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Hemmings Muscle Machines January 2019

Each issue is packed with photos & coverage of American Muscle Cars from the 60's through today.

United States
American City Business Journals_Hemmings
12 Issues

in this issue

4 min
scars and stories

During a recent reunion of some old car-guy buddies from my teen years, we started telling war stories of the stupid things we used to do in our youth. Most involved long-lost cars that had been used and abused to forge memories that still make us laugh, and also cringe as we recalled the bumps and bruises they suffered in the process. Those cars were mostly used up when we got them in the ’80s, and we did them no favors, but 30-plus years on, recalling those relics brings a certain degree of lament from most of this crew, who’d like to have them back. My own ride from those days wasn’t any better, but the difference is, I still have it. I’ve owned my ’69 Camaro since 1985, and in…

2 min

IT’SOFFICIAL: CHALLENGER 2 IS RETIRED Eight years ago, Danny Thompson pulled his father’s Autolite Special streamliner, renamed Challenger 2, out of storage. Then, it was a partially bodied chassis, but today the car is the fastest piston-powered vehicle in the world. Its recent record-setting 448.757-mph run at Bonneville will be its last, as Thompson has officially declared the car retired. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the 2018 record is that the Challenger 2 isn’t a modern car. Its dual Hemi-engine design makes it difficult to service in the time allotted before impound, and it lacks contemporary safety features like traction control (which may have made this year’s passes even faster). There’s meaning in the fact that Challenger 2’s record was set on the 50th anniversary of the car’s Bonneville debut, and it…

2 min
production line

GT SOME MORE: PRODUCTION OF THE MID-ENGINED ICON TO INCREASE BY A THIRD Were you shut out of the running to get one of the new Ford GTs? Did you turn in your application, only to learn that everyone else at the club got a crack at buying the twin-turbo supercar but you missed out? Well, now’s your chance: Ford is increasing production of the icon-revival GT from an even thousand vehicles to 1,350, and the company has announced it is “re-opening the final owner application process for select global markets” as of November 8. (Whether North America is one of those select global markets is anyone’s guess.) This means that the GT will be produced through the year 2022... upping the count of automobiles that Ford will be building in…

2 min
letter of the month: father/son time

“Almost 30 years ago, I was bitten by the classic-car bug at the age of 15. With my savings from bagging groceries at the Piggly Wiggly and some financial help from my parents, I was able to secure a red 1968 Camaro, with original 327, PS, and A/C as my first car. Not long after obtaining my license, I turned it around on a country road, sliding through a chain-link fence and centering it up a telephone pole. I was devastated. Luckily, this was at a time when you could still go down to the local dealership parts counter and order up NOS panels for reasonable prices, and so it became a project car. Over the next 18 months, with my father’s guidance and patience, we rebuilt the car to…

5 min

KEEP IT BURNING I’m a car guy, with a strong interest in muscle cars. During the last 30-plus years, I’ve owned over 30. I got hooked in the ’80s when my friend took me for a ride in his new LX 5.0. I had barely made a year’s worth of payments on my Escort GT when I decided to trade it in for a new ’Stang. I will never forget the fun I had in that car (I was only 19). I’ll also never forget coming out from my job at the mall to find two young guys checking out my new car. They were in awe. I felt like the coolest kid around. Mustangs were everywhere, and races on the highway or between stoplights were common events. I spent many nights…

9 min
after the flood

THE 1970 PLYMOUTH ’CUDA 440-6 PICTURED ON these pages was nearly lost in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, a ferocious storm that put millions of people and their homes in harm’s way, permanently and dramatically altering the lives of so many that the restoration of a car seems almost meaningless. And, yet, it’s a car that continues to bring out strong emotions from the multiple families who have owned it. John Tambascio, a restaurant owner from Danbury, Connecticut, gets credit for bringing this car back from its brackish grave, but it was his lifelong love for the ’Cuda that inspired him to get it done. John bought his first Barracuda in the mid-1980s, a black 1971 Gran Coupe with a factory brown leather interior and a 383 backed by a four-speed.…