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Location: AZ
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Journey

How It All Began

I rememeber being in downtown Chicago in 1969 and hearing and seeing a really nasty sounding Camaro next to us in my dad's car. I was confused- as I knew enough (thanks to my older brothers) that all high performance Camaros were SS models...or so I thought! This one didn't have any SS markings...so? I must have seen either a COPO Camaro (most likely) -or a ZL1. This is the first time I remember paying attention to muscle cars. Then later on-while walking to the Palatine pool to go swimming-I heard (and saw) a fathom blue Nova. I later found out that it was one of the 50 COPO Novas! Finally, I remember going to a Pontiac showroom with my mom and dad-as they were buying a new car. I told my dad that a Trans Am would be awesome-but my mom shot that idea down. Then I told my dad that the Judge on the showroom floor would be neat as well! At this point, the salesman got annoyed with me-and gave some change to go and buy a soda....LOL We ended up with a 1970 Pontiac Catalina 4 door with a 350, painted Vedoro green. Crap, even a Bonneville convertible with a 455 would have been okay :) ! That Catalina was the car I used to learn to drive ...then it was junked and I bought a 1972 Nova ! Was there a person (friend, older brother or father) event, TV commercial racing program, or just seeing certain car drive by that caught your eye??

I rememeber being in downtown Chicago in 1969 and hearing and seeing a really nasty sounding Camaro next to us in my dad's car. I was confused- as I knew enough (thanks to my older brothers) that all high performance Camaros were SS models...or so I thought! This one didn't have any SS markings...so?

I must have seen either a COPO Camaro (most likely) -or a ZL1. This is the first time I remember paying attention to muscle cars.

Then later on-while walking to the Palatine pool to go swimming-I heard (and saw) a fathom blue Nova. I later found out that it was one of the 50 COPO Novas!

 

Finally, I remember going to a Pontiac showroom with my mom and dad-as they were buying a new car. I told my dad that a Trans Am would be awesome-but my mom shot that idea down. Then I told my dad that the Judge on the showroom floor would be neat as well!  At this point, the salesman got annoyed with me-and gave some change to go and buy a soda....LOL

 

We ended up with a 1970 Pontiac Catalina 4 door with a 350, painted Vedoro green. Crap, even a Bonneville convertible with a 455 would have been okay :) ! That Catalina was the car I used to learn to drive ...then it was junked and I bought a 1972 Nova !

 If you only focus on one brand or model, why? What drew you to that brand/model? When did you get started? (We all have had both pleasant and unpleasant experiences, especially when we started out).

My first love was 1966 and 1967 Novas. My friend had one-and I wanted one bad, but couldn't afford one at the time, so I settled for the cheaper 1972 Nova in 1979!

What was your first musclecar, and how long have you been in the hobby and why?

My first car was a Nova, but it wasn't a muscle car. It was a 6 cylinder with a powerglide. When I got done with it, it had been repainted (twice) and had a 1971 402 with a Crane Fireball cam , Edelbrock Torker 2-0 with a 3310-2 Holley 780CFM carb-and cheapo blackjack headers.

My first real muscle car I got in 2005...and it was a 1966 Chevelle SS396. I bought it from Bob Gagliano who was a moderator on the Yenko site. That car was a blast the whole time I owned it. It was very well sorted-as I put 25,000 miles on it in the six years I owned it!

Are any of your family members involved (i.e. parents, siblings or children)?

My older brother Gary has numerous muscle cars

Do you restore or maintain your cars and how did you acquire the skills?

At the present time I don't have a muscle car, but at one point in my life I wanted to be a mechanic, so I worked for a few years at a Oldsmobile/Honda/DeLorean dealership in Anaheim, Ca.

I have basic mechanical skills.....

Where do your interests lie? Restored, survivor or day two cars?

Any make or model that looks good and is done 'right' will catch my eye. Survivors also are cool. But mostly, it's the folks behind the cars that make this hobby what it is.

 

I've met some amazing folks!

Did/do you race any cars over the years?

Only for fun at OCIR (Orange County International Raceway) in SoCal. I wasn't very good! I still have a lot of my time slips from there.

 

The fastest my Nova went was 12.92 at 112 mph on street tires, through the mufflers on regular unleaded fuel. My Nova had a 1971 402 CI "smog" engine with 8.5 to 1 compression.

What show(s) do you attend and/or what clubs do you belong to?

When we are able, we go to MCACN, the best car show anywhere. We've also been to numersous Super Car reunions run by the SYC. When I had my collector car-we used to go to Pavilions every weekend. Now, there is a lot of other things we need to take care of, so we don't get out there as often.

We try to get to Barrett-Jackson at least one day every year...as well.

Best car related story you can share. Worst car related story you can share

I will post on this later

If you could have ANY car, no matter the cost, what would be your "DREAM"car to own?

I would love to own a real 1969 Trans Am.


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June 5, 1979

This is when I first bought my Nova from the original owner. Notice the almost new 1977 Trans Am (my brothers) and also his 1967 RS/SS 396 Camaro in the Garage

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July 4, 1979

This pic is whe I tried some different wheels and tires (from the Camaro). I eventually settled on 15 x 7 and 15 x 8 Chevrolet Rally wheels!

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July 5, 1979

Notice where the Nova originally came from...Courtesy Chevrolet! I bought it from the original owners...

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January 3, 1980

While working at Hardin Oldsmobile/Honda/Delorean in 1980 I was able to score a 1971 402 big block out of a Chevy truck for $50.00! It was an 8.5 to 1 smog engine. We did a basic cheapo rebuild with the cheapest parts I could buy (I didn't have a lot of money). Spent the majority of the money on the Crane Fireball cam, LOL

Notice the Olds and Hondas in the background!

Here's the engine going in

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July 10, 1980

Here's the engine when first installed. Notice the cool gold Moroso valve covers and the Moroso air cleaner and the Accel distributor cap and plug wires. Blackjack headers are already installed, but still have the stock low performance intake manifold and most likely a quadrajet (I don't remember!).

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July 12, 1980

Right before the engine was installed, the Nova was repainted (courtesy of the painter Eddie) at Hardin. The cost? Two cases of beer-and a lot of sanding. Hardin didn't know it, but they paid for the paint. It was repainted the factory color of Pewter silver. This was the first time it was repainted. The second time it was repainted was after someone spun out of control  and forced me into a snow bank-up in the mountains in SoCal when I took the Nova to go snow skiing.

The same guy repainted the Nova-the same color. It was REALLY straight!

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July 15, 1980

Here's another shot from higher up!

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September 2, 1980

Here's a shot after I spent more money on the engine. I had some chrome work done on various pieces of the engine...and had polished the alternator (LOL). Spray bombed the inner fenderwells. Spent a lot of money on the Edelbrock Torker 2-0 and Holley 3310-2 carb!

Thanks to Z&Z auto parts in Orange, Ca I was able to source lots of pulleys, etc.

For some reason, I changed the spark plug wires again...LOL

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September 21, 1980

Here are some pics once the  Nova was "done" at the Car Craft Street Machine Nationals West in Pomona in 1980. Notice the Car Craft sticker on the wind wing...and also the "Tornado mirrors"-which were all the rage back then!

This is the second iteration of the paint work as well.

I liked the stance on this iteration of the Nova!

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July 21, 1982

Here's a time slip from OCIR from a Wednesday night test and tune. I sucked at drag racing! The engine consisted of a stock 1971 402 (8.5 to 1 compression) stock pistons, stock crank, Crane Fireball cam, Edelbrock Torker 2-O manifold, 3310-2 780 Holley carb and blackjack headers. The transmission was a Turbo 350 with an Art Carr shift kit that had the pressure boosted so that it would chirp the tires on every shift (even at slightly off idle, LOL)

Also I scored a complete BU rear out of a totalled 1969 Z28 (one of the mechanics kids totalled it) for $100.00! It had 3.73 gears. I left the monoleafs in it and made lowering blocks for it to sit lower!

The fastest I ever went on unleaded gasoline was 12.92 @ 112.13.

I talked to Doug Marion at one of the shows-as he was interested in my car-and about 4 months later they did an almost exact duplicate build of my engine.

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September 5, 1982

Here's the Nova after I sold it to the kid across the street. Notice the licesne plate says "OC ONLY" a reference to OCIR. He ended up taking the engine out and rebuilding it to 11.1 compression and made it way more radical. When I had the Nova-it remained mostly stock as it was my daily driver everywhere! I bought a Volkswagen Bug right after the Nova...then a year after that I bought an brand new 1984 Nissan truck!

The neighbor kid ended  up selling the Nova-as it wasn't reliable any more.  The person who bought it pulled the engine to put it in his race car-and the body sat on the street off of 9th St. in Anaheim for a few years before I lost track of it...

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April 14, 2005

On April 15th, 2005 (yes, tax day!) My 1966 Chevelle 396/360 showed up from Chicago. I bought the Chevelle from Bob Gagliano who was one of the moderators on the Yenko site. I had Darren Costello go and check the car out for me and take video of it as well.  It had power steering, power brakes, air conditioning and a 4 speed. The pics below are from that day!

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April 16, 2005

I wasted no time taking it to a car cruise! This was one day later at the cruise on 83rd Ave. and Lake Pleasant Rd in Peoria, AZ. I had a blast...

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September 23, 2006

A picture from the car show that I put on at Arrowhead Harley Davidson. The Cardinals cheerleaders next to the Chevelle!

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September 19, 2008

Here are a few shots from Pavilions in Scottsdale. Lynn and her mom in the first pic out in from of the Chevelle.In the second pic, my Chevelle is inext to my brothers RS/SS 396 and my nephews 1970 Chevelle. Lots of fun times back then....

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May 29, 2010

A few pics after a major detail at the house. Pics were taken in a new neighborhood being built near our house

 

 

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July 11, 2010

This picture was taken at Barrett Jackson during a Can Am Spyder demo that I put on for the company was was working for at the time! I don't have pictures handy at this time, but the date shown above is when the Chevelle was shipped off to it's new owner in New York.

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September 18, 2010

A few pics of my Chevelle and my brothers Cone Chevrolet delivered 1967 RS/SS 396 Camaro. Even though my Chevelle is gone, he still has the Camaro!

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December 31, 1969

This car got me started.

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