Muscle Car Memories


Muscle Car Memories

By Ken Visser

I grew into automotive consciousness in the mid 70’s.  As a 12 yr old I would seek out interesting cars.  My first real photoshoot took two years to lock down since he was in a 66 427 cobra, I on a Schwinn.  And the die was cast,  I am a car nut.  I drew them, I photographed them, I chased them.

My friends and selected schoolmates had muscle cars in high school.  The lucky kids had Trans Ams and GTO’s and Camaros.  I had my Schwinn Super le Tour.  So the muscle car thing is embedded in my memory banks.  The sounds of an American V8 rumbling past the Wyomissing pool, nothing like it, never forget it.

I graduated high school in 1980 so it was the end of a decade of muscle car atrophy.  The oil embargo changed the way people felt about big horsepower.  The Mustang and the Corvette had been emasculated.  My tastes were focused on European stuff.  (For an interesting debate on the origin of the muscle car, check out this article by John Aible.)

I eventually came back to muscle cars by hanging out with my hot rod buddies at the Church of the Holy Donut in Burtonsville, MD.  That V8 sound rumbled back into my heart.  Here are some samples of good ol’ American Muscle. 

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A 1966 Shelby GT-350 photographed at the Eastern Concours of the United States.

By 1966, Caroll Shelby had accomplished more then most.  He had won the 1959 24 hours of leMans in an Aston Martin.  A heart condition took him from behind the wheel and towards the creation of the Cobra.  From there he was plucked to make the Mustang sexy for Ford.  The 65 Shelby was raw, fun and fast.  For 1966 the GT-350 lost the Mustang moniker and gained back some refinements like an optional back fold down back seat.

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A 1968 AMC AMX photographed at the AACA Museum in Hershey PA.  The AACA museum in Hershey is a definite car nut bucket list item.  Its a good 7 minutes from the main gate of Hershey Park.

1968 AMC was trying to hone into muscle car mania.  They combined a short wheel base with a two seater plus a 390 cubic inch monster motor with 315 hp and 425 pounds of torque. 

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A 1971 Oldsmobile 442 photographed at the original Church of the Holy Donut in Burtonsville, MD.  

The 1971 Oldsmoble 442 was proudly holding tough to its 350 hp in the face of declining demand and increasing regulations due to the oil embargo.  Horsepower was down due corporate policy dictating that engines run on lower octane gas.

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A 1967 Plymouth Belvedere GTX as restored by Ronnie Snoddy of Virginia Race Tire and Restoration.

1967 Plymouth Belvedere GTX was introduced by GM to fulfill a role as a gentleman’s muscle car.  If you spec’ed the Super Commando 440, you could do some very ungentlemanly things with this ride.  For another $526 you could order the “Elephant”, a 426 hemi which got you 0 - 60 in 4.8 seconds.

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A 1963 slightly modified split window Corvette photographed at the First Annual Velocity Car and Bike Show.

What you are looking at is Rod Saboury’s 2600 hp street legal 63 Corvette.  Rod is a noted Corvette enthusiast with some incredible builds to his credit.  This one is the ultimate.  He has run a sub 7 second quarter mile at 209 mph.  The car comes equipped with a billet 427 built by Mike Moran and a pair of cup holders.





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