Blown Vintage Muscle Cars are Attention Getters

By Nick Licata   –   Photography by Scotty Lachenauer

So, I’ve been doing some extensive research (social media, and such, so I know it’s accurate) on what makes us car enthusiasts react to certain muscle cars more so than others. Through Facebook, Instagram, and our own Website, my findings were quite obvious to me, but may not be to others. The data points out that cars with big, supercharged engines, especially ones with roots-style blowers protruding through the hood, generate a lot of interest and quite a few comments on social media compared to cars with unexposed engines concealed underhood.

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It all makes sense to me, as the engine is the heart of every muscle car, so it’s no secret that it’s the main attraction. I mean, that’s why just about every ride has its hood open at car shows. I’ve also found that an engine with turbos or a centrifugal supercharger that can generally be hidden underhood are still attention-grabbers but typically go unnoticed until the observer gets a closeup look. Those power-adders are cool, but they don’t get quite as much fanfare as a car armed with a big blower. The cool part about turbos and centrifugal superchargers is the car can possess a somewhat unassuming demeanor and take any challenger by surprise.

On numerous occasions I’ve voiced my disdain for engine covers, as any attempt to conceal the heart of a muscle car is outright blasphemy. There’s just something so cool about shoehorning a big-block in an area with limited real estate, where some sort of fabrication gymnastics, along with a little “convincing” with a hammer, is required to get a set of long-tube headers to fit in a confined space.

Now, I’m not saying a supercharger is the only way to go, as an old-school tunnel ram or stack injection also does a great job of getting attention. Once again, when some sort of hood modification (a big hole) is required to fit engine components, the more that car stands out.

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So, when someone inquires about having their car featured in the magazine and that engine has some slick fabrication covering the engine, I politely decline by saying, “Your car is nice, but it’s not the direction we are going with All Chevy Performance.” Unfortunately, that is likely a high-dollar build, but big money doesn’t always buy good taste.

And don’t get me started on a vintage muscle car engine bay violated with the installation of an electric motor; it’s shocking, and not in a good way–that’s a discussion for another time.

The takeaway here: Bigger is better.

You in?

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