Dearborn Steel Tubing celebrates Thunderbolt’s 50th anniversary by building another one

Dearborn Steel Tubing celebrates Thunderbolt's 50th anniversary by building another one

By Charlie Ascher

Photos by Daniel Strohl.

It’s been 50 years since Ford took the drag racing world by storm with its lightweight Thunderbolt, and to celebrate, Dearborn Steel Tubing, the original manufacturer of the Thunderbolt in 1964, has just produced a new Thunderbolt.

The year was 1963 and Dick Brannan was the head of Ford’s Drag Team. Brannan was charged with keeping Ford competitive on the strip, and new NHRA rules for 1964 – which allowed a 427-cu.in. engine with a minimum weight of 3,200 pounds – meant that he would need to seriously update Ford’s entries to stay competitive.

Ford was already running lightened Galaxies with their powerful 425-hp, 427-cu.in. V-8s. The problem with the Galaxies was not their power, but their weight. Ford was only able to get the big Galaxies down to around 3,425 pounds, which was not going to be enough to compete against the new lightweight competitors from Chevy and Mopar. The Blue Oval needed to shed some pounds.

The solution came not from remaking the Galaxie out of construction paper and unobtanium, but by switching car models entirely. Inspired by Bob Tasca, who had started tinkering with putting a low-riser, 427-cu.in. V-8 into a 1963 Fairlane 500 two-door hardtop, the midsized and 700-pounds-lighter Fairlane became the subject of Ford’s drag racing efforts.

Brannan ordered 10 burgundy two-door hardtops and got to work making the Fairlane into a drag monster. The cars arrived at Dearborn Steel Tubing for modification already without their radios, heaters and seam sealer, but these were minor deletions compared to what the cars would undergo in the coming months.

1964FordThunderbolt_02_2000

All in the name of shaving weight (and thus, hopefully, time off the quarter-mile,) the Fairlanes had their front bench seat replaced with bucket seats from an Econoline, their rear and rear side windows switched for fixed Plexiglas windows, no sound deadening, no passenger-side windshield wiper or sun visor, and fiberglass front fenders, fiberglass doors and a fiberglass hood. Oh, and that new fiberglass hood just so happened to have a huge teardrop-shaped bulge in the center of it, under which lurked Ford’s powerful new 425-hp, high-riser, 427-cu.in. V-8. Fresh air was supplied directly to the mighty engine through intakes where the high beams used to be in the grille.

After a couple of months, Ford settled on the Thunderbolt name for its new drag racer, which actually weighed less than the 3,200-pound minimum and needed to use extra fuel as a ballast. Ford built 100 Thunderbolts – 49 four-speeds and 51 automatics – to satisfy the NHRA’s homologation requirement. Besides the first 10 cars that Brannan had personally ordered in burgundy, all Thunderbolts came in white.

The Thunderbolts dominated immediately, winning their first event, the 1964 Winternationals. The cars ran roughshod over the competition throughout 1964, with a four-speed Thunderbolt managing an 11.61 second quarter-mile at 124.8 MPH in 1963.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of these legendary drag cars, the Thunderbolt Owners Association, in conjunction with the Fairlane Club of America’s 2014 National Meet, recently hosted a banquet that brought more than 20 original Thunderbolts to Dearborn, Michigan.

It was at the celebrations in Dearborn that Dearborn Steel Tubing – now known as DST Industries – rolled out the 101st Thunderbolt. Commissioned by DST CEO Brenda Lewo in 2013, the new Thunderbolt was constructed by DST’s restoration team using a 1964 Fairlane to which they had given a full rotisserie restoration. While not a perfect clone, the reproduction Thunderbolt stays mostly true to the original, painted in vintage burgundy and powered by a 427 high-riser going through a Borg-Warner four-speed transmission, only receiving a few upgraded components to make it more streetable.

DST’s reproduction Thunderbolt will be auctioned off at Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach in the spring of 2015 and comes signed by Dick Brannan, Brenda Lewo, Edsel Ford II and Mark Fields. Proceeds from the auction will go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in memory of Brenda Lewo’s late husband and former DST industries CEO Joe Lewo.

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Posted in Ford, Industry News, Interesting Stuff

How To Prep And Fit Aluminum Panels

Weight savings from lots of recycled pop cans?

Well, its a little more than that with a real project to lighten up a vehicle. AMD says that the cardboard box that the parts are shipped inside of weigh more than the parts do themselves! Recently Tamraz’s acquired the rest of AMD’s inventory and is now quite possibly the only stocking dealer left with these hard to find lightweight parts.

It’s certainly no secret that one of the ways to go faster is to reduce the weight of whatever you want to move. Racers have been looking for ways to shave pounds since the very beginning of speed contests, and clearly, there are only two ways to reduce weight-remove superfluous parts or make them lighter.

We hung out with the crew at Muscle Car Restorations in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, as they installed a set of Auto Metal Direct’s (AMD) all-new and recently released aluminum body panels on a ’69 Camaro. AMD is the first company to manufacture aluminum parts for this car, including the hood, fenders with extensions, upper and lower valances, both bumpers, and trunk lid. The total weight savings is more than 100 pounds.

AMD stresses that these panels are made from modern aluminum that is similar to that being used on some new cars today. It is stronger and more dent resistant than the factory panels of the ’60s and even tougher than some of the ultrathin, lightweight steel panels used by some of the foreign manufacturers. Once the panels were installed, we found we could lean on the fenders without fear of damage.

They’re tough, but they are still aluminum, so they need some special attention as they are fitted to the car; you can’t work aluminum like you can a steel panel. No heating/shrinking, heavy hammering, or cutting and welding are allowed. They can be worked, but you must be much gentler than one would imagine.

AMD PARTS IN THE ARTICLE
DESCRIPTION PN
’69 Camaro inner fender lefthand 250-3569-L
’69 Camaro inner fender righthand 250-3569-R
’69 Camaro trunk floor 800-3569
’69 Chevrolet Camaro aluminum
body panel kit 2-inch cowl hood 199-3569-2AS
ALUMINUM PANEL WEIGHT SAVINGS
AMD STOCK STEEL
Fender w/o extension 9 lbs 26 lbs
Fender extension 2 lbs 3-4 lbs
2-inch cowl hood 23 lbs* 56-61 lbs
Upper valance 3 lbs 5.5 lbs
Lower valance 4 lbs 11-12 lbs
Trunk lid 11 lbs 24 lbs
Front bumper 4 lbs 12 lbs
Rear bumper 5 lbs 15 lbs
Total weight savings: about 115 pounds
*AMD says the shipping box weighs more than the hood.
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Source: Hotrod.com
Posted in General Motors, Interesting Stuff, Parts Highlight, Restoration Tips

How does the 1970 Dodge Hemi Challenger stack up against its modern equivalents?

1970 Dodge Challenger R/T

1970 Dodge Challenger R/T, with the 426 Street Hemi. Photo by Jeff Koch.

By: Kurt Ernst

The past, sometimes, is more fondly remembered in the present. While most of us pine for the days of cheap gas and affordable muscle cars, it’s no secret that today’s muscle cars are capable of jaw-dropping performance off the dealer’s showroom floor, yet still come complete with a factory warranty and are capable of reasonable functionality as daily drivers. All the hype surrounding the upcoming release of the 707-horsepower SRT Hellcat Challenger got us thinking: How does this modern muscle car stack up against the 1970 Dodge Challenger, equipped with the legendary 426-cu.in. “Street Hemi” engine?

“Foul,” the most astute Mopar fans would cry, “The Elephant engine was normally aspirated, while Dodge is using forced induction chicanery to squeeze 707 horses from the Hellcat.” Point well taken, and to that end, we’re also considering last year’s top-shelf Challenger SRT in the comparison, which sported a normally aspirated 392-cu.in. V-8 beneath its hood. In fact, this Challenger is likely the most direct analog for the Hemi-powered 1970 Challenger, but we’re including the Hellcat simply because it is, at the moment, the pinnacle of the Challenger product line, horsepower-wise.

1970 Dodge Challeger R/T

Photo by Jeff Koch.

First, let’s take a trip into the past. In 1970, one could walk into a Dodge dealership and special-order a Challenger R/T with the 426-cu.in., 425-horsepower (gross; the net rating would have been around 350 horsepower) Hemi V-8 engine. Doing so required the purchase of a Challenger R/T ($3,266.00 for the hardtop model) and the E74 Hemi V-8 engine ($778.75); however, checking the option box for the Elephant engine also required the ordering of the A34 Super Track Pak (including a 4.10:1 rear end ratio, a 9 ¾-inch Dana rear end, a Sure-Grip differential, a seven-blade Torque Drive fan, a high-performance radiator with fan shroud, and power disc brakes), for $236.65; a four-speed manual transmission (although the TorqueFlite automatic was also available at a higher price), for $194.85; and a collapsible spare tire, for $12.95. All told, the sticker price of such a bare-bones model would have totaled $4,488.20, or the equivalent of $27,559.63 in current money (according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s CPI Inflation Calculator).

1970 Dodge Challeger R/T

Photo by Jeff Koch.

As delivered, the Challenger would have been 191 inches long, 76 inches wide and 51 inches high. The car’s front track would have measured roughly 60 inches, the rear approximately 61 inches, and the car would have weighed in at about 3,402 pounds. Performance wise, the Hemi Challenger, with its 490 pound-feet of torque, would have taken roughly six seconds to sprint from 0-60 MPH, running through the quarter mile (on stock tires) in around 14 seconds at a trap speed in the 104 MPH range, at least according to the in-period review from Road Test cited in our July 2011 feature on a Hemi-equipped 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T that captured our Muscle Car of the Year award.

1970 Dodge Challeger R/T

Photo by Jeff Koch.

As for other specifications, we were unable to locate data on braking or road holding, but to be honest, a Hemi Challenger was built for the sole purpose of going fast in a straight line. Those interested in speed, cornering and braking would have ordered a Challenger T/A, which was better equipped for the road course than the drag strip. As for fuel economy, we were also unable to find data, but suffice it to say that low double-digit numbers may have been theoretically achievable with a light right foot and plenty of short shifting. Warranty coverage was deliberately curtailed on Hemi-equipped cars as well, since Dodge knew exactly how (and where) these models would be driven. Instead of the standard five-year, 50,000 mile powertrain warranty, Hemi Challengers received a 12-month, 12,000 mile warranty that was valid for the original owner only.

2014 Dodge Challenger SRT

2014 Challenger SRT. Photo courtesy Chrysler Group, LLC.

Fast forward to 2014, where $40,485 is the minimum price of admission for a 392-cu.in. Hemi Challenger carrying the SRT badge. The modern car measures 7 inches longer overall (198 inches, versus 191), carries the same 76-inch width and has an overall height 6 inches higher (57 inches, versus 51). The track has widened to 63 inches in front and 63.1 in the rear, and the weight has ballooned by 800 pounds, with the contemporary Challenger tipping the scales at 4,231 pounds. Horsepower from the 392-cu.in. Hemi V-8 has reached 470, but torque has dropped by 20 pound-feet and now measures 470 pound-feet.

2014 Challenger SRT

2014 Challenger SRT. Photo courtesy Chrysler Group, LLC.

When the accelerator is depressed with authority, the Challenger SRT can run from 0-60 MPH in just under five seconds, on its way to a quarter-mile time of 13 seconds on street tires. Despite such impressive numbers, the modern normally aspirated Challenger can return fuel economy as high as 23 MPG on the highway, and its powertrain warranty coverage runs for five years or 100,000 miles (although make no mistake; manufacturers can and will void warranty coverage for vehicles that have been used for “competition purposes”). Among the current crop of Big Three muscle cars, the Challenger, even in SRT trim, is the car you’d most like to drive from coast to coast; it’s quick, but it’s also surprisingly comfortable.

2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat

2015 Challenger Hellcat. Photo courtesy Chrysler Group, LLC.

Potential price gouging aside, in a few months, buyers will be able to stroll into an SRT-approved Dodge dealer, plunk $60,590 down on the counter and say, “I’d like a Dodge Challenger Hellcat, please.” Doing so will get one a Challenger of roughly the same dimensions (though one inch lower and with a curb weight of 4,488 pounds, a gain of 257 pounds over the Challenger SRT8), but equipped with a supercharged 370-cu.in. Hemi V-8 capable of producing 707 horsepower and 650 pound feet of torque. According to Car and Driver, the Challenger Hellcat will dash to 60 MPH in 3.6 seconds and run the quarter-mile in a time of 11.7 seconds, at a trap speed of 126 MPH. Driving the blower alone will require 80 horsepower, or roughly the total output of a 1980s economy car, and to keep things reasonable on the street, the car will be limited to 500 horsepower unless a special “red key” is used in the ignition.

2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat

Photo courtesy Chrysler Group, LLC.

Other data on the Hellcat, such as fuel economy and warranty coverage, has yet to be released by Chrysler, but word is that the Hellcat will deliver fuel economy comparable to the SRT8, at least when driven conservatively, and we’d be surprised if the automaker shortened the powertrain warranty by any significant amount.

2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat

Photo courtesy Chrysler Group, LLC.

Styling preferences aside, perhaps the biggest drawback to the new Challenger models is their complexity. By evolution or by design, there are very few user-serviceable parts beneath the hood of a modern automobile, and most tuning is performed with a laptop computer instead of dwell meter, timing light and screwdriver (though on the Hellcat, Chrysler has reportedly “locked” the ECU, meaning tuners will need to provide a new computer to make more horsepower). Though mechanical purists may balk, to those just cutting their teeth on performance cars, used to a world ruled by computers and lucky enough to afford the $40,485 – $60,590 price of admission, this may very well be the golden age of the muscle car.

On the other hand, there’s much to be said for the original body design, powered by a legendary V-8 (or legendary V-8s, if you also count the 440, 383 and 340) that can still be tuned and repaired with hand tools. Which version of the Challenger is better? That, we suppose, depends entirely on one’s perspective.

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Posted in Industry News, Interesting Stuff, Mopar

Dream Cruise starts its engines today with small-town traditions

By Bill Laitner

Muscle cars, classics and hot rods have been rolling on Woodward all summer, but the official kickoff for Saturday’s Woodward Dream Cruise is today.

There are vintage auto thrills to be had this afternoon in Ferndale, tonight in Berkley and all day in Pontiac.

“We keep getting calls from people all over the country, asking us if the rain is going to stop any part of the Dream Cruise — it’s not,” said Louis Katsaros with Woodward Dream Cruise, the nonprofit group of cities that stage the big event.

Here’s a rundown of today’s fun:

FERNDALE: The city where the Dream Cruise began hosts the official kick-off tonight.

First, though, the city plans to stage its 14th Ferndale Emergency Vehicle Show, 1-8 p.m. on East 9 Mile at Woodward, where vintage cop cars and ambulances vie with classic fire trucks to spark memories of simpler times.

At 5 p.m. comes the ribbon cutting, held where 9 Mile meets Woodward, because that’s where it all started 20 cruises ago in 1995. That’s when Ferndale plumber Nelson House told the city he could raise money for a kids soccer field by holding a classic car show on Woodward, said Ralph Haney, 66, of Clawson, president of the United Street Machines car club.

“Nobody could believe it when we had a quarter of a million people show up that first year,” Haney said.

“It’s kind of cool that we’ve had 20 years of this,” he said.

Haney, along with Ferndale Mayor Dave Coulter and Cruis’news publisher Dana DeCoster of Sterling Heights, will cut the ribbon.

BERKLEY: The annual CruiseFest on 12 Mile is great fun for autophiles and their kids.

The Berkley Classic Car Parade, 6:30-7:30 p.m., is scheduled to have more than 400 classics rolling from Coolidge west to Greenfield. Then, 12 Mile is to close to traffic and become a playground of inflatables for youngsters, a street dance for teens — with a Who tribute band — and sidewalk sales plus a food court for all. Classic cars from the parade are to be parked behind the Berkley Theater for viewing all evening.

PONTIAC: The city with the bittersweet tie to the bygone GM marque will have vintage Pontiacs and other cars at its weekend-long car show that starts 10 a.m. today.

But just as fun is Pontiac’s music. DJs are to warm up crowds in two locations inside the downtown loop, near Saginaw and Pike, starting at noon today. Live music flows 6:30-9 p.m. on the nearby Hidden River stage with jazz stylists Quincy Stewart & Trio.

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Posted in Events, Interesting Stuff

1969 Chevrolet Camaro Build at Holohan’s Hot Rod Shop – Date Night

 

It’s a cold hard fact that projects involving classic Camaros commonly carry hidden secrets that lay quietly beneath that thick layer paint and clearcoat. And once you start digging in to add a little personal flavor here and there, the car has a tendency to take on a life of its own. Such was the case with this ’69 being built at Holohan’s Hot Rod Shop in Mooresville, North Carolina.

Dan Holohan gives us the lowdown. “The car started out as a project in which I’d help my good friend Jon White install a DSE suspension system and a set of mini-tubs in his garage a couple nights a week after work hours. We even joked and called it ‘date night’ when we would get together to work on the car. Now, it’s not uncommon for cars like this to need all new sheetmetal, and this Camaro was no exception, but I noticed that the entire roof panel had been cut off and replaced with a donor roof. And not just the skin; it had been cut right through the A-pillar—inner structure and all.”

With the extra sheetmetal work required, the car moved over to Dan’s shop, with the agreement that Jon still help out a couple nights a week and keep “date night” intact. Done deal.

Motivation will come by way of a 655hp Mast Motorsports 427 LS7, which will exhale through a set of Ultimate Headers and custom HHRS 3-inch exhaust and Flowmaster mufflers. A Tremec T-56 will handle shifting duties, while a Detroit Speed Inc. subframe and QUADRALink suspension system will take aim at conquering all corners and apexes. Billet Specialties Boost wheels and BFG KDW rubber will reside on all four corners.

Dakota Digital VHX gauges will keep Jon informed on engine vitals, and a Vintage Air SureFit A/C system will keep the occupants cool while secured in a pair of comfy Corbeau Sport Seats.

Semi-tucked bumpers, rocker lip extensions, recessed emblems, and new HHRS chin spoiler are on tap for the exterior modifications, while the new sheetmetal will be doused in Porsche Liquid Silver with charcoal “massaged” DX1 stripes.

Dan pointed out that throughout all the trials and tribulations of a long-term project like this, the car usually takes on a name. “Date night is a term we commonly used, so the name just stuck. In fact, Jon liked it so much that he got “DATENITE” personalized plates.

Dan joked that when people see the plates while Jon and his wife are cruising the ’69 they’ll think “awe, that’s so sweet.”

If they only knew …

By: Nick Licata

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Posted in General Motors, Interesting Stuff

One Man’s Collection of More than 600 Vintage Cars and Trucks Heads to Auction

Murray King’s cabinet making business took him from one coast of Canada to the other, and rather than return to Spruce Grove, Alberta, with empty trailers, King began filling them up with interesting and derelict cars he found in his travels. Before long, his focus shifted from woodworking to metal working, and Kustom King automotive restorations was born. Now, after four decades of buying cars, King will sell the 550 cars in his collection (combined with another 87 cars from A-Riverside, his neighbor’s business) in a two-day auction set to begin on Saturday, August 16.

Kustom King

Most auctions of this scope focus on a single brand, but King’s collection is far more diverse than that. Chevrolets make up the largest percentage of his collection, with 141 Bowties from 1932 through 1977 set to cross the block, but Ford isn’t too far behind. The blue oval brand is represented by 106 vehicles, dating from 1928 through 1969, and other makes include Pontiac (70 cars, from 1937-’72), Buick (50 cars, from 1941-’72), Mercury (39 cars, from 1950-’68), Oldsmobile (36 cars, from 1935-’70), Cadillac (24 cars, from 1951-’64), Lincoln (15 cars, from 1954-’62), Dodge (14 cars, from 1937-’74), Chrysler (12 cars, from 1941-’62), Plymouth (11 cars, from 1932-’73), and GMC (four trucks, from 1941-’81).

Lumped into an “Other” category are brands like Essex, Fiat, De Soto, Packard, Fargo, REO, Willys, Hillman, Studebaker, Austin, Morris, Nash, Rambler, Mercedes and Nissan. Though this phrase is used a bit too much, the Kustom King sale really will offer something for everyone.

Kustom King

And then there’s the inventory of A-Riverside Auto Enterprises, located across the road from Kustom King. Though focused primarily on trucks, the 87 offerings from A-Riverside will also include both domestic and foreign automobiles from the 1940s through 2001. Still, truck collectors will want to take heed, as the lots are set to include everything from a 1929 Standard REO SpeedWagon Coca-Cola delivery truck through a 1997 GMC 3500HD, with a wide variety of heavy-duty inventory to choose from.

1957 Chevrolet
1957 Chevrolet.

Though Kustom King is selling off its used car inventory, the shop (which specializes in restorations and custom builds) isn’t going away. In fact, King advises that with Alberta’s current oil boom, business has never been better, as mechanics from the oil fields have plenty of discretionary income to spend on custom cars.

Though the shop once built rods and customs to sell at auctions in the United States, back when the street rod market was strong and the Canadian dollar was weak, the days of building cars on speculation are over. As King put it, “There’s too much risk and too little profit” in trying to anticipate what buyers will fight over at auction.

1969 Ford Mustang convertible
1969 Ford Mustang convertible.

Kustom King also houses So-Cal Speed Shop Canada, as King cut a deal with Pete Chapouris in 2008 to become the exclusive Canadian distributor for So-Cal Speed Shop products. Ultimately, that means the 550 cars on his 5.5-acre property are more of a distraction than a necessity because King doesn’t part them out to the general public. Now that he’s past the seven decade mark in age, King has also come to the realization that he won’t live long enough to see them all restored.

1972 Plymouth Duster
1972 Plymouth Duster 1973 Dodge Dart Sport 340.

When asked, “Why sell the collection now?” King’s response was understandable. “I paid $35,000 for this property 35 years ago,” he said, “and I’ve been offered $1.3 million for a portion of it. The question isn’t ‘Why would I sell?’ but rather ‘why wouldn’t I sell?’”

1929 REO SpeedWagon
1929 REO SpeedWagon. Photo courtesy Sekura Auctions.

As for any inventory that remains after the sale, King isn’t concerned. The city of Spruce Grove isn’t pressuring him to pare down his collection (which, King advises, undergoes environmental testing every few years), and even after selling off a portion of his land, King will still have three acres to house the inventory that doesn’t sell at auction.

1952 International
1952 International cement truck. Photo courtesy Sekura Auctions.

A-Riverside is in a similar pressure-free position, but is taking advantage of the Kustom King sale to reduce its own inventory. As Sekura Auction’s Andrew Reeleder explained, “Ron Stropel (owner of A-Riverside) has always focused on trucks, while Murray King has focused on cars. When the Kustom King auction was announced, it just made sense for A-Riverside to capitalize on shared marketing and a shared auction venue.”

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Posted in Interesting Stuff

Four years after auctioning off collection, Chevrolet dealer Bob McDorman opens museum

McDormanmuseum_01_800
Photos courtesy Bob McDorman Automotive Museum.

After Chevrolet dealer and longtime Corvette collector Bob McDorman sold off 160 cars from his collection at auction four years ago, the idea of opening a museum almost seemed out of the question – what would he fill it with, after all? Yet this past weekend he threw open the doors of the Bob McDorman Automotive Museum to the public, and said he has as many cars as he can fit in it.

“I wanted to have it ready for my retirement from the dealership,” McDorman said of the museum that he announced two years ago at his induction into the Corvette Hall of Fame. “I’ve got about 14 months until my 50th anniversary as a dealer, and then I’ll be done at the dealership after that.”

McDorman, 82, said he’s been collecting cars since before he bought the dealership in 1965 and moved it to its current location in 1968. He also sold a number of collector cars at auction – once in 2005 and again in 2007 – before the headline-making all-no-reserve 2010 sale of cars, parts, and automobilia that netted $7 million, which he said was necessary to keep the dealership running. In 2011 he sold a majority of his dealership, though he plans to keep a 15 percent stake through 2015.

McDormanmuseum_02_800 McDormanmuseum_03_800 McDormanmuseum_04_800 McDormanmuseum_05_800

The new museum, located in downtown Canal Winchester, Ohio, has enough space for about 50 cars, McDorman said, and while visitors at the grand opening on Friday saw 38, McDorman said he has another dozen to fill it. The museum isn’t just Corvettes, either, with an assortment of Chevrolet cars and trucks and other GM vehicles inside, including cars as old as a 1936 Chevrolet coupe with dual sidemounts and as new as the sixth-generation Corvette. Perhaps the highlight of the museum is McDorman’s 1953 GM trifects – a Cadillac Eldorado, a Buick Skylark, and an Oldsmobile Fiesta – accompanied by a 1953 Corvette.

McDorman said the museum is not a non-profit museum, but he hopes only that he can get his expenses out of it and maybe turn a little profit. He told the Canal Winchester Times that he plans to keep a few cars on consignment in the collection. “If I sell anything out of my collection, it’ll be so I can buy something of the same year but rarer,” he said.

Along with his nomination to the Bloomington Gold Great Hall in 2010, McDorman was selected for the Corvette Hall of Fame in 2012. As noted in his biography for the latter, McDorman had accumulated and sold off Corvette collections three times in his life, showing his persistence when it comes to building such collections.

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Posted in General Motors, Interesting Stuff