The Seaside Muscle and Chrome Show brings cars and trucks from all over the Pacific Northwest to the beautiful tourist town of Seaside, Oregon. The downtown area is filled with little shops and fun things to do for tourists all year round, but one day out of the year it turns into a pure muscle-fest featuring classic cars and trucks from 1960 to 1978, and modern performance vehicles from 1979 to present.
Although it’s only a one day show, it brings in the best of the best, and focuses on pure muscle and performance. There was nothing there not worth looking at, and there was something there for just about everyone, with representation across the big three: Ford, GM, and Mopar, and even some less common brands like AMC.
Along with walking the show for our own enjoyment, we also selected our top picks and got some additional details on each of them for you. So, even if you didn’t get out to the show, you can still get a little taste of what it was like to be there. Although we can’t replicate the fresh smell of the sea air and the perfect 70-degree weather from the day, hopefully these five classic rigs will help get you through the day.
Show-Stopping, bright-blue ’69 Plymouth Barracuda
It’s not hard to tell why this ’69 Barracuda pulled our attention the minute we saw it. The bright blue paint and dark black wheels make it stand out at a glance, but it’s the impressive Mopar drivetrain that really makes this car shine. It belongs to Grant Carpino of Tri-Cities, Washington, and he’s had the car for around a decade.
It’s been a long time coming, and there was a lot of life changes that took place during those ten years – Grant Carpino
“It’s been a long time coming, and there was a lot of life changes that took place during those ten years,” Grant told us. “The car was in terrible shape when I got it.” His dad actually bought the car to try to flip it and make some money, but Grant ended up buying it and restoring it. “I spent weekends working on this with my dad and I actually learned how to do bodywork on this car.” For a learning project, the paint and body on this Barracuda is stunning. “Every panel on this car was taken down to bare metal,” he continued.
Motivating this bright-blue beauty is a 360 cubic-inch engine matched to an A518 automatic transmission with overdrive and 4.10:1 gearing in the back. The suspension has also been upgraded with torsion bars, tubular upper and lower control arms, and single adjustable shocks. The plan going forward: drop in a big-block engine and a 6-speed manual transmission.
Old-School Cool In A ’66 C10 Shortbox
While pickups have been gaining traction and popularity at an explosive rate over the last decade, the simple and cool hotrod style of the ’66 Chevy C10 body style is timeless and has been appreciated since they first rolled off the assembly line. These beautiful beasts are cool stock, but when you dress them up just right like this one, they’ll stand out at any show.
This C10 belongs to Dous Olsen of Puget Island, Washington. He purchased it at the end of last summer. “I found it for sale in Puyallup,” Doug explained, “It was a long-bed, but I had it shortened.” With the scarcity and high-cost of a good short-bed truck, this has become the go-to move for some passionate enthusiasts who want the look of a short bed, but don’t have access to one for their project. When you can’t find what you want, make it! Hasn’t that always been the way of the hobby anyway? The craftsmanship on the shortening job is top notch. You’d never be able tell, unless Doug told you.
My favorite thing is the engine, it’s got 475-horsepower – Doug Olsen
This power-hungry pack-mule is powered by a 383 cubic inch engine, a Turbo-350 automatic transmission, and a 4.11:1-geared positraction rearend. Don’t let it’s size fool you either, with that 383 cubic incher hiding under the hood and the positraction between the rear tires, it’ll get up and go in a heartbeat. “My favorite thing is the engine,” Doug explained. “It’s got 475-horsepower.” With that much power, what’s not to love?
This ’73 Mustang Cobra Mach 1 Defines The Meaning Of American Muscle
It’s no secret that the Mustang’s original body style that endured the 1960s is nothing short of sexy, but it was the last three years of the first generation that defined the look of what it means to be a pure American muscle car. This 1973 Mustang lives up to that legend and easily earned its place on our top picks.
The Mustang is owned by Brent Walsh, living only a few minutes away in Warrenton, Oregon. He’s had it for just about three and a half years. When he got it, it wasn’t a big project, but it definitely wasn’t a show car either. “It was pretty rough and needed some work done to it,” Brent explained. “We had some engine issues and carb problems.” Brent worked the problems out, cleaned the car top to bottom, got everything dialed in, and made it into the show-stopper you see today.
Power for this Mach 1 is provided by a 351ci-Cleveland engine with a 4-barrel 700cfm carburetor and a Hurst top-loader 4-speed-manual transmission. The drivetrain is a tried and true format that holds its own even into present day. It’s an ideal pick when looking to build a muscelcar, it’s a great balance between weight and power, while still providing four gears for optimal engine rotations at any speed.
One Owner, 38,000 mile, Option-Rich 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am
We all wish we could go back in time and buy our dream car new–for most of us that’s impossible, for some it’s a vague memory. For Tom Viles of Federal Way, Washington, it’s this ’77 Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am he bought brand new on Christmas eve 1977, when he was only 19 years old. He still has the car and it’s only got 38,000 miles on it.
I always hear people say ‘I wish I would have kept it,’ well I did keep it. – Tom Viles
“I always hear people say ‘I wish I would have kept it,’” Tom said, “Well I did keep it.” It’s 100% original from the front to the back and it’s always been kept in covered storage. Not only that, but this bird comes fully loaded and has every option except cruise control and the rear defogger.
“If you wanted a muscle car at 19 and had a little bit of money, this was the car to get,” Tom explained. “I never really planned on keeping it forever either, it just kind of happened.” The car hasn’t even been licensed since 1983 — it’s still not even licensed. “I get a trip permit every time I drive it,” Tom said. “Just because I only drive it to shows anyway.”
This Firebird doesn’t lack in flare either when it comes to what’s under the hood. Powering this beast is a Pontiac T/A 400 cubic-inch engine mated to a turbo-350 automatic transmission. It’s also got the shaker hood for airflow and is ready to fly. The pure and unrestored beauty of this car, along with its impressive and iconic drivetrain, are part of what make this car a clear choice for our top picks from the show.
Classic Big-Block Power Meets Modern Fuel Injection In This ’66 Chevelle
There is no denying that even in the stock configuration a big-block powered car will lay down some serious numbers on either the track or the dyno, but a mild built big block will do even better. There’s a reason why someone coined the term, “there’s no replacement for displacement.” The big-block Chevy is one of the best engine platforms ever built. It’s been used in just about everything from motorhomes and boats, to the family wagon, and racecars at the drag strip.
The big-block engine in play here is a 454 sitting between the fenders of an absolutely stunning 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle owned by Craig Carpenter of Canby, Oregon. Craig has had the car 4 years and it was much like this when he got it. The one major change that he laid down: the addition of a Holley Sniper EFI system in favor of the carburetor the car came with.
“I just got tired of dealing with everything that comes along with a carburetor,” Craig said. “It’s a lot more responsive now and it definitely has more power. It just flat out gets up and goes, not that it didn’t before, but now it really just goes.”
While doing away with the carburetor is a modern performance upgrade, Craig’s Chevelle still has the classic Muncie 4-speed-manual transmission behind the big block to control the power. At the end of the drivetrain is a 3.73:1-geared positraction rearend. “At about 65 mph the car runs at around 3200rpm,” Craig said, “And I love every minute of it.”
This year’s Seaside Muscle and Chrome show brought out some awesome rides. We loved them all. It was hard to pick out our top five, but we’re confident you’ll agree with our choices. These are 5 awesome vehicles that are well deserving of the Top-5 pick distinction. For more pictures from the show, and for more pictures of our top picks, make sure you check out the gallery below.