Monday, March 3, 2014

My Past Fleet of Cars

    My Past Fleet of Cars
    Al Ritter

1963 Chevy II Gasser
"Casa de Nova” 1963 Nova Gasser with a Speedway drop axle front end, 327 engine, 350 turbo, 3:70 9” Ford Rear, Pro Comp Electronic Fuel Injection, Accel Gen 6 computer. Another Ebay purchase, this car was the least done of all my cars. When I got the Nova the body work and build was fresh but hardly period correct. I did the exterior in vinyl lettering, completely fabricated a red roll and pleat interior, installed a rollbar, stereo system, and finally removed the single 4BBL carb ad installed electronic fuel injection. Fun little car that ran on 87 octane!


1967 Chevy Suburban

“3 Doors Down” 1967 Chevy Suburban, Air Ride suspension, Vintage air, 500 watt Stereo, Train horns, tow package, wide whitewalls, 350 /220HP, 700r4 trans, 3:31 gears, vinyl woodgrain wrap. Originally purchased from Volo Auto Museum this truck was built in Florida and later sold to Volo for display. Chasing rust with an early (67-72) Suburban is a non stop job and this truck was no exception. Most of the body panels had been replaced before I bought it but it was about 6 yrs old when I purchased it, so the chase was on once again. I added the train horns and the vinyl woodgrain wrap. Very Impressive looking truck, especially when towing my gasser!

1967 Chevy Camaro

“Casper” 1967 Chevy Camaro pearl white with Ghost Flames, 350 aluminum heads, 350 turbo, 3:73 12 bolt rear, white/black hounds tooth interior, Coy’s 18” wheels. This car was purchased on Ebay and panel fitment was horrible when I received it. Unfortunately none of that was visible in the pictures when I bought it. After a full week end of panel adjustment and moving the front end sheetmetal back almost 2” the fitment had improved 100%. Drivetrain was strong in this car, and was rather quick. Impressive pearl white paint with ghost flames adorned the outside. Originally had the black Coy’s wheels but I painted them light gray.

1957 Ford Thunderbird

“Saltbird” 1957 Ford Thunderbird fiberglass reproduction over tube chassis 502/502 Chevy engine, 350 turbo, 9” Ford rear 3:70 gears, American Salt Flats wheels. I bought this car on Ebay one night after reading the impressive build sheet and consuming a bottle of wine. I was surprised to find out the next morning I was the new owner! The original owner spent over $70k on this car and bought it for pennies on the dollar. A fiberglass body was stretched 12” before being put over custom square tube lower chassis and a moly upper cage. Suspension was ladder bar A- arm front. The quality of the build was VERY nice, but it could be a HANDFUL to drive! One night had the car up to 160MPH with the existing drivetrain on REGULAR gasoline!

1971 AMC Gremlin

“Gizmo” 1971 AMC Gremlin 406, powerglide with transbrake, Dana 60 rear, heavy nitrous, Best ET 9.01 @ 152 MPH. I bought “Gizzie” as a roller out of Ohio and put my original combination from my 1966 Nova. Unfortunately this car was the motor eater that got me out of drag racing, 3 engines in one year was a bit too much. So many times this car baited me back with another engine because of one impressive pass before eating yet another engine. Best ET with 406 was 9.01 with 60 ft of 1.23. Fun little car when it wasn’t eating engines!

1971 Morris Minor

“Minor Problem” 1971 Morris Minor Pro Street 350 with Dart Pro 1 heads, 350 turbo, 9” Ford 3:70 gears. This car was purchased off Ebay and was located in England and had to be shipped into this country. It was “pro-streeted” in England with right hand drive. It had many “not so common” parts by American standards. Had a foreign car strut front end and four link rear, and had originally come with a poorly done interior, that had to be immediately changed. Impressive little car that handled well despite it’s 87” wheelbase. Performance was impressive due to low weight it got 25 MPG and would run 12.0’s all day long at the track! Unfortunately it was a NIGHTMARE to get through customs and I would never do that again!

1971 VW Karmann Ghia

“Sikpup” 1971 VW Karmann Ghia 350 SBC with 350 turbo and 8 ¾ Mopar Rear. This was my first real purchase of a Pro-Street Car and the mechanical build was far from being “safe”, the bodywork was not too bad but the underpinnings were questionable. Funny little car to drive, but anything over 60 MPH could get a little scary!

1965 Chevy El Camino

“Lettuce picker” 1965 Chevy El Camino 327 4 spd 3:73 10 bolt rear. Purchased from a guy who wanted a street/strip car. First I removed the 4:56 gear, then lowered the suspension and added alloy wheels and vintage air conditioning. I used the car as my primary show car for about 8 years, then it took a back burner because of it’s heavy fuel use and need for high octane fuel. The project is being rebuilt right now and will soon have a new name. “Ecomino” will now sport a full low drag 87 octane 350 engine with FAST fuel injection and a 5 speed TKO transmission with the aim of being an economic (25 MPG target) well handling up to date vehicle.

1966 Chevy Nova SS

“Plant hard” 1966 Nova SS 406, powerglide, 4:33 12 bolt rear. Sadly this car was nothing like the previous owner had represented it. The 2 bolt main 400 had a weak lower end, the cam was designed for a 327 and the Powerglide was weak. Barely able to run even a 10.90 on N2O, the combo had to be redone. A new 406 was built with upgraded internals and a proper cam was picked. Later an ATI powerglide transmission was built along with a proper convertor, and the combination had improved to 9.80’s. The rollcage had to be totally replaced to conform to NHRA tech specs. Later a 440 cu in motor was built to replace the 406, and ET’s dipped to 9.30’s @ 150 MPH.

1 comment:

barb p said...

You have sure had some beautiful vehicles Al. I love this one, but my favorite is the white El Camino...beautiful!!!!