Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Mecum Offers The Noland Adams 1960 Big Brake Fuelie Corvette

Students of Corvette history will recognize this 1960 Corvette, which was featured in Noland Adams’ book Corvette: American Legend 1958-1960 as one of two prototypes built that year with the 283/315 HP fuel injected V-8. It is being being offered at the Mecum Kissimmee Auction, January 24-29, 2012.

Monday, November 21, 2011

1970 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Ram Air III 4-Speed

This highly original unrestored 1970 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am is a singularly important piece of General Motors history. One of five built as “Brass Hat” cars for executive use and the only one built with the potent Ram Air III 400/366 HP engine mated to an M22 4-speed, it was delivered new to famed Packer Pontiac of Alma, Michigan and subsequently used for Pontiac Division promotional purposes.

This historically significant Pontiac is being offered at 5:10 PM on Saturday January 28, 2012 at the Mecum Kissimmee Auction.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

1958 Corvette "Fuelie" 283/290 HP 4-Speed

Bloomington Gold, NCRS Top Flight and Duntov Award laurels head the list of credentials on this outstanding body-off restored 1958 Chevrolet Corvette convertible, which packs the hottest engine-transmission pairing available in the Chevy line-up: the top-of-the-line 283/290 HP fuel injected V-8 with Borg Warner 4-speed manual.

1967 Chevrolet Corvette L71 4-Speed Convertible

If there is one car that appears on virtually every Corvette devotee’s wish list, it is most assuredly this one: an entirely original, unrestored 1967 Tri Power 427/435 HP 4-speed convertible with complete documentation, full ownership history and all the top awards to its credit.

You're going to love this baby right down to its original Uniroyal Laredo tires.

Oh yes.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

1961 Chevrolet Corvette Gulf Race Car

Winner of the 1961 SCCA B-Production National Championship, this Gulf Oil-sponsored 1961 Corvette racer was the most dominant of its time, winning almost every race it entered. It is one of two delivered by Yenko Chevrolet to the legendary Grady Davis, who ordered them equipped with the RPO354 fuel-injected 283/315 HP engine, Borg Warner 4-speed transmission, Positraction rear end, heavy duty brakes and suspension and quick steering adapter. Both cars were then prepared with the so-called Sebring Racing Package, which was supplied courtesy of Zora Arkus Duntov and consisted of a 37-gallon fiberglass fuel tank, hood louvers, headlamp covers, and auxiliary front anti-sway bar.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

1969 Chevrolet Corvette L88

Even among the storied ranks of the mighty L88, few Corvettes reach the standing of this 1969 Black-on-Black coupe, which earned Bloomington Gold Certification and Survivor status. That’s just the beginning: because of its high level of originality, including original paint, interior, engine and tires, it also earned an NCRS Regional Top Flight Award with a score of 98.4 and has served duty as an NCRS training seminar display vehicle. The only Black L88 known to retain both its original paint and original engine, it is complete with tank sheet, delivery sheet, Protect-O-Plate, original keys and full owner history.

This singular L88 coupe was the high sale of Mecum's inaugural Dallas auction, crossing the block at $596,250.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt

Ford’s “Total Performance” program was well underway when Lee Iacocca hired Dearborn Steel Tubing Company to build a batch of special lightweight Ford Fairlanes for the factory's top drag racing clientele. Stripped down, painted Wimbledon White and stuffed with 427 cubic inches of Galaxie V-8, the cars were dubbed “Thunderbolts”, and they struck drag racing like lightning. The 1964 Thunderbolt offered here sold for $245,000 at the inaugural Mecum Dallas Auction, held October 6 - 8 at the Dallas Convention Center.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

1967 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe L79 4-Speed

This rare 1967 Corvette coupe was honored in the Bloomington Gold Silver Salute, a fan favorite that each year honors Corvettes turning 25 years old. Originally sold in Texas, it shows fewer than 500 miles since it was professionally restored in complete frame-off fashion in 2006. Attractively finished in Marlboro Maroon metallic with a Saddle interior, it bears a unique combination of the high performance L79 327/350 HP 4-speed drivetrain with factory air conditioning, additionally featuring power steering, bolt-on finned aluminum wheels and Redline tires.

Friday, October 7, 2011

1959 Chevrolet Impala Convertible

I love the '59 Impala, especially in Black on Red, which is how my dad built his AMT 3-in-1 model, including the fender skirts, dual antennas and wide Whitewalls.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Vette vs Jette

Blue Devil vs Blue Angel:

Motor Trend Editor at Large Arthur St. Antoine comes across at first as a bit too practised, but from 13 minutes on I really came to like the guy for his dedication to the deal, enormous G-loads be damned.

So good job, Arthur, for a very entertaining Corvette video that introduces viewers to a great guy, Blue Angel pilot Lt. Ben Walburn.

Cut One, go:

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

1969 Ford Mustang Boss 557 Resto Mod

Based on a solid 390/320 HP Sportsroof, this 1969 Ford Mustang “Boss 557” is without doubt one of the finest Resto Mods we have ever seen, combining faithful adherence to the original Boss 429’s factory appearance with a thorough mechanical and structural modernization based on a well-defined vision, unrivalled workmanship and attention to the smallest detail. The Boss 557 is scheduled to be sold at 3:45 PM on Saturday October 8, 2011 at the inaugural Mecum Dallas Auction.

Monday, October 3, 2011

1970 Chevrolet Camaro Z28

A former member of the famed Reggie Jackson Collection, this Auburn Gold 1970 Z28 features a Sandalwood interior with a console and Z23 woodgrain accents and lighting. Front and rear spoilers, White stripes, blacked-out front grill and styled steel wheels signify the performance potential of the Z28’s 350/360 HP solid-lifter V-8, partnered here with an automatic transmission and Positraction rear end. Documentation includes the factory invoice and original Georgia title.

This really nice 1970 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 is scheduled to be sold at 5:00 PM on Thursday October 6 at the inaugural Mecum Dallas Auction. Great stuff!

Friday, September 16, 2011

1968 Pontiac Royal Bobcat 428 GTO "The Bossman"

Royal Pontiac is known far and wide as the most significant Pontiac high performance dealer, and as the Pontiac equivalent of other "American Supercar" builders such as Nickey, Yenko, and Baldwin-Motion for Chevrolet and Grand Spaulding Dodge for Mopars. No "Supercar" collection is complete without a Royal Bobcat Pontiac, and the rarity and significance of this 1968 Royal Bobcat GTO make it truly unique.

Original owner Mike Rutherford had planned to buy the car and have his good friend Arnie Beswick replace the stock Ram Air 400 engine with a 428/425 HP unit. Because of his busy racing schedule, Beswick advised Rutherford to order his new GTO from Ace Wilson’s Royal Pontiac, whose elite crew would handle the transformation. As Arnie tells it, he had to make appeals on Rutherford’s behalf to GTO Godfather Jim Wangers and “a few people at Royal”, before consummating the deal. Word of the project apparently spread, because the car’s arrival at Royal “coincided” with a visit from Popular Hot Rodding magazine photographer Lee Kelley, who took the now-famous cover shot of Royal’s Milt Schornack and Dave Warren hoisting the 428 into the car’s engine bay.

Mike Rutherford, who owned the car until 1999, raced it extensively on the street for the first couple of years, with Arnie tuning the car for the occasional foray to the drag strip, where the two shared turns at the wheel. Arnie’s search for more performance in the GTO began even before its arrival at Royal when he secured a pre-production set of Ram Air II cylinder heads, which were bolted to the 428 short block prior to its installation. He took the car to JR Headers, who installed a custom-fabricated set of tubes, and he modified the front and rear suspension for improved launching, always respecting Rutherford’s caveat that the car not be cut.

As Arnie Beswick recalled in a feature article on the car in the June 2009 issue of Muscle Car Review, “”Even though it was more of a street car than a race car, it did make numerous trips to some Midwestern drag strips, including Cordova, Illinois and Kahoka, Missouri. The “BossMan” lettering was put on the car when Mike felt it had paid its dues and earned the title. That’s also when he had my name put on the fender.”

The BossMan Royal Bobcat GTO was eventually acquired by noted muscle car collector Mike Guarise. Muscle Car Designs of Minooka, IL performed a frame-off restoration using primarily refinished parts original to the car, including the 428 CI engine that appeared in the famous PHR cover photo. In fact, that shot was recreated for two magazine articles when Schornack and Warren flew in to help install the engine to complete the restoration.

The race day graphics, which remained on the car until Rutherford sold it in 1999, were recreated in vinyl for easy application and removal should the stock Royal Bobcat look be preferred by the new owner. In addition, the stock tires, wheels & hubcaps are included to return the car to its original Royal appearance.

The BossMan Royal Bobcat GTO is unquestionably unique. Its creation was approved by Jim Wangers, its conversion was performed by celebrated Pontiac talents Milt Schornack and Dave Warren; it is the only 1968 GTO known to be associated with both Royal Pontiac and Arnie Beswick when new; it met with instant celebrity status as a magazine cover car and earned its BossMan moniker as a street fighter cum drag racer tuned by none other than The Farmer himself - together which make the BossMan Royal Bobcat GTO singularly significant in Pontiac and Royal Bobcat history.

The Bossman 1968 Pontiac Royal Bobcat 428 GTO is scheduled to be sold at 1:50 PM on Saturday September 17 at the Mecum St. Charles, IL Auction.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

1967 427/400 HP Coupe: David Burroughs' Last Restoration

As collectible Corvettes go, it is rather unassuming in appearance. Its Rally wheels are devoid of hub caps and trim rings, making it look even unfinished. But there truly is nothing lacking in this 1967 Corvette Sting Ray coupe. Indeed, it represents all the knowledge and experience of Bloomington Gold founder and Corvette expert extraordinaire David Burroughs, who in 1993 completed a five-year restoration of the car for owner David Painter.

First, the specifics: the Silver Pearl coupe was sold new in Evansville, Indiana, where it has resided ever since with a series of three owners. It is well equipped with the L68 427/400 HP Tri Power big block engine, transistorized ignition, a 4-speed manual transmission, telescopic steering column, air conditioning, power steering and brakes, power windows, headrests, AM/FM radio and tinted glass. But according to Burroughs, the main story is “the insane detail that differentiates this from any other Corvette.”

That “insane detail” is the result of decades of devotion to the ideal of preserving history, one that led David Burroughs to his association with the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s restoration center, where he learned their preservation and restoration techniques, and to the Corvette factory itself, where he spent years studying and mastering Corvette production processes.

“My trademark has always been that I’m looking for historic perfection, not cosmetic perfection. They’re two different things. I refer to most restorations as ‘novels.’ When you are writing a story to come out the way you want it, that’s different from journalism, in which you report the story as it is, not the way you want it to come out. Most restoration shops do ‘novel’ or cosmetic restorations; my restorations are ‘journalistic.’ That’s the big difference between what this Corvette and the other 99.9 percent of restored cars represent.”

The car literally showcases Burroughs’ insistence on translating that philosophy into a finished piece whose minutest detail is true to factory production.

For example, the Silver Pearl finish was applied by a painter specially trained by Burroughs in factory paint processes. The finished paint was lightly buffed out, but only above the beltline, the factory having decided that since the area below the sharp break was typically in shadow, it therefore did not require the extra attention.

Similarly, checking under the seats reveals the presence of two-inch square pieces of carpet, typically cut out by production workers to expose the mounting points for bolting the seats in place. “Sometimes they would throw those little squares on the factory floor and they’d get swept up,” says Burroughs, “usually they would leave them on the carpet under the seat, so that’s what I did - those little pads of carpet are still there.”

The reproduction wiring harness came wrapped in tape that was too shiny and narrow. Burroughs had a supply of the original tape, so he rewrapped the wiring harness in that to make it more accurate.

Scratches in the undercarriage are anathema to a cosmetically perfect restoration, but they are present on this Corvette in all the places they would have been fresh from the factory - the transmission rear pedestal, for instance, a stamped steel piece painted black. Shipped in bulk, they typically arrived in less than ideal condition. Look under this car and you will see the shipping scratches on the pedestal. Not to make it look pretty, but again, to make it authentic.

The results are not always evident, but Burroughs applied that same unrelenting approach throughout the restoration. “There are a lot of things on this car that you would never see unless someone pointed them out. The wheels for instance: three are restored, one is not, and I would defy you to pick out which is which.”

The same is true of the factory air conditioning compressor. It is original to the car, but even the most seasoned judge would be hard pressed to determine whether or not it has been restored. Burroughs comments, “A lot of the things on the car I did not restore. I just rehabilitated them. Other things I restored and then deconstructed so that everything was back in sync again.”

Even with all that attention to a mass of arcane details, the car remains very original.

“Fortunately, the big thing is, this car had not even a nick in the fiberglass, it was pristinely perfect. The frame didn’t have any rust on it; this was a great car to work with.

“Probably 95 percent of the components are original to the car. And I’d say that 95 percent of the nuts, bolts and washers are not only the accurate ones but also were put back in the same holes they came out of. I learned that at the Smithsonian Aerospace Museum restoration shop. That’s one of those secrets I keep, like how to tell a real L88 from a fake; there are a couple of things I learned at The Smithsonian and from the restorations I did that I’ll never tell. You’ve got to have a secret recipe or two to use now and then.”

Because David Burroughs knew this Corvette would be his last restoration, he committed to using every one of those secrets in returning the subject to its present state: exactly as it would have arrived at the dealer, including hold-down hooks and chains from a factory transporter.

Oh, and the missing wheel trim pieces: they're on the carpet behind the rear window, where the factory locked them away to prevent their theft during transport. The silver-painted wheels authentically remain without scratches.

This masterpiece restoration is being offered at the Bloomington Gold Corvette Auction, held by Mecum June 24-25, 2011

Friday, April 8, 2011

1958 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible

Over the last 51 years only two dedicated owners have cared for this impressive 1958 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertible, one of just 815 produced. It is being offered at Dana Mecum's Original Spring Classic Auction on Saturday May 21 at 5:00PM.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

1957 Ford Thunderbird Phase I D/F Handbuilt Factory Racer

This 1957 Ford Thunderbird is much more than one of the rarest Fords produced in the post-WWII era, for while outwardly identical to production models, its origins and history set it apart as one of a singularly unique group of fifteen hand-built for competition and one of just eight that survive today.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Roadster

Every Shelby 427 Cobra is rare simply by nature, but everyone including Carroll Shelby himself knows that, within that context, some reach the level of “exceptional”, a fact he acknowledged when he signed the glovebox door of CSX 3301 with the inscription,

One of the rarest
Carroll Shelby

The first car in the third production group of 427 Cobras, this sparkling White roadster was completed at AC Cars for delivery directly to Ford Advanced Vehicles in Slough, England. Shelby 427 Cobra CSX3301 is being offered at the Mecum Kissimmee Auction Friday, January 28, 2011.