Car Corner
Local car show spurs an idea for a project car

May 1, 1999
By Scott Lewis

Last month I had the fun of attending two local car shows. These were small car shows. One had about 50 cars, and the other around 75 cars.

But I thoroughly enjoyed them. Both shows were listed in the paper. They were at the same time. So I had to pick one. I choose one that looked like it was going to be the better organized one. They were giving out prized in 25 categories. Wow!

As it turned out I picked the wrong one. But it all worked out. We drove past the second one on the way home, and I got to take a really fast walk through.

I saw a few really nice 1st generation Camaros. Now my wife definitely knows the difference between a 67, 68, and 69.

There were two 69 Z/28s. Yes, they were real. They had the 290hp 302 engines and 4 speed transmissions. For those that don’t know… ALL 67-69 Z/28s came with the 302 and a 4 speed. Anything else is either a fake Z, or a Z that is no longer original.

Of the 2 Zs there was a white one roped off with mirrors on the floor around it. Get a life. This was an informal outdoor show. I liked the other one better. It was blue, and looked super sharp. The white one was a Rally Sport with the hide-a-way headlights. The blue one had the standard headlights. I like the standard look better. Conveniently so does my wife. That will make it easier to buy exactly the one I want if she prefers it too.

There were a couple of nice Vettes. In fact when we pulled into the spectator parking lot a guy pulled in behind us in a 57 Vette. I told him he was in the wrong parking lot. He laughed. I asked the year, and he said "1957, the last year before they started getting ugly." Gotta love a guy with such love for his car. He ended up moving it to the car show parking lot latter. Cool.

I was disappointed that there we no 2nd generation Camaros. There were some Firebirds, including a super clean 1970 Ram Air III Trans Am. It had an automatic. I guess nobody's perfect. I really wanted to show my wife the difference between standard and split bumper Camaros in the early 70s years.

All-in-all we walked the entire parking lot in a little over an hour. That’s when my wife suggested driving by the other show. My one year old son fell asleep between the shows, ao I took a quick walk through of the second show.

Go figure they had a 1970 split bumper Camaro. It was bright yellow, and in great shape. The only thing wrong with it was he added the fender vents from an 80-81 Camaro to it. I think it spoiled the look of the car. Oh well. Next to it was The car. 1969 Camaro convertible. Now that’s my car.

This show was heavy on Vettes. I would say there were about 3 dozen Vettes. 2 dozen of them were 90s. That’s the easy way into a car show, just buy a Vette and drive in. There were two late 50’s Vettes. Very cool. That’s my wife’s favorite. The quad headlights from 58 - 62, just before they did that great split window coupe (a personal favorite of mine).

There were more cars at the second show, and they had a couple of vendors there. One of the vendors had a lot of t-shirts. Too bad I didn’t have any spending money.

So what car spurred me to think about my next possible project car? A Ford 23 T-bucket. It was not the best car in the show (the 1st one), but it looked cool. It had a TPI small block Chevy. Nothing too fancy, but a nice ride. Huge steamroller tires out back.

T-buckets are reasonable affordable to start. So I am going to start looking into them. When my house is built next year it will have a 3-car garage. Then I can start building. I remember seeing starter kits for T-buckets for as little as $2000. If that is for the frame, body, and front and rear suspension it would be great. I will have to start paying attention to the ads.

I already have a 350 Chevy engine on a stand. Just have to get a Turbo 350 trans, a rear end, wheels & tires, brakes, and interior. If anyone has built a T-bucket let me know. It looks like it would be a real head turner. Not a very practical vehicle, but if it’s fun… Gee, I wonder how fast it would be with a B&M 420 Mega Blower. He He.