Call it what you will: a bucket-list item, a “someday I’ll have one” item, or simply, a dream car. We all have at least one classic Chevy that we would like to have parked in our garage. Sometimes, fulfilling that dream requires more than one ride.
If you are ready to make your dream a reality, then you should make plans to attend the Vicari Classic Car auction in New Orleans, August 24 and 25. If you’re not sure how the missus will react, tell her you’re taking her there for vacation.
I decided to take a look at the cars that were being auctioned, just to see if anything really grabbed my attention, and I actually had a tough time narrowing it down to only one. So, I decided it would be fun to see if you guys could help me narrow the choice down to a single car.
It’s very hard to find a better example of a quintessential muscle car than a 454-powered ’70 Chevelle. In 1970, GM lifted the 400 cubic-inch limitation on intermediate cars. Chevrolet chose to punch out the venerable 427 to 454 cubic inches and offered the hydraulic lifter LS5 rated at 360 horsepower.
Most collectors prefer to have a bucket seat and four-speed optioned model, but there is something intriguing about this column-shifted, bench seater that caught my eye. Built at the Kansas City Plant, it sold new at Hicks Bros Chevrolet, Inc. in Kansas City, Missouri.
The 34,000-mile engine has never been removed from the car, so it has not received a frame-off restoration. But, it is still an exceptional example of Chevrolet’s legendary car. It comes with a 3.31-geared Positraction rearend, F41 suspension, power steering, power brakes, air conditioning, and AM/FM radio.
COPO. Enough Said
In 1969, if you had a dealer that knew his stuff, he could help you order what was arguably the most powerful production car of the time – enter the COPO Camaro. These 427-powered Bow Tie bruisers were the terror of the street and strip.
The special-order COPO Camaros were born in the late ‘60s, before the Federal Government clamped down on Detroit building street cars that ran on the ragged-edge. Since Central Office Production Orders were not production cars in the literal sense of the word, they weren’t subject to corporate restrictions for displacement, power-to-weight ratios, or other boundaries. Ordering a COPO car allowed production options to be combined into packages that weren’t offered together on the factory order forms. In actuality, COPO orders usually applied to fleet orders for taxis or school buses.
This numbers-matching, 427ci-equipped monster features a Turbo 400 transmission and a 4.10-geared Positraction rear.
Bel Air Beauty
Call me nostalgic, but my mom’s dream car had always been a ’57 Chevy. She was never able to realize her dream, so If I can, I will.
The 1957 Chevy was introduced in September 1956. Buyers could choose from three models: the upscale Bel Air, the mid-range 210, and the base model 150. All of the three are now popular and sought after classic cars, but the Bel Air is still the crème de la crème.
In 1957, the big news powering the latest Tr-Five included an engine-displacement increase as 283 cubic-inch small block made its debut. The 162-horsepower 265 V8 remained available that year, but the extra 23 horses offered by the new two-barrel equipped V8 made it more popular. Buyers could, however, trade up to a four-barrel, add dual exhaust, and boosting the compression ratio from 8.5:1 to 9.5:1. This resulted in the Super Turbo-Fire 283, rated at 220 horsepower. Four Corvette V8s also were available: the first two were fitted with dual four-barrel carburetors delivering 245 and 270 horsepower. At the top of the list was Chevy’s legendary fuel-injected Ramjet V8s, rated at 250 horsepower with a hydraulic cam, and 283 horsepower with solid lifters.
The drop top example shown here is truly street friendly, with a four-barrel fed 283 small-block, and a cast-iron, two-speed automatic. I can just imagine cruising with the top down, driving along the Tampa Bay.
So, there they are, the three choices I can’t seem to narrow down. Let us know which one you would you pick. We’ll even tally the votes and see what the most popular choice is.