I've thought about this topic for a good while now... don't recall seeing this on the forums, so I wanted to throw it out there.
It can be anything -- high school cars; pick ups; SUVs; custom builds, from classics and antiques on up to newer / modern models; a friend's special ride in which you would collectively go cruising; even 'cycles, and practically everything streetable in between. If your ride was / is special to you, let's read about it!
I'll start with my original high school hotrod, my old man's first new car which he passed down to me when I turned 16.
1970 Chevy Nova fast- back coupe, white over bronze with a 307 cu inch motor and a Saginaw three on the tree transmission.
The 307 small blocks were under rated at the time -- not exactly a muscle motor, and yet my friends and I would go up the hill into a parking lot for a large church, and would spin donuts -- pretty much burned the rear tires off the thing, before I started custom work to turn the Nova into something really special. Before joining up in my first enlistment, I topped the hood with a 5 degree Harwood hood scoop, and rear trunk lid spoiler -- never saw another Nova with a rear spoiler. Custom painted metallic burgundy with metallic gold racing stripes from hood to trunk as well along the sides of the body. GORGEOUS!!
Rims are Keystone Classics 60s profile with BF Goodrich T/A Radials for meats; 215s in the front and 235s at the rear.
I still have her -- a little rough these days; she's climbed through five different motors -- two 307s, one 327 and two 350s by the time I was toward the end of my first Naval enlistment. The one that's in her now started as a '67 GMC 375 stock hp 350 w/ four- bolt mains -- a truck motor; read: L'il Monster.
That era saw GM put out three different 350 V8 mouse motors -- 325; 350 and 375 HP incarnations. I bought the short block 375 horse off a friend of mine with whom I grew up, he actually joined the Navy a couple years after I enlisted, both of us wound up in PNSY (Philadelphia Naval Ship Yard) attached to the first super carrier ever built -- the USS FORRESTAL
(CV-59) in dry-dock a couple of years into my first hitch.
The base facilities included a huge auto shop; eight bays and three lifts -- a mechanic's dream where a lot of sailors worked on their rides -- also with a very well- equipped tool crib for almost any job -- 100% free of charge.
The heads are the original 1.92" intake 'camel- hump fuelie heads
' -- the same castings as the Corvette bow- tie 2.02s. The intake valves and seats were sized and combustion chambers' machined to accommodate the larger 2.02s.
Dual exhaust Blackjack headers into 3" collectors and pipes running in to Thrush Turbo mufflers and on out behind the rear axle.
Balanced and blueprinted, decked and align bored @ ten thousandths; punched out 4" bore to .030 over stock and 4" stroke LT1 connecting rods-- wound up at 355 cu inch displacement.
Pistons are Badger Cast Aluminum high dome 11:25 compression ratio profile (and a method to my madness: as light as a forged 10:1 flat deck piston). You may have a bit of trouble understanding this move -- the 11:25s have more beef in the form of deck thickness, and with a beefier wrist- pin boss profile than the aforementioned 10: 1 stock.
Runs a Competition Cams bump stick: 268H. After the break in period, I was very hard on her at times. This motor bounced the tach up to 8k between shifts; gas pedal floored + sidestepping the clutch pedal. Clutch is a McLeod 11" 168 tooth flywheel (stock was 10 inch); +/- 110 square inch surface clutch disk and 3800 pound pressure plate, TRW throw- out racing bearing.
Valve train consists of TRW 6:1 ratio rockers, Schneider racing tappets, chrome moly push rods; all new SS valves, springs and retainers and a 5 angle seat grind. I have NEVER floated the valve train -- The Nova red-lined conservatively at 7000 RPM, after the torque curve peaked.
Intake is a mid- rise aluminum Holley Street Dominator, topped by 600 CFM Holley 4 barrel with mechanical secondaries + velocity stack.
During the build I moved up to a four speed aluminum cased Muncie M-21 Bonecrusher transmission; close- ratio. What a freaking racing tranny -- this brute is topped by a four- speed in- line V-GATE shifter with reverse lock- out (you might look her up if unfamiliar -- VERY quick shifting). Ignition consists of an aftermarket Mallory Uni- Lite distributor, 40 kv wet coil, optical firing.
1/4 mile times back home here at Bandimere Speedway were in the low thirteens; she's putting out over 425 bhp.
We raced our hot rods at night out by the meat packing plants just a couple miles NW from the base main gate. Believe me -- this was a very popular local event in which cars would line up 2 abreast for about an eighth mile east, awaiting hole-shots down the eighth mile 'Front Street'.
There was always someone (and me at times) who would place an empty beer bottle between the two lanes at the start of the run, and facing the front pair of runners. The race- starters would place one hand on each of the front fenders of the next racers in line, yelling "one, two three -- GO!!" as us starters would throw both arms over our heads with thumbs pointing up and back towards the west end of the strip.
(You would almost have had to have been there to truly get the experience, during non- winter months on the weekends.) Spectator cars lined up solid on both sides of Front St. -- backed in to their parking spots, facing the road up and down the entire length of it.
A lot of stuff in Philly back in those days was downright corrupt under Mayor Frank Rizzo. These type of events had some cops complicit in the activities described and much more. That is, until Mayor Wilson Goode took office and overall just clamped down on lawless stuff from racing to prostitution.
My later love was a 1989 GMC K1500 full- size Sierra 4x4 short bed with liner and top rails. This beauty was customized at Chattanooga Custom Shop, TN. Four tone paint job, manually pin- striped; laser- panels; too much to list right now, getting to be a bit late. I'll look into posting some pix of the Nova in her prime, as well as the GMC.
The Nova is in line to be restored, the GMC was eventually sold.
So there you have it. Tell us about your rides!!
Stay Sharp --
-- SB / BRUCE