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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Chicago, IL
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So where do I start... To put this all in perspective, I'll start with my age. It's 1967 and John Jr. (me) is born to John Sr. and his wife on the US Army base in Hokkaido Japan. Two years later John Sr. returns to NJY with his son, pregnant war brid and a few extra dollars in his pocket. I think I was about 10 when I started realizing some cars were cooler than others. Over the years I've owned about 40 cars, and most of them were muscle cars or performance vehicles. Today I own a 1967 Camaro, a former drag car that I updated with an LS engine and 85mm turbo. I drive this car everywhere. I've been low 9's in it and my 2024 goal is to run 8.50s. I might be buying another cool car with known history, more details once it happens. Was there a person (friend, older brother or father) event, TV commercial racing program, or just seeing certain car drive by that caught your eye??

Writing this really got me thinking about those early influences. The first one was my Aunt Pam who is only 10 years older than me. I remember being about 10 and her driving an older Corvette (I'll have to ask her what year it was, probably a C2). She took me for a rip in it, I remember her slammin' gears.

We moved from New Jersey to Massachusetts in 1976. Around 1978 a guy down the street bought and modded a 1969 Camaro RS/SS. That car had a huge influence on me, I was obsessed with that car. I remember he had a hood scoop on there, Super Tricks, and it was a Small box Chevy with a gear drive and big cam.

 If you only focus on one brand or model, why? What drew you to that brand/model? When did you get started? (We all have had both pleasant and unpleasant experiences, especially when we started out).

GM for sure, and specifically Chevrolet and specifically Camaro. Sure I've liked other cars too, I had 5 mustangs over the years, but I think I'm just a Chevy Camaro guy at heart. I've liked most of the styling, they are fun to hop up and Camaro guys are down to Earth and cool to hang out with at races or shows.

What was your first musclecar, and how long have you been in the hobby and why?

My first bonafide muscle car was a 1964 GTO I bought in college in 1986. It was a former drag car that I bought through the paper, car had a white vinyl top, was a dark blue/purple with the name "Insanity" painted on the quarters. The seller had swapped a hood and fender from another GTO he was parting out and those were electric blue. I sold the car to a guy named Rick who said he repainted it the factory red color. I think the car had a Dana 60.

While I was in cars as early as my mid teens (early mid 80s) I really started buying muscle cars in the early 90s.

Are any of your family members involved (i.e. parents, siblings or children)?

It's kind of scary but nobody in my family is into cars including my two high school age sons.

Do you restore or maintain your cars and how did you acquire the skills?

I progressively learned how to work on cars over the last 35 years. In the beginning I learned by watching.

It has not been my intention to restore cars, in fact I tend to focus on the performance potential and any restoration that's ocurred along the way was out of necessity. I have a lot of abilities now feel free to ask.

I'd like to learn how to do body work and maybe also weld.

Where do your interests lie? Restored, survivor or day two cars?

I greatly enjoy reading about and checking out restored and survivor muscle cars.

That said I personally focus on performance so most of the cars I've owned in the last 20+ years have run 10s, 9s, and soon to be 8s.

Did/do you race any cars over the years?

I've raced a bunch of cars over the last 25 years. 

Quickest I've ever been in a car is 9.3@150 but in 2024 that will change, my goal is to go mid 8s in my '67 Camaro.

What show(s) do you attend and/or what clubs do you belong to?

I regularly attend MCACN. I may join the Chicago Gearheads at some point.

Best car related story you can share. Worst car related story you can share

My worst story was when I went to do a huge burnout on Mannheim Road in front of Strats in the 90s. I was driving my 1970 Chevelle SS and I started doing the burnout and then broke a u joint... Bang! Bang! Bang! The driveshaft beat itself to death on the ground. I think about 20 of my friends witnessed this. We still laugh about it.

My best story, let's see. It was either 1984 or 1985 and I was out cruising my 1968 Lemans which I had inherited from my mom. It looked tricked out with the GTO hood I had purchased and swapped onto the car. I was at a light and this Laguna S-3 rolled up next to me. This guy and me ended up racing light to light for about 20 miles, I'm not kidding it was the distance between Quincy and Hull Massachusetts. Our cars were matched in performance. Finally he or I waved the other person off and got gas. What awesome race.

I later blew the engine in that car racing an 80's Olds 442.

If you could have ANY car, no matter the cost, what would be your "DREAM"car to own?

This is a hard one to answer. I can think of 20 cars but for some reason I'll say this, Bill Jenkin's 1967 Camaro, Toy III. 


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My 1969 Z/28, supposedly had been owned by a member of the Dean Foods family. I got the car through Roland Schnaufer. Next to it my 1998 Camaro SS which was later turned into a drag car.
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