Classic, Prized and Preserved

Be it that they bring back old memories or simply that they demand an affinity for their beauty, classic cars have a way with most people. Nothing compares to driving down the road and feeling sweet envy at the roar of a beautiful classic muscle car as it rumbles by. The owners of these featured cars reflect on their journey and labor of love as they explain just how much hours, tears, sweat and blood –literally– have been put into the restoration, preservation and upkeep of these vehicles.

1965 Shelby
AC Cobra

Owners: Tina and Jack Brookshire

Two years ago, Jack began building his ‘65 AC Cobra kit car. On January 5, 2014, it was finally finished. Details like the Moser rear end, the Toyo R888 tires and the European horn that he put into his creation are augmented by the thunderous peal of the Shafiroff 582 engine. Although he admits that the Mark IV is closer to the original body style, he opted for the Factory Five because he liked the race chassis. Jack also handmade the interior wood paneling and painted the car himself.

History of the Shelby Cobra
Produced from 1962-1967, the Shelby AC Cobra was an American-engine, British-body roadster. Legendary auto designer, Caroll Shelby, wanted to build a car that would compete with the likes of Corvette, Jaguar, Porsche and Ferrari. This was accomplished in 1963 when he beat them all at the Riverside International Raceway. Its innovative design grabs your attention and doesn’t let it go. In 2007, a ‘66 Shelby Cobra 427 “Supersnake” sold for a record setting $5 million at a Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, AZ.

1971 Plymouth

Owner: Mike Marta

Mike, along with his daughters Natasha and Savanna, has spent over 10 years, 6,000 hours and $42,000 to bring this Cuda back to life. The car was found in 2004 in a barn in Chamberino, NM. Mike had just finished a 1967 xr7 Cougar when the owner of the Cuda decided he wanted to sell it in order to buy his son a car. Mike and his dad Antonio traded the Cougar straight up for the carcass of Mike’s dream car. Ironically, Mike and his Cuda are within days of sharing a birthday. The Cuda was made on April 19, 1971 and Mike was born on April 23, 1971.

History of the Plymouth Barracuda
In 1970, Plymouth re-designed the Barracuda with the idea of showing what a car could be like when taken to the extremes of design and power. Starting life in the ‘60s as the Valiant, it was re-engineered from a grocery getter to one of the baddest-looking, fire-breathing awesome-mobiles of the day. Its light weight combined with the earth shaking power of the optional 426 Hemi gave the third generation Cuda a loyal following. The design upgrade in ‘71 included the implementation of a new grille and taillights and the only year that the Barracuda would have four headlights and fender gills. The 1971 HemiCuda convertible is now considered one of the most valuable collectible muscle cars.

1936 Plymouth Sedan

Owners: Chad and DeeDee Nall

Although Chad admits that the vehicle belongs to DeeDee, she rarely gets to take it out. Who blames them? This Plymouth Delivery is immaculate and a simple curb check could do some serious damage. It has taken Chad about 3 years and he has poured his heart and soul into it to get it in this condition. The Delivery has its original body with some modifications and the interior features luxurious leather from England. Equipped with a 383 Stroker engine, a 700r4 transmission, a Ford 9 inch rear end, an Art Morrison chassis and 1 Off Foose rims, it’s no wonder this Delivery stays tucked safely in the comfort of their garage.

History of the Plymouth Sedan Delivery
The two-door Plymouth Sedan Delivery station wagons were offered with driver and front passenger seats only and were produced from 1935-1941. Originally used by the likes of merchants, couriers and bakeries, they became popular with surfers in the ‘50s and with muscle car enthusiasts in the mid ‘60s. With this increased acceptance, Plymouth offered this 1936 version using its own special body. Like the 1935, this one bore a strong likeness to the 1936 passenger car line but there were no windows in the rear. At only $605, there were only 3,161 sedan delivery sold; a significant increase from the previous year.

1967 Pontiac
LeMans GTO

Owner: Vinny Tondodonati

Vinny has been the owner of this ruby beauty for about seven years. Since he acquired the car, Vinny has given the GTO a new paint job from the original sea foam green color. He has also restored the original interior and hand made a custom console. Vinny says that the reason he purchased the car is because he remembers that his dad had a gold one just like it. Vinny’s GTO is in mint condition and is strictly used as a show car, as the inset photo suggests.

History of the Pontiac LeMans GTO
The Pontiac LeMans GTO began life as the Pontiac Tempest in the early ‘60s. In 1964 with the help of John Delorean, it was rebranded as the GTO (Gran Turismo Omologato), which basically means that it is officially certified for racing in the Grand Tourer class. Although there were earlier muscle cars, the GTO is widely considered to have started the trend when the rest of the domestic automakers began offering a variety of competing models. Today, the GTO is one of the most collectible of all American cars. Restored models can sell for up to ten times their original sticker price.

1966 Ford
Mustang GT Convertible

Owners: Ben and Karen Trujillo

Ben acquired his GT from his life mentor and uncle, Joe “Isi” Trujillo who gutted it and rebuilt it from the ground up. This show quality Mustang was purchased for the price of $20,000. It has 45,815 original miles and it is in pristine condition. Karen and Ben admit that they receive many stares when they drive it around town. Although, in an effort to keep the mileage down and preserve the condition of the car, that doesn’t happen very often.

History of the Ford Mustang GT Convertible
Bursting onto the scene in April 1964, the Mustang was the most successful introduction since the Model A. Credited for creating the “pony car” class of sports-car-like coupes with long hoods and short rear decks, the Mustang give rise to competitors like the Plymouth Barracuda, AMC Javelin, Chevy Camaro and Pontiac Firebird. It came standard with bucket seats, a floor shifter and either six-cylinder or 289-cid V-8 power was available. The Mustang GT debuted in April 1965 to celebrate the “pony car's” first anniversary. Still in production today, it has earned its title as one of America’s favorite muscle cars.

1971 Plymouth
Road Runner Twins

Owners: Ivan and Margee King

This set of “His and Hers” Road Runner twins, “…are considered part of our family,” claims Margee who has had hers for about 24 years. Ivan’s Road Runner was a birthday gift from Margee about three years ago. She found it online and, because they love the one they already had so much, she decided to buy it for Ivan. Very little modifications have been made to these stunning twins but, because they use the cars on a daily basis, the King’s admit that they will continue to work on preserving their original state for as long as possible.

History of the Plymouth Road Runner
Introduced in 1968 as a car that could run the quarter-mile in 14 seconds and sell for less than $3,000, the Road Runner countered the rising price for other muscle cars. This is an important car because it took the muscle car back to its roots. For young car buyers, this was a car from enthusiast heaven with its great looks and road burning performance. In 1971, the design of the Road Runner became a Satellite variation on a 115-inch wheelbase with a clean, curvy fresh look. It came standard with a 300-horse 383 big-block engine, however, the 340 small-block, 440 Six Barrel and 426 Hemi were offered as an option that year.

Spring 2014
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