But the first Monte Carlo, while sporting a striking profile back in 1970, wasn't the performance machine Chevy fans longed for. Chevy apparently got the memo and added performance to the list of features in 1971. The base 350ci engine remained, but more than 3,500 smart buyers stepped up for the 454ci LS5 option. Chevy rated the engine at 360 hp; in testing, the heavy Monte made 7.7-second 0-to-60-mph runs. In addition, the bigger engine enjoyed higher-rate front and rear springs and other performance suspension upgrades to bolster handling and overall ride quality.
The Holy Grail of '71 Monte Carlos is the special-order LS6 model. Though not on the order form, 10 of these 450hp machines, several with four-speed transmissions, cruised out of the factory. While no performance figures were ever published for them, we bet that extra 90 hp helped knock a few ticks off that 7.7-second timing.
This is what started the Monte Carlo performance legend.
Edelbrock Exhibit Opens at NHRA Museum
These days, the Edelbrock name is virtually synonymous with power and performance. How it came to be that way is the focus of "Edelbrock: A Performance Legacy," a special display at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum in Pomona. Running through February 14, the exhibit features cars, engines, archival photographs, and memorabilia tracing the history of the Edelbrock family's contributions to the evolution of speed equipment.
The exhibit includes Vic Edelbrock Sr.'s original '32 Ford roadster, the car he used to develop speed parts for the flathead Ford V-8. At the exhibit's opening, Vic Edelbrock Jr. spoke of how other Southern California dry lakes racers, who were setting records in hopped-up four-bangers, told his dad the Ford V-8 would "never work as a performance engine." That challenge merely solidified Edelbrock's resolve to prove the flattie's mettle, which he did for years to come.
Among the other vehicles in the display are the record-setting Edelbrock-powered So-Cal Speed Shop belly tanker, the No. 27 Kurtis Kraft midget racer (the first car to use nitromethane in competition), and the Hot Rod '67 Camaro project car. This was the first Camaro to arrive in California, Edelbrock said, and the ensuing editorial exposure "sold a helluva lot of manifolds for us." Originally slated to be crushed after the magazine project ran its course, the Camaro was rescued by then-HRM-staffer Jim McFarland, who later sold it to Edelbrock.
Mid America Motorworks' Corvette Funfest
Corvette Funfest 2004, Mid America Motorworks' annual customer appreciation party, shattered all previous participation records. The three-day September Funfest in Effingham, Illinois, drew 10,692 Corvettes of every year and color and about 45,000 attendees.
"We extended Funfest to a three-day party this year because we wanted to do more for our customers," says Mike Yager, president of Mid America Motorworks. "The response was amazing-beyond what we expected."
Mid America Motorworks recently acquired 90 acres of land adjacent to the company headquarters and put it to good use handling the large number of attendees and exhibitors.
"We had more displays, more vendors, more seminars, more of everything this year," says Yager.
To find out what's in store for the 2005 Funfest, September 16-18, go to www.madvet.com.
The Life of a Tire at Le Mans
By the time you read this, the Le Mans 24-Hours Race for 2004 will be history, but our friends at Michelin provided us with some interesting numbers generated by the prototype cars. Consider that all these g numbers are created and maintained by the four contact patches between the tires and the track.