How To Commission a Painting of Your Classic Car (or Motorcycle)

— The Stephen Cox Blog is presented by “Porsche Legend: The Penske L&M Porsche That Made Racing History” Every time I attend a car show, I marvel at the paintings of classic cars in the vendor booths. It never really occurred to me that many of those cars must be based in reality – that they must actually belong to somebody, somewhere. I didn’t realize that there’s an entire cottage industry devoted to creating magnificent artwork on classic vehicles. Who knew? I certainly didn’t until a buddy of mine (who happens to be a professional artist) asked me if I’d Read More

1980’s SHOWDOWN: Pontiac Fiero vs Toyota MR2

The Stephen Cox Blog is presented by “Porsche Legend: The Penske L&M Porsche That Made Racing History” The 1970’s and 80’s were chock full of those wonderful, wedge-shaped sports cars such as the Triumph TR7, Fiat X1/9 and more. But in the American sales market, two models stood head and shoulders above the rest; Pontiac’s Fiero and the MR2 from Toyota. I must admit that I love these cars. After spending considerable time in them, I came away quite impressed. Our photos will show several different models but for the purposes of this comparison, we will single out the 1987 Read More

Rebuilding My Totally-Not-Collectible Mustang, Part 5

. The Stephen Cox Blog is presented by “Porsche Legend: The Penske L&M Porsche That Made Racing History” The first performance tests for my 1980 Ford Mustang “restomod” are complete and the early signs are very positive. Along with the 1974 and 1981 models, the 1980 Mustang is arguably the least desirable of any Ford pony car ever built and is certainly not worth the money and effort for a restoration. But the car has tremendous sentimental value for my family. I bought the car in early 1982 as the second owner. My wife and I dated in this car Read More

COLLECTOR CARS: Rebuilding My Totally-Not-Collectible Mustang, Part 4

  Stephen Cox Blog is Presented by Sopwith Motorsports Television Productions The steering system on a base model 1980 Ford Mustang is not exactly track ready. Light and numb, it offers little road feel and an overly wide lock-to-lock ratio. Increasing the size and width of the original 13-inch tires actually makes the steering worse, not better. Honestly, driving this combination just isn’t much fun. The installation of a 400 horsepower Windsor small block, 15-inch Anson Slot wheels and a new Dynomax Super Turbo dual exhaust tempts the driver to push the car beyond the reasonable safety limits of its original Read More

COLLECTOR CARS: Rebuilding My Totally-Not-Collectible Mustang, Part III

. Stephen Cox Blog is Presented by McGunegill Engine Performance Ford Motor Company built 128,893 Mustang coupes during the 1980 model year, making my Medium Blue Glow four cylinder example anything but rare. I bought the car when I was seventeen and it was my primary transportation for a decade. It now has nearly a quarter of a million miles on the odometer. Since the car has little value, I figure there’s no point in selling it. I might as well rebuild the car into what Ford would and should have created had it not been for the interference of Read More

The Birth of the Fox Mustang

Stephen Cox Blog Presented by McGunegill Engine Performance They won’t get any cheaper than they are right now. Ford’s famous Fox Mustangs, built from 1979 through 1993, are now at the bottom of their value curve. The Fox Mustangs derived their nickname from the 1978 Ford Fairmont, which had been internally designated as the “Fox Project” within Ford’s management and design teams. Since the Mustang borrowed the Fairmont’s platform, the “Fox” name was naturally adopted for the 79-93 Mustangs within Ford and eventually by the public as well. Ford president Lee Iacocca had overseen the design of the original Mustang Read More

This Is The Best Buy in Muscle Cars Right Now

Stephen Cox Blog Presented by McGunegill Engine Performance A sharp 1970 Chevelle LS6 can set you back $75,000 or more. Same for a Boss 302 Mustang. A 1969 Plymouth GTX 4-speed can run over $40,000, which is still not affordable for many car enthusiasts. You don’t even want to know what freshly restored Dodge Daytona would cost. The plain fact is that most fast sports cars from the peak of the muscle car era remain beyond the reach of the average working man. But there is one exception. What if you could buy a name brand muscle car from the Read More

1971 Honda CB 350 – One Year Review

Stephen Cox Blog Presented by McGunegill Engine Performance It’s difficult to imagine a more user-friendly classic motorbike than Honda’s legendary CB 350. Once the best selling motorcycle in the world, the CB 350 is still coveted as an entry-level collector’s bike today. My CB 350 had fewer than 7,000 miles on the odometer when I purchased it. One year and 3,000 miles later, I sold it and moved on to another bike. I rode it several times per week, mostly on country roads and rural highways. I really wanted to experience a 1960s-70s era bike and the Honda offered it Read More

COLLECTOR CARS: 1974 International Pickup vs 1975 Ford F150

Stephen Cox Blog Presented by McGunegill Engine Performance It’s no secret that vintage pickup trucks are the latest rage in collectible vehicles. They are inexpensive to restore, utterly reliable, born with a lengthy shelf life and they are enormously popular right now. If a collectible truck is on your wish list, here’s what you should know about two of the mainstay trucks from the 1970s. 1974 International Pickup When I began racing dirt tracks in the late 1980s, my father’s ¾ ton, red-and-white International 200 pickup with a Comanche 345 V8 served as our hauler. Frankly, it was better at Read More

TRIUMPH SQUARE BARREL: From WWII Bomber to Grand Prix Winner

Stephen Cox Blog Presented by McGunegill Engine Performance Triumph took the world by storm in 1938 by introducing its Speed Twin, the first of the great British parallel twin street motorcycles. But their enthusiasm – and sales – were cut short by World War II, which began the following September. Triumph engineers quickly adjusted to wartime production by re-designing the Speed Twin’s excellent 500cc power plant for military use as a portable generator. The cylinder heads and barrels were cast from aluminum and the generator’s operating temperature was kept in check by connecting an external fan to the engine’s tin, Read More