100 Hot Cars

Just Car Blog

A Video Two-Fer: Big Muscle Shows Us The Cars Of Queens, NY 22
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Buick, Chevrolet, Dodge, Kurt, Muscle Cars, Pro Touring, video, Videos on 06 22nd, 2012

When you think of the muscle car and pro-touring scene, what part of the country comes to mind? Our guess is that you’re thinking about southern California, not the gritty, overcrowded and pothole-filled streets of Queens, New York. The truth is, though, that there are muscle car and pro-touring guys in every part of the country, it’s just a matter of knowing where to look.

Mike Musto, host of Big Muscle, hails from Queens, New York. In this two-part episode, Mike makes the trip from his current home in California back to his old neighborhood to drive four spectacular pro touring cars, including a 1968 Dodge Coronet, a 1966 Chevy Chevelle, a 1967 Buick GS and a 1969 Dodge Charger.

Whether or not you’re in to muscle cars, you’ve got to admire the craftsmanship and amount of detail put into these cars. It’s Friday afternoon, and you really weren’t going to get anything else done today, so sit back, crank up the volume and enjoy half an hour worth of pro-touring porn.

Big Muscle Drives A 1970 440 6-Pack ‘Cuda: Video 8
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Kurt, Muscle Cars, Plymouth, Plymouth Barracuda, video on 06 8th, 2012

If you don’t think that cars can be legitimate members of the family, you’ve never met John Cross. As a young boy, Cross distinctly remembers being pressed into the rear seat of his cousin’s Plymouth Barracuda, so when the chance came to buy that same car a decade later, Cross ponied up the $1,000 asking price without hesitation.

Now, 34 years later, Cross still owns the same numbers-matching car. In the quest for more power and better drivability, however, the original engine was pulled for display and replaced with a 440 block bored to 493 cubic inches. When the engine was dynoed at the end of the build, even the shop was surprised to find that it made 684 horsepower and 682 pound-feet of torque.

Since then, Cross has made a few more mods, and now estimates that the power is somewhere in the 700 hp range. That’s plenty to ensure warp speed in a straight line, but as Big Muscle host Mike Musto points out, this isn’t a car for carving canyons.

Instead, the ‘Cuda is best for cruising on a Saturday night, frightening small children when the exhaust dumps are open. Since Plymouth didn’t sell nearly as many ‘Cudas as Ford sold Mustangs or Chevy sold Camaros, Cross’ ride is indeed an exotic animal, worth many times his original investment.

Despite the fact that the car has been in his family for over four decades, Cross would consider a sale “for the right offer.” We’re guessing that that offer would have to be somewhere in the six digit range; after all, even family members have their price.

Big Muscle Runs To The Coast: Video 20
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Big Muscle, Kurt, Muscle Cars, Pro Touring, video on 04 20th, 2012

The very spirit of hot rodding is this: take what you have, and make it faster. When you’re done, drive it like you stole it, preferably in competition against other similarly-built cars. That formula has been the basis of street racing for nearly 100 years; what’s changed in recent years is that hot rodding, at least with big American cars, has become respectable.

Instead of running light-to-light on the street, endangering both your license and other drivers, events like the American Street Car Series’ Run To The Coast allow builders to run their cars in a series of events, ranging from autocross to drag race to road course competition. The variety of cars entered is impressive, and Big Muscle host Mike Musto points out everything from a Sunbeam Tiger through a vintage Ford pickup built up from a wrecked Mercury Marauder.

Musto knows a thing or two about driving, as well. He drove his own “Mr. Angry” 1968 Dodge Charger, the same car used to run One Lap Of America, in this year’s Run To The Coast. While a eighteen-foot long, two-ton car may not be nimble enough to do well in the autocross, it is capable of impressive burnouts.

All You Need To Know About The New Camaro ZL1, Except Price 9
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2012 Camaro ZL1, Automotive, Camaro, Chevrolet, Kurt, Muscle Cars, News, Pony Cars on 09 9th, 2011

We’re still months away from the launch of the king-of-the-hill Camaro, but Chevy is leaking just enough information through various outlets to keep fans fired up about it. We now know how much power the car will make, we know that it will use GM’s superb magnetorheological (yes, that’s really a word) suspension, and we know it will be as track-ready out of the box as any car weighing around two tons can be.

First the engine: the ZL1 gets the LSA V-8 as the Cadillac CTS-V. Thanks to a revised intake, improved supercharger airflow and a higher efficiency intercooler, the engine will make 580 horsepower and 556 ft-lb of torque. Just for reference, that’s 24 more horsepower than the Cadillac CTS-V, with the exact same amount of torque. If you want to compare that against the Shelby GT500 Mustang, the Camaro has a 30 horsepower advantage and puts up 46 more ft-lb of torque; on the down side, the ZL1 will also be heavier than the Shelby, although GM hasn’t released the Camaro’s exact weight just yet.

The ZL1 gets the same Magnetic Ride Control suspension system found on the Corvette ZR1 and the Cadillac CTS-V. Delphi also licenses it to Ferrari for the 458 Italia and to Audi for the R8, so the ZL1 is in good company. If you’ve never experienced it, believe the hype: the suspension does an amazing job of blending handling with ride comfort, and can be easily adjusted from a street setting to a track setting.

The ZL1 has a track-centric stability control program, called Performance Traction Management (PTM), with five user-selectable modes:

PTM 1 – Traction and stability control on, suspension set to Tour (for wet conditions)
PTM 2 – Traction control set to Sport 1, stability control on, suspension set to Tour
PTM 3 – Traction control set to Sport 1, stability control on, suspension set to Sport
PTM 4 – Traction control set to Sport 2, stability control off, suspension set to Sport
PTM 5 – Traction control set to Race, stability control off, suspension set to Track

The final mode, PTM 5, also includes a launch control feature for cars equipped with the six-speed manual gearbox.

As for the rest of the car, think “heavy duty” and you get the picture. Expect to see both transmission and differential oil coolers, as well as brake cooling ducts. The ZL1 uses an electric power steering system, too, ensuring that absolutely no horsepower is wasted in driving an old-fashioned power steering pump.

Pricing hasn’t been set, but keep in mind that a 2012 Shelby GT500 with no options lists for $49,605 with the destination charge factored in. The Camaro looks like it will be a lot more car, but GM knows they can’t charge a lot more money for it. We’ll go out on a limb and guess that the ZL will start just under $52k, but we’ll know for sure by the end of the year.

Source: Motor Trend via Camaro5