R.I.P. Joel “Mr. Motion” Rosen

Joel Rosen and Marty Schorr kept us Corvette and Chevy Supercar fans TOTALLY STOKED back in the day!

I was just in junior high school in October 1967 when the new, C3 Mako Shark-inspired Corvette made its splash on the car scene. It looked like a sports car from another planet! Although it was different from the Mako Shark-II show car, it was still futuristic and very cool.

This was Rosen’s prototype Phase-III SS-427 Corvette. Joel graphed on top of the C3’s big-block hood a ’67 427 Stinger hood scoop and made it look like it belonged there. The fender flares and Pontiac Hood-Mounted tach were cool custom touchs.

Sometime in the spring of 1968, I was hunting for my favorite car magazine at my local drug store newspaper and magazine stand. Then I saw the latest issue of Hi-Performance CARS magazine. CARS was an East Coast, New York-based monthly newsstand car magazine that was unlike the bright, glossy mags of the West Coast Hot Rod, Popular Hot Rodding, and Car Craft magazine. All great publications, but CARS came out of New York City and had a wonderful, New York, “In-Your-Face” style.

Rosen and Zora got along great. They always got together for cocktails when Duntov was in NYC.

On the cover was a bright yellow 427 Corvette, branded, “Baldwin-Motion SS-427 Phase III Corvette”! On top of the standard ’68 big-block hood bulge was a grafted-on ’67 Stinger 427 scoop that totally looked like it belonged there. On the sides of the Stinger hood were badges that read, “SS-427”. WOW! Right in front of the driver-side of the hood was a hood-mounted tachometer, the same as the units installed on some GTOs. Very cool. The deep-dish chrome Crager mages were shod with the widest tires of the day; L60x15 meats. Side pipes had been optional on Corvettes since 1965 but were not available in 1968. Instead, this brute of a Corvette wore ”65-’67 side pipes along its rocker panels.

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing! Even though I was only thirteen, I knew this was the ultimate Corvette.

Rosen and Schorr were often special guests at the annual MCACN shows in Chicago.

What I was looking at was the inventive handiwork of Motion Performance owner, Joel Rosen and CARS magazine editor and chief, Marty Schorr. Joel and Marty’s relationship was that when Marty acquired muscle cars from the manufacturers, Joel would supertune the cars to perform better for the CARS road test stories. Made sense.

Why did Chevy NOT offer Corvette factory side pipes and a Stinger hood for Camaros???

But it was the 1967 SS-396 Camaro that launched the entire Baldwin-Motion experience. Motion Performance was located on Long Island, New York, just up the road from Rosen’s Motion Performance Speed Shop and race car shop. Joel and Marty came up with an idea to keep Joel’s shop running and at the same time provide super cool, ultra-performance big-block Chevy supercars. Continue reading “R.I.P. Joel “Mr. Motion” Rosen”