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Cobalt SS Bonneville Speedster - Auto News and Events

Cobalt Blur
The Cobalt SS Bonneville Speedster is based on the '05 Chevrolet Cobalt SS Supercharged. With a stock 2.0L Ecotec inline-four engine tuned at the dragstrip, it is capable of 700 hp at 8,700 rpm with torque numbers of 575 lb-ft at 6,000 rpm. GM Performance Division led the car's development with the assistance of GM Powertrain; GM Performance Parts; GM Racing; the GM Design Studios in Warren, Michigan, and Los Angeles; and the So-Cal Speed Shop in Pomona, California. This Cobalt is built to the SCTA specs for the G/Blown Fuel Altered class.

The centerpiece of GM Performance Division's effort is a Cobalt SS Bonneville speedster driven by Sport Compact drag racing champion, Nelson Hoyos. In addition, Ecotec engines will power Todd Haas' '34 roadster and Ron Main's EcoFire streamliner. Updates will be reported as they happen.

California Smog Law Repealed
Despite receiving thousands of messages in opposition to the bill, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed A.B. 2683 into law. The new law repeals California's current rolling emissions-test exemption for vehicles 30 years old and older and replaces it with a law requiring the lifetime testing of all '76-and-newer vehicles.

Special thanks to the thousands of vehicle hobbyists and related businesses who contacted the governor requesting his veto. Thanks also to the steadfast California lawmakers who supported our valiant cause-State Senators Tom McClintock, Betty Karnette, and Chuck Poochigian, along with Assembly Members Doug LaMalfa and John Campbell.-Steve McDonald, SEMA VP, Government Affairs

F-Body Rebody
If there is a quick way around the planet, Gale Banks is sure to find it. One of the original tuner vehicle builders back in the early '80s, Banks has turned his attention back to the '82-'92 F-body Camaros and Firebirds. And this time he's into upgrading their looks as well.

Banks' new F-body kit is more than just a pretty exterior package. Using aerodynamic lessons learned from his Bonneville record-setting 240-mph Firebird, he has designed a package of panels, fenders, and spoilers that not only update the looks of these machines, but actually provides aerodynamic improvement. The most elaborate of the panels, the rear deck wing, provides downforce and cosmetic enhancement. Up front, grilles embedded in the hood vent air for better cooling, less lift, and a performance look.

Banks' new aero package for GM F-bodies is set to debut in January. For more information and updates, visit

Two-Lane Blacktop At The Smithsonian
On July 31, 2004, the surviving, original '55 Chevy driven by James Taylor and Dennis Wilson in the 1971 cult classic Two-Lane Blacktop made an appearance at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History. The event was part of the Open Road Family Festival connected to the museum's America on the Move exhibit, a portion of which celebrates the impact of Route 66 on American culture. Two-Lane Blacktop was shown in the museum's theater, and the '55 Chevy was on display just steps away from the theater entrance.

Richard Ruth, who built the three '55 Chevys used in the filming, was on hand for the exhibit. The surviving '55 was fitted with camera mounts used to film scenes of the actors inside the car-check your DVD booklet for photos of the car in use-and sold by the studio not long after the movie was completed. The second '55 was reused in American Graffiti then modified into a show car with little resemblance to its former movie roles. The third '55, a stunt car, was crushed after sitting in a California salvage yard for several years.

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