“The C7 Corvette has taillights from a Camaro,” shouted the collective enthusiast commenter when they saw the C7. It’s not true, but I can see the GM people smirking slightly as they pulled the sheet on the 2014 Camaro and asking, “Or does it?” The 2014 Chevy Camaro has also gotten a facelift, and lit looks pretty phenomenal. They’ve closed up the grille a bit and traded the twin-square taillights for a pair of sleek, bladed one-piece jobbers. The effect is clean and, dare I say, classy.
Stepping down a bit in the Class category, but gaining several more in Awesomeness, was this entirely customized two-door Chrysler 300. Both of those doors have been killyourselfed, and the flat red finish wouldn’t be ignored. No, this isn’t my look, and I’d probably end up driving the hemi-loaded beast so hard the dubs and/or the rubber band tires flew to bits, but it is a nice thing to look at.
These days, when a car gets a facelift, it’s a pretty big deal, as with the Camaro I mentioned above. But in the ‘60s, it was a yearly occurrence. This 1965 Mercury Comet Caliente was the only year of its roofline with stacked headlights. ‘64s had side-by-side lights, and ‘66s got some new curves. This might have been in reaction to the Pontiac GTO, which also got over-under lights that year. In any case, this spiced red coupe was stunning, and I wish I’d gotten a picture of the engine bay.
“Nice wagon,” I heard from the lane beside me. Turning, I said, “Tha-woah! Nice wagon yourself!” A man and his wife sat in a Kona blue Cadillac CTS-V Wagon, not unlike the leading role in my dreams. “It’s a vee!” I shouted like a foaming child presented with another Smurfs trailer. “Did you get the stick?” Of course he would say no, and I’d say something polite. “Yeah!” he shouted. “No way! You’re my hero!” “Actually,” he said, “this is her car,” and pointed to his wife. I pointed to her, too. “Then you’re my hero!” And that’s the story of when the husband of my hero complimented my wagon.
The Porsche 911 has never been among my favorites, but that hierarchy gets shaken up when I see a 2010 911 GT3 on the street. And since this crimson-splashed track monster was a 2010, it still could very well have been a manual. We also spent some time cruising behind a lovely Carrera S.
Speaking of lovely, once in a while you see a car that makes you wonder why everyone else just didn’t give up afterward. “Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we have reached the end of car design. Thank you. You may go.” I’m talking, of course, about the Auburn Speedster. The Reece’s paint wasn’t my favorite, but those gleaming pipes, flowing with gentle but suggestive propriety from the engine bay to hide again behind the aircraft grade wheel fenders…they’re just distracting. And that boattail is nothing we’ll ever see on a new car again.
But not every car of that era was bought with gold bullion. America was lousy with Ford Model Ts at the time. When the hot rod boom took hold in the ‘50s, kids started digging their parents’ Model Ts out of scrapyards and stacking them with modern V8 power. Thus, the T-Bucket was born.
Volvo bears the image of a safe family car, but there’s a growing Volvo tuning community here in the States, and a much larger one in Sweden. This Volvo S60 R, according to its rear window stickers, had been pleasantly boosted, perhaps even beyond its stock 9.6 psi. The 2.3 straight-five meant 222 hp off the shelf, so the boost mods and the performance exhaust seemed to promise much more. And if the driver’s claim that he does, indeed, downshift next to Priuses is accurate, that means he had a proper stick. Capped off with a stickerbombed bike rack, this red Swede was unique and not at all unwelcome.
What could be said about the Shelby Cobra that would make you want it more? The sight of it lights more than enough fires. The British Racing Green, the silver exhaust cannons on the flanks, the yellow pair of racing stripes draped over the left front fender…Carroll Shelby’s vision of staking a big American V8 into a tiny, South London roadster absorbed the gathering dusk. I’ve seen droves of Cobras, both in genuine and kit form, and they never fail to leave me a drooling, heartbroken mess.
So many more automotive artworks passed slowly before me throughout my experience at Woodward. I don’t have time to describe the half of them. But I can show you more of the pictures my friend Corey and I took, so stay tuned next week for the uber-mega-hyper gallery of all the rest of the beauty.
Andy Sheehan is a blogger, aspiring novelist, and relentless hoon. He plans to will his 2002 Subaru WRX Wagon to his firstborn, plans his daily commute around the swoop of its roads, and doesn’t plan to ever buy an automatic. A cool-car omnipath, he loves the common Mustang or Chevelle, but hunts for the weird and wonderful Velorexes and Cosmos of the autoverse. And when he can afford a garage, he’s going to turn an MX-5 into a race car.