Days getting shorter, car shows getting fewer, but some real showstoppers still showing up.
Car show doyenne Pam Hirschhorn points out five to keep your eyes peeled for.
NOBODY GOES TO MORE CAR SHOWS than Pam Hirschhorn! She owns and runs Northeast Wheels Events, the super-duper online site to find out what car shows are coming up in the Northeast.
The amazing cars she first eyeballs in a show in New England may well be headed next to a car show near you. Amidst the aisles of Mustangs and Camaros, the cherry Impalas … amidst these staples of the town car show, there may be one or two works of art you’ll be talking about for the rest of the year.
Here are five cars she has spotted that you should be on the look out for. Videos and photos by Pam Hirschhorn.
TURBO SONIC DRAGSTER by George Barris
Everybody knows George Barris and his most famous kustoms: the Batmobile, the Munster Coach and the Monkeemobile. But did you know about his 25th century, turbine powered dragster, the Turbo Sonic? He built it with Dick Dean between 1958 – 1964. Why is not exactly clear.
This three-wheeled turbine-powered beast looks more jet and less like dragster. It was touted for hitting 300 mph in the quarter mile – powered by a Turbonique S-28 micro turbine engine, which at the time sold for a mere $199. Apparently the Turbonique exploded a lot was almost never operated.
Pam found this remarkable land rocket at the Dead Mans Curve Wild Hot Rod Weekend show in Mahwah NJ.
1967 THUNDERBIRD *APOLLO*
At first glance, this T-bird may not look that unusual. But no way this is your usual luxury laden ’67 Thunderbird. It is one of five specially built ‘birds for Abercrombie and Fitch, the Apollo. On top of every option Ford had to offer -except the 390 ci V8 – the Apollo featured a powered sunroof (lesser T-bird owners had to wait another 2 years for one), reclining passenger seat with power head and foot rest, fold down tables, Princess telephone and Philco television. Four Apollos (the fifth was wrecked before it made it to the west coast store) were on display at A&F stores and later sold for $15,000.
Compare that $15K to the base price for the T-bird at $4,704. The price for a new 1967 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow was around $9,000.
TV for the backseat. Check out the channel changing dials. Hey, it came with UHF!
Princess phone? Natch! And powered head and footrests.
This rare bird has been spotted at a few local shows in Pennsylvania. Photos are from a 2016 International Thunderbird Club show in the Hershey, PA area.
Pam wasn’t sure what to call this kustom she ran across at the Dead Mans Curve Weekend show a couple of weekends ago. Since it’s an amalgam of at least three cars, why not The Amalgamator. You’ve got your Cadillac bumpers, your Lincoln headlights and your Chrysler taillights… built on a Dodge Magnum chassis. What else ya need? Big Daddy Roth would drool.
Everybody digs a hearse. This heavenly ride was resurrected from half dead. The 1939 LaSalle based hearse was built by S&S Coach Company. S&S has been around since 1876, and is still building today in Lima, Ohio. The curtain reliefs on the outside are cast aluminum. The interior features inlaid wood designs. This example sports the optional second, left hand door, so the coffin can be loaded or unloaded from either the right or left.
This majestic body limo was seen at the Professional Car Society show in Gettysburg, PA in August.
1965 HONDA S600
This is a rare 1965 Honda S600 coupe. 1800 coupes were built between 1964-1966. There was also a convertible, less rare at about 11,000 drop-tops.
This mighty mite is powered by a 606cc (37 cubic inches), inline 4 cylinder featuring dual overhead cams, 4 side draft carbs and needle bearings on the con rods. It launched itself with 57 hp at 8,500 rpm. Top speed you ask? 90 mph. It tipped the scale at 1,600 pounds. The wheelbase is a tight 79 inches with an overall length of 130 inches (about 11 feet). It’s 2 inches lower than a Miata.
The most interesting feature is the final drive. The diff is in back of the seats and dual chains enclosed in housings, distributes power to the rear wheels and forms the rear suspension. Watch the video, Pam shows you. This unusual arrangement allows for a usable trunk. Honda was innovative from the get-go.
This little gem was seen at a 2016 show in a park in Lancaster PA as well as a a couple shows in 2015.
The NFL has scouts to find the most bodacious players. Think of Pam as making the Car Show circuit to scout the most bodacious cars that are making it out to car shows. Pam publishes her pix and videos of the most outrageous, beautiful or dumbfounding cars she encounters at car shows throughout the year. Click on Northeast Wheels Events. Wherever you live, you will not want to miss them! A sister site Southeast Wheels Events covers car events – as you might expect – the Southeast.