When it comes to eclectic cars and machines, Piney people know how to have fun!
If you are going to have an old cars and machines show, what could be a better place that an old junk yard for some Autumn car fun. Let’s face it, modern junk yards, er, ah, salvage yards, or worse yet, auto recycle centers, are BORING! I mean, who wants to wander up and down rows and columns, like walking a giant spreadsheet? Well, that a lot’a fun, like working in a Big Box store! But the really old junk yards are FUN. They wander and meander all around like a child’s board game. You never know what you’ll find around the bend and behind that pile of old gas pumps.
Fleming’s Auto Parts, in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey is such a junk yard. The first weekend of every November since 1996, Harry Fleming and his team have been having their Street Rod Show and Antique Engine & Tractor Show at the family owned junk yard. We first learned about the show from our friend John Loeper of Ocean City, New Jersey. John described the show as a “celebration of machines,” and he wasn’t kidding. Open to the Pumpkin Run show are: show cars and trucks, antiques, classic ‘50s cars, muscle cars, street rods, rat rods, motorcycles, military vehicles, antique race cars, steam tractors, and just about any kind of mechanical machine you can think of. They even have an air cannon that fires pumpkins at a junker minivan. The crowd really likes the cannon!
I don’t know why, but the weather pattern here in New Jersey is very consistent. Early November always delivers cool, crisp, autumn weather – PERFECT for an outside car show. But it’s not just the weather and the cars that create the ambiance of the Pumpkin Run, it’s the smells. There’s a wonderful blend of smells – the pine trees, the Jersey sand, the fallen maple leaves and pine needles, the closeness of the Atlantic ocean, the kettle corn, the burgers, the french fries, AND (I know this sounds really weird) engine exhaust. Ahhh… SMELLS GREAT! Continue reading
The Briggs “Swift” Cunningham 1960 Fuel Injected Corvette is Now a Movie Star! “The Quest” DVD – Available Now
After years in the making, “The Quest” DVD can be yours for just $20 Bucks!
The 1960 Fuel Injected Corvette famously known as the “Cunningham Le Mans Assault” car is now a movie star! It seems that for most of us, there’s a Time/Date stamp on our affection for Corvettes that coincides with that first moment we laid eyes upon the machine. For me, it was ‘66 to ‘69 big block Corvettes. For Chip Miller, it may well have been this car, the 1960 Briggs “Swift” Cunningham 1960 Fuel Injected Corvette. it’s not hard to “get” the passion. When you look at the machine, it screams “RACE CAR!” And while that is definitely correct, a closer examination of the car reveals how astonishingly close the car is to a stock ‘60 Fuelie Corvette.
For an excellent look under the pretty fiberglass, check out THIS PAGE from the Corvette restoration masters at Corvette Repair. Kevin MacKay and his team are arguably the masters at vintage Corvette racer resto work. Thanks to Corvette Repair’s work, this car has won the NCRS American Heritage Award.
Here was the deal for this Le Mans-winning Corvette. The car started life as a new Fuel Injection optioned 1960 Corvette. Cunningham’s team was well seasoned at preparing a car for endurance racing and took maximum advantage of Duntov’s “racer kit” options. RPO-579D got you the then top-of-the-line 283/290-HP Fuelie engine. RPO-685 mated the 4-speed manual transmission to the Fuelie. RPO-687 added the heavy duty brakes and special steering. And RPO 1625A added the oversized 24-gallon fuel tank. That’s essentially all that was needed from the factory to build a race car upon. This configuration was the 1960 equal to a 2012 Z06. From there, the Cunningham team removed items that race cars don’t need, such as front bumpers, and fancy interior door panels, and added safety and go-fast parts, including racing lights, louvers on the hood for additional cooling, headlight covers, side-mounted exhausts, Halibrand lightweight racing wheels, a quick-fill gas cap, and miscellaneous other touches. The car was AMAZINGLY stock. This will be obvious when you check out Corvette Repair’s Portfolio Page.
The rest is history. With John Fitch and Bob Grossman doing the driving, the Cunningham Corvette took first place in the GT 5000 class and finished in 8th place overall. Pretty damn impressive for a machine so close to a production car from St. Louis! Continue reading
2011 Corvettes at Carlisle Week continues with coverage of 1963 to 1967 C3 Corvette Sting Rays – The Original American Idol!
Yesterday we showed you some of the C3 Shark Corvettes from the 2011 Corvettes at Carlisle Show. We attended on friday and it was a good thing because I read on keith Cornett’s CorvetteBlogger.com that overcast skies on Saturday have vendors packing by noon time. Hurricanes seldom blow up the east coast the way that Irene did, what’a shame it had to be that weekend.
While the 1965 Mako Shark II show car was a total game-changer for Corvette styling, back then no one was saying, “Gee, don’t you think the Sting Ray is looking a little tired?” NEVER HAPPENED. I’ve often wondered what the Corvette would look like today had the shark styling had not happened and the Sting Ray design was allowed to develop and mature, the same way the 911 Porsche did over the years. Today’s 911 Porsche still has the basic look from when the car first arrived as a 1965 model.
While Chevrolet stylist Larry Shinoda is generally credited for designing the Sting Ray, Larry’s work began where the Q-Corvette ended. In 1957 Ed Cole, the lead designer on the small-block Chevy engine was no the general manager of Chevrolet and wanted to leave his mark on future Chevrolets by reengineering the entire line up of Chevy cars with transaxles so that the interiors could all be opened up with the elimination of the big transmission hump. The larger project was called the “Q-Chevrolets” and the “Q-Corvette” was just one can in the line. The Q-Chevrolets were supposed to be introduced by 1960, but after the numbers were crunched, the entire project was canceled.
Bill Mitchell took the opportunity to make the Corvette his own. He liked the look of the Pininfarina and Boano body designs on the Italian Abarth cars. The strong horizontal crease and fender humps were borrowed from the Italian cars. The structure of the Q-Corvette had a hoop/roll bar behind the driver’s seat. This allowed the car to have lift-out roof panels and the absence of an a-pillar for the windshield. Stylists Bob Veryzer and Pete Brock worked under Mitchell’s direction, with the help of Continue reading
2011 Corvettes at Carlisle Weeks continues with the first of our NEW “VETTE Shows”
Yes, Hurricane Irene put a wet blanket on the 30th Corvettes at Carlisle Show Saturday and Sunday of the 3-day annual event. But Friday was SUPER! Carlisle, Pennsylvania is located in the southern part of Pennsylvania and it tends to get rather hot and humid in the Summer. I’ve attended a few Carlisle events in the Summer that were absolutely STIFLING! Hurricane aside, we lucked out on Friday because the humidity wasn’t too bad, the temps were in the mid-80s, and there was a slight breeze. Over, you’d call it a “nice Summer day.” Between the two of us, Karen and I took about 500 photos of Corvettes.
We’ll be sharing our photographic coverage of the show over the next week or so and Continue reading
Take a trip in the CorvetteReport.com Video Time Machine to 1957!
Many times, a bold project must have a bold leader. Zora Arkus-Duntov was one of the all-time great corporate outsider misfits. Not only was he the only executive at GM that had actually raced cars, he had raced at Le Mans! Plus, he was constantly wandering off the reservation!
After Sebring in ‘57, it was obvious that modified stock Corvettes would never be competitive against the Jaguars and Ferraris. GM’s chief designer, Harley Earl proposed building a “Corvette” based on a D-Type Jaguar with a Corvette engine and a modified body. When Zora heard about the proposal and looked into what would be needed to create such a car, red flags popped up all over the place for the wild Russian. But Earl was no fool, he was a master tactician, and may well have made such an outrageous proposal as a way of pushing Chevrolet towards building their own purpose-built Corvette racer.
Obviously, because of Duntov’s background, he was the only man to lead the project. After he put together his team of designers, draftsman, and fabricators, the chassis of a Mercedes-Benz 300SL was used as a model for how to construct a tube space frame. Continue reading
An Expose-look under the pretty fiberglass of a C1 Fuelie Corvette!
Now here’s something you don’t see every day. A C1 Corvette without a body and interior. Just the engine, drive train, suspension, wheels, tires, and the steering wheel. And not just any C1 Corvette, a Fuelie Corvette!
Up front I must apologize because when I was at the April 2011 Strictly Corvettes and American Muscle Cars Show at the Atlantic City Convention Center, I was also a vendor and had little time to get away from my booth. So I kind of zoomed through and took pictures of what looked interesting. The chassis-only display really caught my eye. You just don’t see this every day. I did the same thing with Kevin McKay’s drivable 1969 427 L-88 drivable chassis-only, Corvette. (see links below) Continue reading
While it’s NOT the C7 Corvette, the Stingray Concept is one of the most exciting Corvette concept cars ever made.
In the August 2011 issue of VETTE Magazine my Illustrated Corvette Series No. 170 column covers the beautiful and popular Corvette Stingray Concept Car. After pulling a few strings and several phone calls, I had the good fortune of having a delightful phone conversation of Corvette Chief of Styling, Tom Peters.
Before I go any farther, I must say that Peters is on record stating, “The Corvette Stingray Concept is NOT the C7.” Several years ago, Tom and his team of designers wanted to explore some traditional and new styling themes, just for fun. The Corvette Stingray Concept was the finished effort and judging from the response from crowds at the car shows, I’d say the car is a home run hit. So KUDOS to Tom Peters and his team of super talented designers. Continue reading