was a design that had been around since the early 1920s, but up until the Bel Air, as well as other models from Chevy and Cadillac, the design hadn’t really seen too much success. The model we’re here to talk about today is a 1957 Bel Air convertible that will be going under the hammer in August of 2016 at the Mecum auction during Monterey Car Week.
This specific model isn’t exactly your everyday ’57 Chevy, though. This thing has gone through restoration, is completely rust free, and has been upgraded with a 5.7-liter Corvette-derived LS1 that is backed by the near bullet-proof 4L60-E four-speed automatic (the modern version of the 700R4 transmission.) Outside of this, there are lots of other goodies and features that make this Bel Air convertible a true one-of-a-kind model. So, let’s get on with my review before I make this introduction just way too long.
Continue reading to learn more about the 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible.
1956 Chevrolet 3100 Pickup
The 1950s were a special time for American automobiles. Chrome, big fenders, narrow wheels, and futuristic comfort features were all the rage. Chevrolet was perhaps the most pervasive brand of the era thanks to big hits like the 1956 Bel Air. This popular trend extended even into Chevy’s pickup lineup. Introduced in 1955, the Chevrolet Task Force pickups featured all the right stuff, plus offered a heavier duty chassis than the Advance Design pickup series it replaced.
The Chevy Task Force came with a striking new design that mirrored Chevy’s passenger car designs. The Task Force series also bought never-before-seen comforts to the pickup segment, including a wraparound windshield, wraparound rear glass on Deluxe Cab models, a larger interior, power steering, power brakes, a 12-volt electrical system, and an optional automatic transmission. What’s more, 1955 was the first year for Chevy’s legendary small-block V-8. Displacing 265 cubic inches, this 4.3-liter V-8 was the first V-8 in a Chevy pickup.
The Task Force series of pickups lasted from 1955 through 1959 when the Apache series, took over. The Apache also started carrying the C/K series designation, which denoted either RWD (C) or 4WD (K), and would soon take over as Chevy’s pickup truck names until 1999 when the Silverado trim line officially became the model name.
But it was 1956 when Chevrolet built the truck you see here. This 3100 model foregoes the V-8 in favor of Chevy’s then-popular 235 Thriftmaster inline six-cylinder and four-speed manual transmission. It does sport the Deluxe Cab with the rounded rear glass, two-tone paint, and the optional heater package. Mecum auctions will roll this meticulously restored truck across the auction block during the 2016 Monterey auction taking place August 18th through 20th.
There’s plenty more information about this truck below the jump, so keep reading for more.
Continue reading for our full review on the Chevrolet 3100 Pickup.
Has there ever been a more iconic American car than the ’57 Chevy Bel Air? Of course there hasn’t, it’s not even close. Not even the Model T is as much a symbol of its age as the Bel Air. It represents American middle class postwar prosperity perfectly, and is a rare example of a car with styling that was exactly in line with contemporary fashion and design. There is something of a downside to this, though. The car has become such an icon that its greatness is now either taken for granted or completely ignored in the belief that its popularity was more about trendy fashion than the car itself.
But, the Bel Air really was a fantastic car, Chevrolet’s top mainstream (defined as “not the Corvette”) offering. And, the generation of the car we’re talking about here actually includes the model years from ’55 to ’57, but styling and options were tweaked each year, and the ’57 is now considered to be the quintessential Bel Air. The car was just the right mix of style, performance and had an appealing price tag. It was a huge hit in showrooms, and was even a much bigger technical achievement than it usually gets credit for.
Continue reading to learn more about the Chevrolet Bel Air.
The Chevrolet Chevelle was born during a tumultuous time in the history of American cars. Debuting in 1964, the initial plans for the car were reasonable and sensible. It was to take on the Ford Fairlane and take on the roll of the old ’55-’57 Bel Air as a fairly inexpensive way to have a modest amount of fun. But, 1964 would later see the introduction of the Ford Mustang and the Pontiac GTO, cars that changed the whole American automotive industry and put an emphasis on performance in such a way that it had never been before.
Chevrolet reacted by first offering the option of a 327 engine in the Chevelle, one just barely allowed under GM guidelines at the time that restricted cars in this segment to engines under 330 cubic inches. But, Pontiac had a 389 in the GTO, and it soon became clear to Chevrolet that playing by the rules wasn’t going to get them anywhere. So in 1965, Chevy made a special 200-unit limited run of “unlisted” Chevelle Malibus with the new 396 engine. Thus was born the Z16 SS396, easily one of the hottest of the early muscle cars, and a rare object of desire still to this day.
Continue reading to learn more about the Chevrolet Chevelle Z-16.
The 1960s is largely considered the golden era of American muscle cars, when big-block V-8s, Polyglas tires and carburetors ruled the streets. Corvettes were certainly a part of the action, especially in the latter part of the decade. But no Corvette of the time came close to touching the outright abilities of the famed L88.
The L88 designation came with Vettes powered by the mighty 427 cubic-inch big-block that came factory-rated at 430 horsepower. However, Chevrolet lied. In reality, the 427 produced well over 500 horsepower. Only 216 examples were built between 1967 and 1969, with Chevrolet marketing them towards race teams rather than the general public.
That magnificent engine, a de-optioned interior and the high-rise hood were the only visual things separating the L88 from the standard C3 Stingray. But the late 1960s were fantastic times for Corvette design. The classic shark body with its side gills, sloping front end, bulging fenders, and wide rear haunches made the Vette one of the curviest, most seductive cars of the era.
Joe Everyman had the option of the standard 350 cubic-inch V-8 or several optional V-8s, including a 327, 427 and 454 – all of which came with various tunes throughout the C3’s lifespan. Introduced for the 1968 model year, the third-generation Corvette lasted into the 1980s, when Chevrolet introduced the C4 for 1984. Updates and refreshes came regularly for the C3’s design and interior, making it easy to determine its model year.
Though the C3 enjoyed immense popularity, it’s the rarest version – the L88 – that has gained the most legendary status with collectors. That’s why the particular Stingray pictured here is on the auction block with an estimated selling price between $650,000 and $750,000. Besides its rarity, the car’s value is based on several other factors. Keep reading for them all.
Continue reading to learn more about the 1969 Chevrolet Corvette 427/430 L88.
Here’s the thing about old cars: They’re kind of slow by today’s standards. A well-equipped Chrysler Town & Country minivan can outperform most high-performance cars of the 1960s and 1970s, but obviously a minivan doesn’t have quite the same charisma as, say, a 1967 Corvette Stingray. So, if you want a Corvette Stingray that performs, you can either buy a new one, or this 1967 that Bill Kuhn of His Place Inc. in Maryland has stuffed with loads of modern, high-performance parts.
Let’s start with the engine. The fastest of the Stingrays were the 427 big-blocks — beastly mills, but they were also heavy. This one uses a 460-horsepower LT1 from a 2015 Corvette, — far lighter and more powerful than the 427. Power is sent through a new five-speed Tremec transmission, with a hydraulic clutch and 3.73:1 rear end. Suspension from a C4 Corvette is bolted to a tubular chassis, and four-wheel disc brakes clamp massive 13-inch rotors in the front and 12-inchers in the rear. Its 18-inch Grand Sport wheels are the only exterior clues that you might be looking at something a bit special, but honestly, I might swap them out for something a bit more retro.
The interior is covered with red leather and boasts modern conveniences, including air conditioning, power steering, adjustable steering column and a modern stereo, complete with Bluetooth connectivity. This obsessively assembled package is being sold at the Mecum Auctions event this May 12-16 in Indianapolis and is expected to go for between $175,000 and $200,000.
Continue reading to learn more about this 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible.
It is said that with the right engineering and work, any vehicle can go fast. That’s largely true for cars, but can it be applied to a pickup truck? According to DRIVE’s latest "Big Muscle" episode, there’s at least one truck that is as fast and nimble as car on the race track. The hauler in question is a heavily modified 1969 Chevrolet C10 built by Bob Philips for his wife Brandy. Yup, Brandy is a race car driver and she previously did laps on race tracks across the U.S. in a second-generation Camaro.
Getting back to the truck, don’t let the utilitarian nature of the C10 fool you. This rig went through an extensive overhaul that change everything but the familiar body of Chevy’s famous truck. Just like a full-fledged race car, the C10, now renamed as the C10-R, received a massive front splitter and a huge rear wing, both made from carbon-fiber. Phillips also equipped it with gold-painted 18-inch rims shod in wide performance tires and wrapped its body in gunmetal grey for a Pagani Zonda-like finish. Yup, that’s no mistake, Bob actually wanted the C10-R to resemble the mighty Zonda R, noted for its black carbon-fiber body work and gold wheels.
But believe it or not, the exterior is the least impressive aspect of this truck. Keep reading to find out why.
There is a very special significance in owning the first of something. It can mark the beginning of an era, the start of something great, and in this case, the genesis of one of General Motors most-loved nameplates. Back in the spring of 1966 a company called Fisher Body began working on a car that wore VIN number N100001. The project was top secret, and even Fisher didn’t know that what they were creating was in fact the first Camaro.
Since its debut, N100001 has had a wild existence where it has passed through the hands of nearly a half-dozen owners. After the nearly five decades since it first rolled on its own power, N100001 has been located and fully restored to its original factory condition. In the entire car, the only two parts that are not genuine Chevrolet pieces are one seat cover and the carpets.
The story behind this car is a great one, and you can catch all the details about it in this video from the Pilot Car Registry. The video covers every previous owner, the car’s first construction and unveiling, and finally its restoration. The video is 18 minutes long, but if you are at all interested in the history behind a legendary classic like this, it is worth the watch.
Continue reading to learn more about the first Camaro ever built.
We’ve all bought things in the past, put them away, and simply forgot about them. Things like a $10 electronic gizmo, or like me, a $150 tablet (ugh, don’t ask), are somewhat normal, but how about a $500,000 collection of Corvettes? I don’t think that is something that I could stash away in various garages and simply forget about.
Well, one guy did. Meet Peter Max; he’s the man who bought this collection of cars to create some sort of art show out of, but instead allowed them to rot for the last 25 years.
The back-story goes all the way to a contest that VH1 – remember that station? – ran back in 1989. The music-video station collected one Corvette from each year between 1953 and 1989, and gave them away.
There was a catch, however, as the savvy network required people to enter via a hotline that charged $2 per entry, which ended up with VH1 turning a nice profit.
The winner was one Dennis Amodeo, who took delivery of the estimated $600,000 worth of American fiberglass and steel, and sold them to the aforementioned artist for $250,000 in cash and $250,000 in future profits from his art.
As you can see by the image, the cars fell into serious ill-repair over two and a half decades until a man and his partners approached Max about buying the cars. Max agreed, and now the cars are now on the way to becoming whole again.
Click past the jump to read more about this forgotten Corvette collection.
A chronicle of Corvette’s success in motorsports could fill several books, but the nameplate’s first contact with the world of racing is often forgotten. It all began in 1956, when Zora Arkus-Duntov set a 150-mph speed record at Sebring driving a Corvette roadster. The experiment would soon spawn the Corvette SR-2, a modified C1 Vette that featured a lengthened front end a massive, Jaguar D-Type-like wing on its trunk. Legend has it the SR-2 was born when Jerry Earl, the son of GM Styling chief Harley Earl, announced that he wanted a Ferrari. Harley immediately commission a racing Corvette that would become the SR-2, GM’s first purpose-built track car.
Nearly 58 years old in 2015, the SR-2 returns to the spotlight after years of lurking in the shadows. Having been through a complete and thorough restoration, the SR-2 is as magnificent as it has ever been and it is looking for a new racing enthusiast to take it back to Sebring, or any other American track for that matter. The SR-2 may have been overshadowed by the Ferraris and Jaguars of the late 1950s, but it earned its place in Chevrolet’s hall of fame as the first Corvette-badged factory race car. Read all about it below.
Click past the jump to read more about the 1956 Chevrolet Corvette SR-2.
Back in 1963, the second generation Corvette hit the market with a splash. The car fed off the popularity of the first Corvettes and showed promises of more power and an even bigger status symbol. Designed under Bill Mitchell and named Sting Ray after inspiration from sea life including the Mako shark, the second generation Corvette offered a coupe version for the first time. Those 1963 cars came with the famed split rear window; a feature dropped for 1964. The design didn’t change much for 1965, but would be the first time a big block would find its way under the fiberglass hood. That 396 offered up 425 horsepower, a full 50 horsepower more than the fuel injected 327 also offered that year.
The second generation Corvette ceased production at the end of 1967 in preparation for the third generation Corvette Stingray.
Crossing the auction block this January is this beautiful 1965 Corvette Stingray with the VIN of 001. Yep, this is the first Vette off the line for ’65 and the first to have four-wheel-disc brakes come standard. Built in August of 1964, the car toured the country with General Motors showing off the Corvettes new stopping power. The car is covered in unique Cadillac-specific silver paint because the Corvette silver specified for 1965 wasn’t ready yet, What’s more, the car is also the first Vette to come with the then-popular teakwood steering wheel and power-raising antenna for the AM/FM radio. Best of all, the car is unrestored with only 28,000 miles on the clock.
Click past the jump to read more about the 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe.
SEMA is now in full swing and the cars keep on coming. This stunning vehicle is a 1971 Corvette Stingray that NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson and the guys at Chevrolet put together as a way to show off the 6.2-liter, LT1 V-8’s new availability in GM Performance’s E-Rod series of aftermarket powertrain solutions.
The team started with a rough ’71 Stingray that had seen better days. It’s deep Brands Hatch Green paint showing signs of fade and the worn out 350-cubic-inch V-8 in need of spicing up. A frame-off restoration was needed to bring the Vette’s body back into shape. Johnson helped the design team sketch up the perfect look for the resto-mod. Modern flair like the C7 hood heat extractor and side gill vents were added to bring the two Corvette eras together.
Of course, the worn out suspension was updated to modern, adjustable, coil-over shocks with thick anti-roll bars, and the brakes were swapped for those normally found on a C6 Corvette Z06.
Click past the jump to read more about the Chevrolet Corvette Jimmie Johnson.
The 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 is undoubtedly an awesome track-prepped machine, the ultimate fifth-generation Camaro if you will. But to my eyes, the 2014 model is no match to the original Z/28, especially if we’re talking about a Trans Am-spec race car.
Chevy introduced the Z/28 option for the 1967 model year, promoting it as a "virtually race-ready" Camaro available at any U.S. dealer. Fitted with a 4.9-liter, small-block V-8 specifically designed to race in the Trans Am series, the Z/28 became a huge success by 1969, when it accounted for nearly 22 percent of total Camaro production of the year.
The Z/28 was off to a slow start in Trans Am, losing the 1967 championship to Ford and Mercury. However, the bowtie-badged muscle car went on to dominate the competition in both 1968 and 1969 with Mark Donohue behind the wheel. In two years, the Camaro Z/28 won 21 of 25 events, crushing Detroit rivals from Ford and its Mustang. The streak ended once the second-gen Camaro was introduced in 1970 and it took Chevy five more years to win another championship, this time with the Corvette.
Although the Camaro returned to the spotlight with seven Trans Am titles in the 1980s and 1990s, none of these vehicles managed to reach the fame of the first-gen Z/28s. Not at all surprising considering the stardom the first-gen Camaro so rightfully enjoys. There’s more than that, of course. The looks, the sound, and all the amazing things surrounding late 1960s racing. Most of us aren’t lucky enough to climb into one of those Trans Am beasts, but Motor Trend’s Jess Lang managed to hoon a 1969 Camaro Z/28 around the Laguna Seca. Hit the play button to find out why the first-gen Z/28 is one of the most enticing muscle cars ever built.
Jay is riding low in this episode of Jay Leno’s Garage. Our legendary petrol-head host meets up with three low rider aficionados who take Jay through the ins and outs of low rider tech and history. The two beautiful low rider examples are a black, 1966 Chevrolet Impala and a pinstriped 1963 Chevy Impala Convertible. Both are completely customized with unique parts and outstanding chrome work.
Jay starts off talking with the editor of Lowrider Magazine, Joe Ray, about how the low-rider culture got its start back in the 1960s and how it’s spreading all over the world today.
After that, Jay talks with Chris Najera, the owner of the black 1966 Impala about why he kept a solid paint color and how he modernized a few key bits of the interior. Under the hood lies an absolutely beautiful V-8 drenched in chrome and brimming with power.
Brandon Brusca then shows Jay nearly every inch of his candy-colored orange 1963 Impala Convertible. Every single inch of the car is completely customized. The pinstriped paint job runs the entire length of the car and exemplified automotive artistic craftsmanship. A 409-cubic-inch V-8 burbles between pinstriped inner fender wells and is covered in chrome.
Jay continues to take a look at the ’63 Impala, but from the underside, where the craftsmanship and attention to detail matches that of the top side. There are even engravings on the chrome-plated link bars for the rear suspension. Every nut, every bolt, and every connector is shined to meticulous perfection.
The kicker to it all is the ’63 Impala’s air-suspension system. It utilizes air compressors originally built in the 1960s for U.S. fighter planes. The video might be long, but it’s worth your time, even if you’re not into the low-rider scene.