Tag Archives: classic car

1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302

Conceived, engineered, and built for one purpose – to help Ford regain its early dominance in the wildly popular SCCA Trans-Am racing series – the 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 remains one of the finest and most collectible products to arise from Ford’s “Total Performance” era of the ’60s and ‘70s. It is also one of the most satisfying Mustangs to drive, with balanced driving dynamics and excellent handling to match its high-winding 302 cubic-inch V-8 engine.

American Modern 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 - 4

    Specs:

      • 302 cid V-8 engine
      • 290 HP
      • Toploader 4-speed manual transmission
      • independent front suspension with unequal-length A-arms
      • coil springs and anti-roll bar
      • live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs
      • front disc/rear drum hydraulic brakes
      • 108″ wheelbase

 

With Ford struggling to make the Tunnel Port 302 racing engine work properly and the Roger Penske/Mark Donohue Chevy Camaro Z/28 juggernaut taking the Trans-Am title in 1968, the Ford camp acutely understood that something new was clearly required for success in 1969. The Mustang was faltering on the showroom floor to boot, with Chevy’s new highly engineered Z/28 Camaro package quickly gaining the favor of streetwise buyers.

American Modern 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 - 3

Ford’s two-pronged counterattack was based on a new Mustang variant designed to homologate an all-new engine design for Trans-Am competition combining a high-strength 302 engine block and internals with the big port, canted-valve cylinder heads from the new 335-series “Cleveland” V-8. A hot solid-lifter camshaft, large four-barrel carburetor, stout Toploader four-speed transmission, and other excellent goodies from Ford’s parts bin rounded out the new Boss 302 package.

 

Suspension development was largely ignored until former key GM executive “Bunkie” Knudsen and former GM designer Larry Shinoda, of Corvette Stingray fame, stepped in. Acutely aware of the relentless development that made Chevy’s Z/28 classic car so successful on both the street and racetrack, they championed comprehensive suspension and aerodynamic tweaks to create the best-handling American car available. Shinoda also eliminated a number of tacky add-ons proposed for the new Mustang, replacing them with a simple flat-black hood, side stripes, spoilers, and optional rear-window louvers. He also contributed the car’s “Boss” moniker – meaning “the best” – in tribute to Knudsen, who was known simply as “the Boss”.

American Modern 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 - 2

Track-bound Boss 302s were built at Kar Kraft in Brighton, Michigan, and campaigned by teams fielded by Bud Moore and Shelby. While the Trans-Am championship proved elusive for 1969, success was finally achieved in 1970. Unlike many racing homologation specials, the Boss 302 was profitable for Ford and according to experts, a little over 7,600 examples were built in total for 1969 and 1970.

American Modern 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 - 1

Freshly repainted in Calypso Coral, the quality of the restoration on this Boss is outstanding.  The floor pans are painted the correct red oxide primer and all the factory inspection marks have been painstakingly duplicated.  The details under the hood are simply outstanding, with the clean 302 V-8 and 4-speed manual transmission, traction-lok differential and 3.91 axle making for a smooth performing classic. Today, all surviving Boss 302s are highly coveted, valuable, and thrilling in every respect.

Rick’s Collector Car Tips – 6 Tips to Winterize your Classic Vehicle

Here are six great suggestions for preparing and adapting your classic vehicle for storage during the cold, winter months:


Fuel — Fill up your gas tank and mix fuel stabilizer in with the gas. Run or drive the car with the fuel stabilizer until it is up to temperature. This way the stabilized fuel has been distributed throughout your entire fuel system.


American Modern classic vehicle tire pictureTires — Check your tire pressure. Treat the tires on both the outside and the inside of your classic vehicle to prevent the tires from drying out. Jack up the car and put it on jack stands to avoid flat spots on the tires.


Paint — Protect your car from small scratches by applying a good coat of wax before you cover it up.


American Modern classic vehicle interior pictureInterior — Detail the interior so you start off the next season with a clean car. Treat the leather, vinyl, and dash.


Battery — Use a battery tender. Even if it holds a charge through the winter, if you do not use a battery tender, it will shorten the life of your battery significantly.


American Modern collector vehicle garage pictureGarage Area — Moisture is your enemy. Make sure the car is stored in a dry environment. A dehumidifier in the garage helps. Also, the heat from a light bulb or the air movement of a very small fan under the car will help reduce the moisture build up under the cover. Always use a breathable car cover to allow moisture to escape.


1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Hardtop Coupe

Chevrolet first applied the Bel Air nameplate to their premium line of sedans and hardtops in 1950. They pioneered a line of practical, well-equipped vehicles that would go on to become a huge part of Chevrolet’s success in the 50’s. Today, all of the “Tri-Five” Chevys are highly sought after – and none more than the 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air.

1955 Chevy Bel Air

    Specs:

  • 265 ci V-8 engine
  • 162 HP
  • Powerglide automatic transmission
  • ball-joint front suspension
  • rear semi-elliptic leaf springs with coil shocks
  • 115” wheelbase

 

For 1955, Chevrolet‘s full-size model received all new styling and power. It was called the “Hot One” in GM’s advertising campaign. Chevrolet’s styling was crisp, clean and incorporated a Ferrari-inspired grille. Bel Airs came with features never found on cars in the lower models ranges, such as interior carpet, chrome headliner bands on hardtops, chrome spears on front fenders, stainless steel window moldings, and full wheel covers. With it’s lower, wider body and wrap-around windshield, it was America’s most popular car in 1955, and remains a collectible icon with undeniable appeal today.

1955 Chevy Bel Air

Under the hood, the 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air gained a V8 engine option that would go on to define Chevrolet for many years. The new 265 cu in (4,340 cc) V8 featured a modern, overhead valve high compression head, aluminum pistons, and a long stroke design that was so good, it remained in production in various forms for decades. It was smooth, powerful, and easy to service, and the venerable “small-block” remains a legendary design. Mated to an updated wider chassis with ball-joint front suspension, open “Hotchkiss” drive, and tubeless tires as standard equipment, the exciting Bel Air was a hit right from the start. With modern styling, new-found power, and a popular price-point, the design team at Chevrolet definitely hit a home run.

1955 Chevy Bel Air

“Tri-Five” Chevrolets with a V-8 and Powerglide automatic transmission have proven to be smooth, reliable performers, and this car is no exception. It reaches highway speeds with ease, rides smoothly, and with it’s eye-catching two-tone paint and tons of chrome, they make a wonderful addition to any collection of 50’s cars.

Bob DeKorne, National Accounts, Heacock Classic Car Insurance

Rick’s Collector Car Tips – Starting The Collector Car Hobby

How Do I Get Into The Collector Car Hobby?

Rick Drewry, Senior Claims Specialist at American Modern Insurance Group, has been approached many times at car shows with the specific question: “How do I start the collector car hobby?” Rick states that anyone can get into the collector vehicle hobby, it’s just a matter of keeping these three tips in mind when beginning the collector car shopping process:

• Buy a car that starts up and drives. Do not buy a project car the first time around. You’ll spend too much time and money attempting to get the car to show quality that you will never truly enjoy the car. A drivable classic car can participate in car shows and cruise-ins. Car guys will ask you what your plans and expectations are as well, so it’s a great conversation starter.

American Modern collector car insurance

• Go for the lower trim/performance option. Don’t hold out on a Pontiac GTO, go get a Tempest or a LeMans instead. A simple engine swap makes these virtually the same collector vehicle. The same rule applies with a Chevy Camaro over a Z28 or Plymouth Duster. Get the slant-six instead of a 340 engine.

American Modern collector car insurance

• Consider less mainstream collector cars. Camaro, Chevelle, and Mustang are the popular models, but the station wagons from the 50’s – 70’s make for great classic cars. From the Oldsmobile Delta 88s, to the Ford LTD and Chrysler 300, these can make for sweet rides. Entry-level cars like the Vega, Corvair, Pinto and Maverick are also recommended. Make sure to do your homework before making that car purchase, and ask for help if necessary. Once you obtain your first collector car, you’ll wonder why you waited this long to buy one! Have Fun!

The Build – Patching the Quarter Panel of a 65 Malibu

As you continue to take notes from us on how to properly restore a wrecked classic vehicle, more specifically a ‘65 Chevy Malibu SS, we will take you step-by-step into the process of patching the quarter panel. This thorough process has been recorded, along with many other videos, on American Modern’s show, “The Build”, seen here:

Rick Drewry, senior claims specialist for American Modern Insurance Group and host of ‘The Build’ , has already obtained patch panels for the rear quarter panel, and is now marking and tracing the patch panel in order to figure out how much they actually need. As they cut away the metal, they find that spray foam was used in a previous repair to fill in the bondo. This is an improvisation that is not recommended when restoring your collector car.

Rick and his team use some tools to cut out pieces to spot weld and replace with the patch panel. As they cut away, they find some rust on the outer wheel well that they’ll need to use the patch panel to replace. When your metal is rusted, you are not able to weld on top of it, so using a patch panel is an absolute must. They will use an attachment point for their patch panel after cutting off the unwanted rust. Less is more in this case.

The 1965 Chevy Malibu SS continues to show improvements from its original, wrecked state. You need to make it one of your top priorities to continue to follow up on all of our progress, and see what else is restored on ‘The Build’! You can find a full list of ‘The Build’ episodes on our YouTube Channel.

Rick’s Collector Car Tips – What is the best way to maintain your collector car?

If you’re looking for some great maintenance tips for your classic vehicle, look no further. Proper maintenance of your collector vehicle is extremely important, and you need to be sure to keep these insightful tips in mind before you decide to take your collector car out for a joy ride. Rick Drewry, senior claims specialist at American Modern, has a passion for collector vehicles and has been working on them for 30 years, since he was a child in his dad’s shop. He shares some tips with you on preventative maintenance in this video:

You may not know this, but most of the things you tend to forget are extremely minor, but could could cause an amazing amount of damage.

The highlights include a 30 cent distributor hose that can fly off the distributor and spray fuel all over your engine bay, causing an extremely damaging fire. Make sure your wiring is tucked away nicely, not resting on the exhaust manifold or header, as the heat under the hood will cause them to become brittle after time. Replace the wires and you will cut down on losses on your classic car in the future.

collector car maintenance

American Modern also hosts a series on a complete restomod of a 1965 Chevy Malibu SS on YouTube, titled ‘The Build’. Make sure you check out all of the episodes to learn about some of the proper ways to restore a wrecked classic vehicle.

The Build – Patch Panel Repair on ’65 Malibu SS

Have you ever seen a smashed classic car in the junk yard and thought to yourself: “That Chevy’s got potential, I wonder what I could do to bring that beauty back to its prime?” We also know that it’s difficult to part ways with your classic ride, so the associates here at American Modern have decided to document the collector car restomod process with a 1965 Chevy Malibu SS. We’ve started a weekly online show – The Build – with a Chevy that took a detour into a brick wall. The series takes you step-by-step into the complete resto-mod project of this American classic.
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