“Astoria-Chas” Snyder – The Buddy Holly of Corvette Racing
Glen Spielberg photo.
As a lad growing up during the muscle car era in the South Jersey/Philadelphia area, CARS Magazine was my favorite car mag. The publication had a definite East Coast flavor and the magazine slightly favored Chevys, which was perfectly fine with me at the time. One of my favorite cars of the day was the 1967 427 L88 drag racer, “In Memory of Astoria-Chas” 427 L-88 Corvette roadster. The story has all the elements of legend; brutally fast, quick car, great looking, owned and driven to national prominence by a young fellow, not much older than myself and my Chevy pals.
Fortunately, the car is still around and looks the way it did when it set the AHRA Nation Record of 11.04 @ 129 mph. Later, the car ran a best-ever 10.47 et. While the L88 still runs, the current owner, Glen Spielberg, does not “run” the car on the strip, as he has given his word to the Snyder family that he would not restore or race the car. Besides, the car still has its original, 40-year old tires! A stock ‘67 L71 427/435 Corvettes were solid high 13-second cars. A Mid-10-second version was MIND BLOWING back then!
Since the Astoria-Chas Corvette was a Motion performance prepared car, it got lots of ink in CARS Magazine. Below is one of many CARS articles on the car. Unfortunately, I do not have the end of the story on page 74. However, I did cover the car as Illustrated Corvette Series No. 129 back in early ‘08. The story copy is below the CARS article scans.
Also, at the bottom of this post are links to some other interesting Astoria-Chas material. CARS editor, Marty Schorr often took his little daughter, Collier to the drags to see the KO-Motion Corvette. Collier had an art show in ‘07 featuring her drawings and recollections of Chas Snyder. I’ve included links to two articles that covered Collier’s show. Continue reading “From the Archives of CARS Magazine: In Memory of Astoria-Chas 1967 427 L88 Corvette Roadster”
Joel Rosen Builds A Grand Touring Corvette
The term “GT” is arguably one of the most misused automotive designations. The term is an abbreviation for “grand touring.” A GT car is a road-going, lightweight, semi-luxurious coupe built on a high-performance chassis, for long trips, you need a car with plenty of power, a strong chassis, and loads of creature comforts to make the journey pleasant. Most high-priced European car companies all offered GT cars for their affluent customers.
In the ‘60s, Detroit carmakers started to use the GT term on pony and mid-size cars. Many enthusiasts wanted more and sought the help of specialty shops to build a package car. The original Shelby Mustangs were turn-key supercars. But at a small shop in Baldwin, New York, Joel Rosen was making his own machines called the Baldwin-Motion SS and Phase III Supercars.
You can catch Part 1 HERE.
Part 3 is HERE.
Continue reading “1969 Baldwin-Motion Phase III GT Corvette – Part 2 of 3”
Here’s one of the early Phase III SS-427 Corvettes that Rosen worked his magic upon. The side-pipes weren’t designed for the C3 but they sure looked “boss.”
Sometimes special “teams” organically seem to come together. You know, duos, such as, Abbot & Costello, Burns & Allen, Martin & Lewis, Lennon & McCartney. The specialty car market has a similar dynamic duo. But because what they created was so brilliant, it mostly took the spotlight off of them and on to the real stars, the Baldwin-Motion Phase III Supercars. “They” happen to be former editor of CARS Magazine, Marty Schorr and owner of Motion Performance, Joel “Mr. Motion” Rosen.
Be sure to catch our other Baldwin-Motion Stories,
Part 1 is HERE.
Part 2 is HERE.
Part 3 is HERE.
Continue reading “The Sights & Sounds of the Baldwin-Motion Experience”
Joel Rosen & Marty Schorr Create a Corvette Legend!
From 1967 to 1969, the hottest street Corvette was the 427/435 L71. Not a bad ride for most folks. But Joel Rosen isn’t “most folks.” Rosen owned Motion Performance in Brooklyn, New York in the late ’50s and ’60s, and was having considerable success as a local drag racer-tuner. In ’67 Joel struck a deal with the owners of Baldwin Chevrolet, in Baldwin, New York, to make 427-engine versions of the new Camaro. When the ’68 Corvette came out, Joel knew that he had to make a special red-hot version. The ’69 Baldwin-Motion SS-427 Phase III Corvette was born.
You can catch Part 2 HERE.
Part 3 is HERE.
Continue reading “Baldwin-Motion Phase III Corvettes – Part 1 of 3”