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Forge Invitational Musclecar Classic - No Forgeries At This Forge!

Priceless Muscle Gathers In Tennessee

Photography by Steve Magnante

Dick Harrell may have been killed in an unfortunate fuel Funny Car crash in September 1971, but Mr. Chevrolet's legacy continues. His daughter, Valerie, showed two of Harrell's flip-top Camaros, the restored '69 car and this unrestored machine from the '68 season. Dick's first flip-top car, this one was built by Texas Funny Car pioneer Don Hardy, who also built an altered-wheelbase Camaro door-slammer that Dick ran in 1967.

We're jonesing for the days when a stock block Chevy 427 was a competitive Funny Car bullet. In fact, in 1970-as many racers were quietly swapping blown Hemis into their floppers-Dick remained true to the Bow Tie and kept at it with big-inch Rat power right to the end. There's a hand-lettered logo on the molded trunk spoiler of this '68 that reads "Chevrolet Power Not an Imposter!" Amen, Dickie, amen.

Only partially restored from its as-raced configuration, Huntsville, Alabama, collector Greg Sullivan displayed the altered-wheelbase Strip Teaser II. Originally built by Bob Thomas and Howard Neal, the steel-bodied '65 Falcon runs a 427 high-riser Wedge the guys yanked out of Thomas' year-old '64 Thunderbolt. Before long, Gene Adams entered the scene, and one of the first Ford FE Hilborn fuel-injection setups replaced the dual quads. We're digging the surface rust on the Astro five-spoke front wheels. Can you smell the rosin?

The next time you see a derelict Camaro at the swap meet, consider Mike Slaughter's tale. A friend spotted this engineless '67 sports coupe in Burbank, California, wearing SS350 emblems, '68 wheels, and an aftermarket cowl-induction hood. Just another cobbled up Camaro, right? Turns out the VIN is in the Yenko registry, and it's an original Yenko 427 conversion car.

Mike's holding a copy of the original Yenko work order that lists the 427 short-block, RC bellhousing, MT headers, Traction Master bars, Stewart Warner tach, and a bunch of other ingredients that transformed this one into a Yenko Super Camaro with a sticker price of $4,290.67. Mike is planning a full restoration.

Most prototype vehicles are sent to the crusher, but that's not the case with Steve Honnell's Boss 429-powered '70 Cyclone Spoiler II. Intended as an answer to the Dodge Charger Daytona and Plymouth Superbird, FoMoCo stylist Larry Shinoda whipped up the special fiberglass front clip for NASCAR super speedway action (the body remains stock from the A-pillars back). Thanks to the departure of pro-racing Ford honcho Bunkie Knudsen and stricter NASCAR homologation rules for 1970 that tripled the minimum production requirement from 500 to 1,500 units for limited-edition aero cars, the project was canned. But not before a pair of Mercury Spoiler IIs and a trio of similarly modified Ford Torino King Cobras were completed. All have survived, and each has a unique story to tell. Steve's Spoiler II was saved by Mose Lane, a Lincoln-Mercury executive with lots of pull. Though it spent a few years sitting in an Indiana pasture, Steve has carefully restored it to its former glory, complete with a Top Loader four-speed.

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