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Can A New Camaro ZL1 Match A Pro Touring 1969 Camaro? Video 27
Jul
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 1969 Camaro, 2012 Camaro ZL1, Automotive, Chevrolet, Kurt, Pro Touring, video on 07 27th, 2012

Mark Stielow’s Red Devil Camaro

Off the showroom floor, the new Camaro ZL1 will accelerate quicker, stop shorter and carry more speed into corners than any production Camaro we can think of, including the legendary 1969 Camaro ZL1. It comes with a full factory warranty, too, at a price that’s tens of thousands of dollars less than building a comparable car yourself.

What the new Camaro lacks, however, is vintage cool. If you wanted the authenticity of an original Camaro with the performance of a modern one, you could build yourself a Pro Touring car, assuming that money was no object. Enter Mark Stielow, a GM engineer and Pro Touring icon who’s constructed numerous Pro Touring vintage Camaros. Stielow’s latest effort, called the Red Devil, boasts over 750 horsepower from a supercharged LS9 V-8, and comes with a modern suspension (that still retains the car’s live axle), racing-spec brakes and amenities such as an audio system and air conditioning.

Could a heavily-modified 1969 Camaro run with Chevrolet’s latest big dog, the Camaro ZL1, around Michigan’s Ginger Man Raceway? That was the question posed by Hot Rod magazine, who recently hired Stielow to drive both cars for the comparison. The Red Devil puts down over 170 more horsepower while hauling less mass around, but the ZL1 has a wider track and the advantage of performance-focused stability control. Stielow helped develop the ZL1, so he’s on intimate terms with both cars, and a data logging system is used to make sure he’s not sandbagging in either Camaro.

Which is faster? Check out the video below for the answer.



Big Muscle Drives A ‘Bank Robber’s Special’ Chevelle: Video 29
Jun
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 1973 Chevelle, Automotive, Big Muscle, Chevrolet, Kurt, Pro Touring, video, Videos on 06 29th, 2012

Love, it’s said, is blind. It’s also mysterious, meaning that when something grabs ahold of your hormones, sometimes you’re just along for the ride. By way of example, we give you the mysterious case of Sean Rich: in high school, Rich fell in love with a 1973 Chevy Chevelle, and the two have proven to be inseparable ever since.

Fourteen years is a long time for any kind of relationship these days, especially one with an unlikely parter. Sure, the Chevelle name is the stuff of legends in muscle car circles, but most discussions end with the 1972 model. By 1973, the Chevelle had grown to plus-sized proportions, with any hint of performance choked by stringent emissions regulations. If you were going to build a pro-touring car, a 1973 Chevelle would be among the least likely choice of candidates.

Despite this, Rich’s car has gone through several evolutions throughout the years. In current form, he describes it as a “car he’d build to rob a bank.” We’re not sure about that, since the car blends into the background about as well as Ted Nugent at a PETA rally.

Under the hood is a “mildly built” 350 V-8, which puts out in the neighborhood of 400 horsepower. As Mike Musto sums it up, that’s enough to be entertaining without getting you into trouble; beside, we’re in total agreement that the car sounds fantastic, and we’d drive it with the windows down all the time, just to better hear the engine come on-cam.



A Video Two-Fer: Big Muscle Shows Us The Cars Of Queens, NY 22
Jun
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 Runs To The Coast: Video 20
Apr
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.







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