Machmes

The '70s and '80s Return as We Present the Retro-Tasteless Looks We Want To Own Today.

By David Freiburger

Photography: HRM Archives

You know you dig it. For nearly three years we've been hearing from forty-somethings about secret cravings for blowers, tunnel-rams, raised-white letters, Cragars, and even (gasp!) graphics. It's the predictable, "back when I was in high school" scenario. But then the rebel twentysomethings started to catch on to it, spellbound by the concept of wheels as small in diameter as, say, 15s and awestruck by the power-hungry carbon footprint of dual quads atop an 8-71. So call us harbingers of ghastly retrogaudi-ness, but we'll go ahead and say it: '70s and '80s street machine style is back.

Thing is, though, just like the still-booming craze for '50s- and '60s-style hot rods, the best retroriffic car builders of now need to filter out the repugnant elements of history and crank up the stuff that everyone recalls as icons of cool. In the hot rod world, it's easier to strike the right pose or get close enough that guys love your junk even when you miss a few cues here and there. With muscle car street machines, you have to be bolder with your '70s-and '80s-inspired choices so people know you mean it and not just that you're a guy with dated wheels. That

Model photos: Robert Keriari Model: Nikki Gray Stylist: Hollie Williamson Makeup: Jessica deBer

Hot Cars Exotic

> Wheelie bars should never be allowed or cars that dor^ reed thenm—ard westill car't overlook that ir the name of nos^gm. But to May 80 *** claimed that Al Woodward's 543ci Vette ran 10.40s, so who knows? Krock off the bars and toss on some Cragars and drive it anywhere.

means digging deep into the look, taking risks, and applying the stuff that really works.

This story is here to help you do that. We rifled through the dustiest portions of the HRM archives for examples of street machines from the 1978 to 1982 time frame and picked the ones we thought still looked cool today. Some seen 2 L here are a bit over the top, but we'll guide you with our opinions of what works and what doesn't, gladly assuming the roles of throwback Mr. Blackwells of horsepower and headbanging. This is about fashion, even if it is bell-bottoms and concert-jersey fashion. Whether you agree with our assessments or not, let us see your retro-style muscle rides. They're what's now. Again.

Model photos: Robert Keriari Model: Nikki Gray Stylist: Hollie Williamson Makeup: Jessica deBer

> Wheelie bars should never be allowed or cars that dor^ reed thenm—ard westill car't overlook that ir the name of nos^gm. But to May 80 *** claimed that Al Woodward's 543ci Vette ran 10.40s, so who knows? Krock off the bars and toss on some Cragars and drive it anywhere.

> This is the one photo of the bunch that we hijacked from Car Craft, since that mag really had its finger on the pulse in the street machine heyday. We love all three of these cars from the '78 Car Craft Street Machine Nationals, and the engine in the foreground is the inspiration for our Crusher Camaro makeover. Also note the cable-drive Moroso tach. The red car sports the then-hip, now-unthinkable velour interior. The graphics on the Challenger are great and almost justify the hood-mounted gauges.

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Car Craft Street Freaks

> Here's another example of a Gasser gone street machine with wheels and tires, lots of chrome, velocity stacks, and kandy apple flames; a wilder paint scheme would have bumped this one into the Street Freak category in 1979.

> Gassers from the '60s are white hot these days. A lot of those former drag cars became street machines in the '70s, as all it took was a new paint job and some Center Line Auto Drag wheels to bring them up to date. This is Jeff Heller's '55 shot by Gray Baskerville in Palmdale, California, in 1980.

> Here's another example of a Gasser gone street machine with wheels and tires, lots of chrome, velocity stacks, and kandy apple flames; a wilder paint scheme would have bumped this one into the Street Freak category in 1979.

> HOT rod produced annual Corvette issues in the 70s and early'80s, each one loaded with stuff like this. To us, this '68 shows a perfect execution of a Stingray street machine, though we'd top our 42 7 Rat' withahufferratherthana tunnel-ram. We absolutely love the metalflake paint that was done at home by owner Del Saxhaug of Michigan in 197? / any custom painters out there want to help us with a scheme like this for an HRM project car we re all over it. Seriously

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