Welcome to the new edition of the Automotion Classics newsletter. In recent months there have been some changes and developments here at Automotion classics, ranging from our new paint shop in Cohoes, to a new website and blog. Though the changes to our appearance are exciting, what we are really here for is the cars.
Catalina 421 4-Speed
One of our longest-term projects made its public debut at the recent Adirondack Nationals in Lake George, New York. Our Catalina is a factory 421/4-speed car documented by the PHS, and is highly optioned, including push-button radio, 3.38 Safe-t-trac posi rear end and eight lug wheels.
This car’s full restoration is documented on our website. Though we started with a solid base, we left no stone unturned. The car’s original drivetrain was retained, including the original 421 cubic inch V8 with its original high-output equipment. The body and chassis were separated, and the body restored on a rotisserie. We fully sand-blasted the body to remove all rust and elderly undercoating.
The interior features correct reproduction upholstery, door panels, and new chrome trim throughout. All of the chrome has been redone, from the original bumpers to the taillight filler panel and all of the minor chrome. The car drew a lot of attention in our booth at the Adirondack Nationals, but it wasn’t the only vehicle in our booth in Lake George.
1972 BMW 2002 M20-Swap
Our 1972 BMW 2002 has a very stock look, but it’s been heavily upgraded from the BMW parts bin and the aftermarket. Rather than the original carbureted M10 four cylinder, we swapped in an M20 inline six and 5-speed manual transmission from a 1989 BMW 325is. The new setup provides substantially more power and torque than the original drivetrain.
The engine itself was not enough, and has been thoroughly upgraded with a Schrick camshaft, MAF conversion and WAR chip from Miller. The whole setup was tuned using a wideband 02 sensor and laptop. Keeping with the OEM look, we sourced a set of vintage VDO gauges for the center console and fitted a new tach and GPS-referenced electronic speedometer.
All of this performance is supported by an Ireland Engineering suspension kit. The setup includes upgraded springs, sway bars and Bilstein struts and shocks. Brakes are from a 320is, giving the car discs front and rear. Past updates on this car can be found here.
1970 Challenger Resto-Mod Progress
Our 1970 Dodge Challenger project has come a long way, and should give the current Challenger something to worry about when done. As specified by our client, this Pro-Touring style car has a Gen III Hemi fitted with a Whipple supercharger and T-56 manual gearbox.
Originally yellow, we sand-blasted and stripped this Challenger and repainted it in a current Mopar color; 2015 Sub-Lime Green with black accents. The paint scheme is matched by 18” CCW wheels with black centers, which also allow clearance for the upgraded brakes.
The Challenger originally used torsion bar front suspension at the front and leaf springs at the rear. Though the torsion bars were effective for the day, we have upgraded the car with adjustable coilovers front and rear. The new setup offers simpler adjustability of compression and rebound, along with easy ride height adjustment.
This car will be receiving a full suite of modern amenities, and we will continue to update this car’s page and our restoration blog with progress on this car and other projects under our roof.
The Apache Project
Our latest project is this; a 1958 Chevy Apache short box. This truck came to us as a driver with a later Chevy 350 and automatic transmission. While we love the patina, this truck is very much a blank slate. We want to take this truck to another level, and want to hear your thoughts on exactly what direction to take this build. Along with our Catalina, this truck came with us to the Adirondack Nationals.
Our intention is to use our 2007 Chevy SEMA truck as a donor for this build. This truck was assembled by GM Performance and features an all-aluminum LSx 427 crate engine with ceramic long tube headers, 2” lowered suspension and a custom interior. We value your input, and want to know how you’d use this GM-built monster to take our Apache into the stratosphere.