Baldwin Motion Phase III GT Corvette Survivor!!!
Date: 5.2.14 – Time has been kind to the Baldwin Motion Supercars. Today, complete and restored Motion cars are very valuable. Yenko cars have the pedigree of being COPO cars, but unlike the Phase III cars, they could not be personalized. Enter Joel Rosen, Marty Schorr, and the Baldwin Motion experience.
Rosen was the owner of Motion Performance in Baldwin, New York and Schorr was the editor of CARS Magazine (and founder of VETTE). The young men conceived of offering custom-built supercars through local dealer, Baldwin Chevrolet. Rosen knew how to build a Chevy muscle car into a dependable, supercar, with performance over-and-above the factory level. Joel spun the wrenches and Marty spun the spin. Schorr kept the sizzle hot with CARS Magazine “special road tests,” in-your-face ads, special features, and catalogs. A Motion supercar was guaranteed to run the quarter-mile in 11.5-seconds with a qualified driver. When a customer took delivery of their Phase III supercar, they were driving a custom-made supercar. It was all very heady stuff.
Rosen’s higher vision was to offer an American GT machine based on the big-block Corvette. Joel started with his basic 500-plus horsepower Phase III Corvette and added custom bodywork that included a fastback rear window that opened up the rear cargo area of the C3 Corvette. The car was christened the “Phase III GT.” A “regular” Phase III Corvette was already a beast, but if you wanted the next level, the Phase III GT offered all the performance hardware, plus unique, head-turning custom bodywork. The Phase III GT Corvette was Rosen’s vision of the ultimate Motion car for customers with deep pockets. Rosen expected to produce 10-to-12 Phase III GT Corvettes a year, but only made 12 cars from ‘69 to ‘71. Continue reading
Listen to Archived Show – Click Here
It’s a Friday Night Car Show at Far Out Radio! Our guests are Marty Schorr and Joel Rosen. Marty is the former editor of CARS Magazine, founder of VETTE Magazine, editor and chief of CarGuychronicles.com, and owns PMPR, an automotive public relations business. Joel Rosen is the former owner of Motion Performance and currently owns and runs Motion Models, a world renown scale military model company.
Back in the ‘60s, Marty Schorr was the editor of CARS Magazine and Joel Rosen was the owner of Motion Performance. Schorr and Rosen became friends and Motion Performance was CARS Magazine’s “special projects” shop. The two creative guys came up with a Chevy supercar concept, not unlike Carroll Shelby’s Ford Shelby Mustangs, only at a local level.
Baldwin Chevrolet was a local Mom & Pop Chevy dealership on Long Island. Schorr and Rosen pitched the concept of offering supercar versions of new Chevy muscle cars purchased through Baldwin Chevrolet. Rosen designed a near-bullet-proof parts package and took care of the assembly. The team created the Baldwin Motion “look” and Schorr took care of the branding, advertising, catalogs, and PR.
Rosen spun the wrenches and Schorr spun the spin. The cars had drop-dead, in-your-face aggressive good looks to go with their ground-pounding performance – all with a 100% Chevy warrantee!
The guys created a legend that still being talked about 45 years later! Survivor Baldwin Motion Supercars are today VERY valuable.
A Salute to the AWESOME, highly collectible, Baldwin Motion Corvettes
In November 2011 there were a few automotive bomb shells dropped on the MCACN Muscle Car Show. Namely three unique Baldwin Motion Corvettes. One Survivor Phase III 454 Corvette, one restored Motion Mako Shark Corvette, and one garage/barn find Corvette, the ‘76 Can-Am Spyder.
The survivor car is known as the “Ankenbauer Phase III 454 Corvette. The car is currently owned by Dave Belk and is just an amazing Motion survivor car. I have a feature story on this Motion Phase III 454 Corvette coming out in Vette Vues Magazine in a few weeks. After publication, I’ll post the story here. The car is jaw-dropping and the owner’s story rocks!
Dan McMichael is a collector of Motion Corvettes. His latest finished Motion car is the 1970 Motion Maco Shark Corvette. There are many configurations of the Mako design. Both Silva and Motion produced customer Macos AND sold the body kits. This car was built by Motion Performance, according to the customer’s specifications. The restoration of this car is said to be “STUNNING!” From the photos I’ve seen, that adjective is spot on.
And Dan McMichaels scores a second stunner. This might be the most amazing Corvette barn find ever. The car was discovered by Maryland State legislator Rick Impallaria when he was clearing out cars and hardware after evicting a tenant from the auto body shop he was renting. Stashed away was the hulk of an unusual Corvette. Rick was told that the car might be the remains of a Motion Can-Am Spyder Corvette. Rick did some inquiries, including to our sister site, www.BaldwinMotionReport.com, as to what the Corvette community thought this hulk might have been. Turns out it was one of three yellow Can-Am Spyder Corvettes built. And now it’s Dan McMichaels. If anyone will “do right” by the Can-Am Spyder, it’ll be Dan! Continue reading
So, you want to build yourself a Maco Corvette? Get your work clothes!
We were very pleased with the response to our Mako Shark Attack Week from the beginning of January 2012. I first saw the Mako Shark-II back in ‘66 and thought it was the most stunning car I’d ever seen. It looked like what I had imagined “cars from the future” would look like. Obviously, I wasn’t the only one that was touched, moved, and inspired.
The Cliff Notes version of the Mako Shark-II story is this. Chevrolet blows minds with the non-running Mako Shark-II at the New York World’s Fair in 1965. The crowds went wild and told Chevrolet, “We want one!” And Chevrolet said, “We’ll get right on it!” The running Mako Shark-II with it’s big 427 big-block engine was just “out’a sight!” But when the Mako Shark-II-inspired ‘68 Corvette came out, some said, “What’s that? That’s not a Mako Shark!” One guy took it upon himself to build his own Mako Shark-II body for the new Corvette. John Silva’s “Maco Shark” Corvette body kit filled the void that Chevrolet created. Silva’s Maco kit got the attention of Motion Performance’s Joel Rosen, who had recently unleashed his Phase III GT Corvette, and was looking for something even more exotic to offer his Motion customers. Rosen and Silva made a deal and the rest is history. Motion and Silva made a few turnkey Maco Sharks and sold LOTS of body kits and parts.
The kit car industry has come a long way since the ‘60s when Meyers-Manx, Fiberfab, Silva, Motion, and others were selling kits. The nature of kits cars is that most are never completed, with electrical issues usually being the number one issue. What it comes down to is that for a kit car to turn out great, you need excellent craftsmen and a fair amount of cash. A fully-functional kit car can be as complicated as a manufactured car. Continue reading
An abused Motion Performance exotic gets a new lease on life!
(Check out the slide show at the bottom of this post!)
According to the Motion Performance “bible,” Marty Schorr’s “Motion Performance: Tales of a Muscle Car Builder” book, only 4 Motion Can-Am Spyder Corvettes were built. One red car with white striping and three yellow cars, like the one presented in the below post. To date, only two of the four cars can be accounted for. As documented in Schorr’s book and on the net, the red Can-Am Spyder is part of Dan McMichael’s collection of Motion cars. And now we know of the below car. If you know of the whereabouts of the remaining two yellow Can-Am Spyders, please let us know. Thanks! – Scott
When it comes to old cars, most of us are familiar with the expression “barn find” and I’m sure that we’ve all had a day dream or two about finding an old neglected exotic, hiding under a pile of stuff in a barn. Well, here’s a new version of that “barn find” expression that I’ll call, “body shop find.” That certainly was former body shop owner and Maryland legislator, Rick Impallaria’s experience.
When Rick decided to get into public service as a legislator, he had a close his body shop business. While the business was officially closed, he still owned the building and equipment, so he leased his old enterprise to former professional baseball player, Richard Green. If you follow professional baseball, you surely will recognize that name. Green had the notoriety of having played in all four Oakland A’s World Series games. Well, life goes on after retirement, even for pro ball players and Green decided to get into the auto body business. In addition to doing customer work, Green brought in one of his own cars, a customized Corvette. After a time, Green’s business fell on hard times and Impallaria ended up having to evict his tenant. Upon inspection of the facilities, Rick found what was left of what had once been just a “customized Corvette,” or so he thought.
While Rick is definitely a car guy, he wasn’t familiar with what was in his building. He explains, “Someone mentioned to me that the hulk that was in my building might be a Motion car, but they really weren’t sure. So I did some online research about the Motion cars and then I found your BaldwinMotionReport.com site with the story about the Motion Can-Am Spyder. I was pretty sure I had something and I thought about possibly putting the car back together again, But honestly, I’ve got too many projects going right now and I knew I wouldn’t have the time to do it right.” Continue reading
For real, authorized Baldwin Motion Supercars are BACK! We go bench racing with the original “Mr. Motion.”
Note: Joel Rosen is the proud owner of the very first of the NEW Baldwin Motion Camaros. Be sure to check out the slide show of Mr. Motion’s new ride!)
Little did Joel Rosen know in 1960 when he bought Neclan Service Station in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, that over 50 years later, people would be writing about him and going to car shows featuring his creations. Motion Performance was officially born in 1963 and Rosen had a string of successful drag cars of his own, plus many cars that he super tuned. He relocated the shop from Brooklyn to the community of Baldwin on Long Island, on Sunrise Highway in 1966. The following year, Chevrolet unleashed their answer to Ford’s red hot Mustang – the Camaro.
Rosen pitched to Baldwin Chevrolet’s Ed Simonin a new way for buyers to get a brand new, turn key “super” muscle car, with a proven, reliable setup – ready to rock! By 1968 the full “Fantastic Five” lineup of cars was established, featuring Phase III SS-427 versions of the Chevy Biscayne, Nova, Chevelle, Camaro, and Corvette. For just $3,495 you could buy the ultimate street sleeper, the SS-427 Biscayne. Or, if your POCKETS were really deep, for $6,995.85 (an enormous amount of cash beck then) you could get the Phase III SS-427 Corvette. Each car was custom made to order, so every car was slightly different. What’a heady time to be into the high performance street scene.
As “they” say, the rest is history, and since you wouldn’t be here if you already weren’t familiar with the Baldwin Motion story, we don’t need to retell the entire story. Mr. Motion is now semi-retired and living the good life in warm, sunny Florida. With the Baldwin Motion brand back in action and in very good hands, thanks to his relationship with Howard Tanner, Redline Motorsports in Schenectady, and DeNooyer Chevrolet, Albany, New York.
I thought the Baldwin Motion fans would enjoy hearing from the original Mr. Motion, Joel Rosen. So, one evening in early July 2011, Joel and I had an interesting conversation. Here goes…
Scott – How did the new Baldwin Motion deal come about?
Joel - Well, it was a little bit of a bumpy start, but we turned it into a very positive deal. DeNooyer Chevrolet and Howard Tanner had been marketing Howard’s “HTR” Camaros and Corvettes for a while. It was kind of like what I was doing with Baldwin Chevrolet back in the day. DeNooyer and Tanner were building new Chevy supercars, ala the Phase III cars. A friend of ours contacted us letting us know that these guys in upstate New York that were using modified versions one of Marty Schorr’s old Baldwin Motion ads – WANTED! – in their advertising.
I didn’t know who they were but when I learned what they were doing, we worked out a deal for DeNooyer and Tanner to work with me and build and market Baldwin-Motion Gen V 427 & 454 Camaros. They even painted up the front showroom windows the same way we did at the Baldwin Chevrolet dealership. Just like that famous photo with “Fantastic Five” on the windows. It was pretty cool. And part of the deal was that I would be able to order Phase III 427-SC Camaro #01.
I did a lot of research on Howard and DeNooyer and must say that they have my full respect. Howard can do anything with modern performance cars, knows the electronics such that he can build the engines to specific horsepower levels, then adjust the electronics to get the car‘s emissions right. We couldn’t do any of that back in our day. They didn’t even have computers controlling fuel and spark. We were just told that we couldn’t remove ANY emissions devices. A lot’s changed. Continue reading
The last of Joel Rosen’s Shark Corvettes – The Moray Eel
As cool as the Mako Shark-styled production 1968 Corvette was, there were a few that were… disappointed. Why, you wonder? Because the ‘68 Corvette WASN’T the ‘65-’66 Mako Shark II show car. Making a show car is one thing, designing a car to be mass produced is another. While the Mako Shark II show car looked large on the stage, it was actually about 7/8s the size of the production Corvette. In other words, a VERY tight little package that could not directly translate into a production car.
But it was fiberglass man, John Silva that took it upon himself to make his own Mako Shark. “Kit cars” were all the rage in the mid-to-late ‘60s. Meanwhile, on Long Island, New York, Joel Rosen was building ground-pounding big-block Phase III Chevys and was looking for something really exotic to offer his Corvette customers. Rosen bought two complete Silva Maco cars and got permission from Silva to make molds off of the Silva parts to make his Motion Maco kits. The Maco kits were kind of a “love it, or hate it” thing. It wasn’t quite as svelte as the Mako Shark, but for many, it was close enough.
For creative types, such as Rosen, the mind never stops. In the early ‘70s Joel was on a roll with his “shark-thing.” His Motion Maco Shark burst on the street scene in ‘71, quickly followed by two interesting variations. The Manta Ray featured the front end of the Phase III GT with its distinctive tunneled headlights and Continue reading