Get to know your classic car community! Here are some area car and truck enthusiasts' pride and joy. To submit your vehicle, please email your contact information, vehicle description/story, and photos to email@example.com.
1956 Ford F-100 1/2 Ton Pickup.
When this truck was made, Ford Motor Company made the height of the tail gate a main selling point by being just 24 inches off the ground. Ford knew that if they did their job they would not have to worry about Chevrolet. The wrap around windshield and the option of a large back window gave this truck a "Back To The Future" look. The larger 272 cubic inch V-8 offered 167 brake horse power. The Canadian version of this truck was called a Mercury. This truck possesses quality that would never be repeated in later years. Seat belts were just made available however very few ever ordered by the dealers do to the cost which added about $9 to the base price.
For the collector this is a crown jewel that the person restoring can do so many different things.
1957 Chevrolet BelAir Hardtop (The dream car)
This car had such special styling that everyone seemed to fall in love with it. True love is very hard to explain, yet this car could make it happen. You could say this is a mild custom with its Twilight Royal Metallic paint, Edelbrock Performer 50-100 Nitrous System, 2 inch Ceramic headers into 2.5 inch Flowmaster exhaust, GM 12 bolt positraction rear end. IDITTI polished steering tilt column, and the list goes on and on.
Chevy earned the term as the definitive car of the 50s. The new car buyer had a choice of seven engines, five of these were V-8s ranging from 185 to 283 bhp. One of these was introducing the "Ram-Jet" engine for a hefty $500 extra, sad to say but very few were ordered at that cost. A challenge for Chevy was to make a two year old body look fresh for the 1957 production year. A new cowl proved to be an expensive change. "Finny" would be the best way to describe the rear end with its several pointed fender tips. Properly equipped, the '57 Chevy was a formidable track competitor. NASCAR was one of the events where Chevy did very well.
1966 Ford Thunderbird Convertible
Fun in the sun & wind in your hair, it doesn't get any better than this. The 1966 Ford Thunderbird proved to be a game changer in the automotive field. Thunderbird styling was superb with its full width tail lights, cruise control and steering wheel buttons which were offered as an option. This car is a true classic with only 5,049 convertibles produced. This car has the 428 cid engine that Ford offered for $64 extra and was rated at 345 bhp. But the desirability of this car doesn't end there, it has red leather seats, Candy Apple Red paint with three tone red-on-red interior. When you get a classic car that is 50 years old and still has matching numbers, it's rare. A popular accessory was the swing away steering wheel and the swivel drivers seat. With a price tag of $4879 the price per pound was just $1.09 per pound.
1957 Oldsmobile Starfire Hardtop
A great car just floats down the road at 100 miles per hour. To this day the author can not understand why General Motors would discontinue this great line of cars. They had style and grace and were built with great quality. The Ninety Eights were the top of the line, perhaps they were just too good. The Rocket V-8 engine was equal in quality to the Buick Nail Head engine. It was a 371.1 cid with 277 brake horse power. An option was the Tri-Power (three carbs) lifting the bhp to 300. The wide mouth grille was restyled, the windshield pillars were reshaped with more of an angle. A stainless steel sweepspear would start at the beltline and flow to the rear for an ideal two-tone area ending with the tail lights. Only 17,791 of this model were produced with a cost of $.92 per pound.
1986 Chevrolet Pickup ... "A Hot Ride"
This pickup was acquired in 2000, the best part of the purchase was all the parts were there. Most buyers would think it came from a salvage yard, but not a person with forward vision. This was an opportunity to make he dream truck that comes about once in a lifetime. The frame-off took three years to complete. It now has a 502 cid with a 871 blower and electronic fuel injection system. They installed an ATI turbo 400 transmission with a 4:11 Mark Williams rear end. This truck was clocked at 127 on an old airport runway with power to spare. This truck has came a long way from the "three on the tree" with a "six cylinder engine".
1956 Oldsmobile 98 Holiday Sedan
The "Rocket Circle" on top of the dash was an option offered from 1956 to 1960 by General Motors. It was for preferred customers which allowed a place for your initials and the number of Oldsmobiles the customer has owned to date. The engine was a 324 cid Oldsmobile Rocket V-8 producing 230 bhp. The transmission was a Jetway Hydra-Matic which gave it a snooth start and good mileage. 1956 brought about a "Panoramaic" wrap around windshield, power brakes and power steering. Distinctive spinner wheel caps to Old's were soon to be copied by most all automotive cars on the road. The 1956 gains a large gaping "mouth" front grill inspired by the 1953 Starfire Car Show. All models that were produced totaled 485,000 and sold for about $3,480 or about $ .85 per pound. Two and three tone paint were all the rage.
1968 Chevrolet Camaro "Super Sport"
A true classic, Camaro's don't go to the after life, they are given a second chance at life. Even a donor car will give life to another Camaro. General Motors would allow you to build your Camaro to match your life style. These are some of the changes you were allowed to make. Stiffer springs & shocks, D-17 Wide oval Tires, modified hood & insulation, bumble-bee nose strips and the ever popular "SS" emblem. You could add a 396 Big Block for another $400. Custom carpet along with bucket seats and a fold down back seat. A luxury interior with all the gauges and a console with a shifter for Turbo Hydra-Matic, heavy duty 3 speed or 4 speed manual. The Rally-Sport package added a hidden headlight grill for a $105 extra. Extras in 1968 were tinted glass, radio, heater, clock, cruise control and air conditioning. Want the time? Add a clock. Mechanical options were, sintered metallic brakes, vacuum brake booster with ventilated disc brakes power steering. If you wanted the steering used in race cars you could have Fast Rate manual steering. Positraction limited-slip differential and your choice of many axle ratios. The price could go from $2900 to $5000 in the blink of an eye.
With the 60s, Chevrolet responded to all the turmoil in our nation with a size and style car to fit every need, each car had distinct car lines. Unlike today, designers could be creative.
1969 Dodge Charger ... "The General Lee"
A replica of the original General Lee from "Duke's of Hazzard." The man who was the chief designer of this car, Mr. Bruce Ryniker, passed away this March of natural causes. Very few cars have ever enjoyed the popularity the Dodge Charger has as the "General Lee." The "General Lee" made history November 11, 1978 when it appeared on the History Channel. As this car was put thru its paces the doors had to be welded shut. The TV show lasted seven years before the ratings began to fall. As people would send mail into the program, over half of it was addressed to the General Lee. This car held such popularity that 24 out of 25 had a place in their heart for it. Around 256 and 321 "General Lee" were created for the seven years the show ran. It is known that only about 20 of these cars remain in disrepair in several states. One of the original cars is owned today buy Bubba Watson a professional golfer from Florida. What a car, no one was ever hurt with all the wrecks.
1967 Plymouth "GTX"
This is a 49-year-old car in better condition than when it was new. This car happens to have matching numbers, a rare sight these days. This car underwent a major restoration after being purchased for just $300. Many cars like this were used for drag racing and also the oval track, we never knew that some day they would be worth a small fortune. It's amazing how a classic will bring smiles and become a great conversation piece among friends. This car has a 440 cid producing 375 bhp, 727 transmission coupled with a 323 posi-traction rear end. When you drive a car like this you need to know what it will do in the quarter mile. The one pass he made was 14.10 at 98 mph, not bad.
1957 Chevrolet Hard Top
The '57 Chevrolet defines the car of the 50s that we all wanted with its style, comfort and that "wow" factor. The colors that were available for these cars have never been offered in the cars of today.There has got to be a reason we love these cars like we do.Perfection comes with a price and this car happens to be one of those. This was a frame-off rotisserie restoration. An "Art Morrison Frame" with a new LS-3 engine complete with a 9-inch rear end. 4 link with coil overs, Dakota Digital dash instruments, House of Kolor "Sun Pearl & Sunset. Vintage air and to top it off it has real leather with bucket seats front and rear. No car like this would be complete with out Budnick wheels and Michelin Pilot Sport Tires.
The GTX had fake hood scoops, the important part was the heavy duty suspension and became a true muscel car. The name GTO became so well known Plymouth decided to follow by using the letters GTX.
1937 Ford Slant Back Sedan
This is considered a true classic, it is an all steel car and you will not find a lot of plastic to dry out and crumble away. There are times you don't want to know how much a car may cost to build, its just better to throw all the recipes out the window. A car like this you give it your all and look back in total admiration with pride. When this restoration was started it turned into months and even years to complete. It has an LS-1 engine, 4L60E transmission with a 9-inch Ford rear end. Real leather complements the interior. The tall split front grille with hood side grilles and the tear drop classic headlights add to its appeal. New this car sold for about $850, now it would be hard to put a price on it. How do you drive a car like this? Like you stole it!
1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Hard Top
WOW! That about says it all when it comes to a car like this. I would like to list just a few amenities this dream car has. 1980 Firebird rear end, 502 CI big block w/ dual Four barrel carbs, Center Line Wheels Conve/Pro. Ken Wood Sound, four wheel disc brakes, Ididit steering wheel, Dakota Digital Dash, Air Tique Air, Full Power.
This became the "crown jewel" of GM when it produced 166,426 of the Bel Air Hard Tops. The production engine off the assembly line made one horsepower for each cubic inch of displacement. Their 1.5 million cars produced in '57. Ford was behind the eight ball playing 'catch up.' One of the main reasons car collectors love these cars is it reflects the wonderful life style we all enjoyed in the 50s. With a price tag of just $2299 or to put it another way it sold for $1.46 per pound. The cost today may well be over $50,000.
1993 Mercedes-Benz 600SL
This 2 Door Roadster sold new for a whopping $119,500. It was considered to be the best built car at the time, for instance an electronically controlled hidden roll-over-bar that would pop up if the car started to roll. This car has two tops, remove the hard top and you then have a convertible top that can be used. The "sun chaser" will leave the hard top in storage and just use the soft top. The engine is a 7.0 L. which develops 496 brake horse power with a V-12 that completely fills the engine compartment. This is a true sports car and it rides like one. The number of features was considered very high with everything being electric. This car is considered to be very rare as only 150 "Limited Editions" were ever built, the top speed for this car is 185 mph. A family car it is not, only 2 can get in it.
1957 Chevrolet 2 door post
This is another of the Classic "Randash" cars of Billings, Montana. The '57 Chevrolet had its debut in September of 1956. It was a major make over from the former body style and proved to be a true classic with the test of time. This car would be considered a mild custom, It now has real leather interior, custom designed console, a Morrison frame, which makes it handle like a sports car. A Morrison frame can cost about $22,000 and up. The hood has been shaved, Bel Air chrome has been added. Custom wheels with all disc brakes on all four added to this cars safety. Ed Cole was the chief engineer and instituted most all major changes the '57 would have. The '57 was refered to by GM as the baby Cadillac due to the many styling lines that were similar. A padded dash was optional yet very seldom ever ordered as was the air conditioner. The radios were still the tube type and came with the option of a rear speaker for surround sound. One of the unique options was the electronic shaver, connected to the dash. Another option was the power seats and windows. If you wanted to dim your headlights automatically there was an item that you would bolt to the dash to do that. Of all the popular classics the '57 Chevrolet is considered one of the best.
1956 Buick Century 4 door hardtop
For the true car collector, the 1956 Buick has proven to be one of the most elusive of all makes. It may be the production numbers or the demand for these cars, who knows. Buick fine-tuned the styling of the '56 to make it one of the greatest body styles of all times. The addition of a new grill and a pointed hood with open rear wheel wells was what it needed. It had a price tag of around $3,000 and production numbers of just 20,891. Sporting a 255 bhp Iron head engine it would power this Buick Century from 0-60 in 10.5 seconds. The author of this article has had 28 Buick's to this date and knows these cars very well.
1948 Chevy Loadmaster Truck Cab All Chevy
3/4 ton Chevy van chassis, 1994 Chevy pickup box over original 48" 2 ton truck frame.
1936 Chevy sedan rear fenders, Color-1950s GM Coral w/Pearl Clear.
Custom interior, Air bags, Rear air shocks, tilt steering w/custom interior.
1947 JEEP CJ2A
It’s always great when you can trace the history of a vintage automobile back to its origins. This fully restored 1947 Jeep CJ2A was bought new from Davis Motors in Butte, Montana. It was then sold to Leipheimer Ford in Butte and used for business purposes, then on to the family farm in Belgrade. Les Roth purchased the Jeep from a Leipheimer grandson and brought it to his home garage for a full restoration.
That’s when the fun really started…new body, tailgate, front fender; and then transmission work, steering gear, brakes and transfer cases. Luckily, the engine had been rebuilt in 2008 at Engine Rebuilders in Denver.
Les’ goal was to make the Jeep as authentic as possible; based on the Jeeps he drove during his years in the military. Les served in the US Navy from 1960 to 1966 and even wanted to name the Jeep after the ship he served on…the USS Washtenaw County LST 116. He painted it battleship gray and it is authentically restored to match the Navy CJ2A’s he used in Viet Nam.
The serial numbers soon to be added under the windshield will reflect his grandchildren’s birthdates. This Jeep CJ2A was certainly a work of love for this Billings classic car buff.
The Cactus Car
In America, we have a love affair with the cars we've owned through the years. The passing of time doesn't diminish our passion. This particular car fits into the category of worn-out-but-never really-abandoned classics. The great southwest holds the secret location of this sculpture .... and many others just like it. It may look like it has seen better days, however in time, a classic car lover will see a diamond in the rough and restore it.
I have authored two coffee table books that will take you down memory lane. "Classic Cars of Mt & Wy" and "Hotrods & Classics" Every car has a story to be told which is at the heart of these full color books of very high quality.