For many who get into cars, they often have their dad to thank. Yet for me, it was the other way around, I got my dad interested. When I turned 16 (back in 1992), my first car I got was a 1989 Pontiac Firebird, equipped with a 305 and 5 speed transmission. The car was a blast, and my dad often borrowed it to run to town. At the time, my dad drove like an 84 1/2 Ford Escort with a 4 cylinder and 5 speed transmission, a far cry from anything sporty. My car instilled a desire for him to own something sporty, and two years later he put in an order for a 1995 Pontiac Formula. Equipped with the LT1 and a 6 speed manual, it would run circles around my car, with it's extra 100 hp and gobs of torque. My dad loved his car, but he loved it just as it was and found no need to change a thing.
I became a gearhead about the time I first got behind the wheel. Stock was never good enough, I needed louder, faster, better handling, and more power. So even though I first got my feet wet with a fuel injected car, I wanted to take a step back, back to a time when cars were simpler. When cars were built so you had room to work on them, and an aftermarket full of performance parts spanned decades, as opposed to years. I soon had my heart set on the 1969 Camaro, and within a few weeks of searching, drove one home. The car no more than was parked in the garage and I was on the phone with Summit Racing Equipment. For whatever reason, perhaps my dad felt threatened by the potential of not having the fastest car in the house, but he too began ordering up parts.
My replacement, my 1969 Camaro at Camarofest in Ann Arbor
It was never really a competition, as our cars were very comparable for many years acceleration-wise. After I got my Camaro, my dad ordered rims/tires, 4.10 gears, a stud girdle for the rear end, a hurst (or perhaps B & M) shifter, cold air K & N intake, voltage booster, air foil, and probably a few other bolt-ons I'm forgetting. He was doing a good job of putting up a good fight, though a few years down the road I would put a good whoopin' on him when we lined up at the dragstrip for the first time. I got that video around here somewhere. I had moved on from small blocks to a big block by this time, packing 513 hp, I pulled him by a car length off the line and continued pulling away the rest of the 1/4. I was running 11.70's while he was in my rear view mirror running high 13's. :)
Back to the phone call, this is the first time my dad has called me in regards to the car in which he seemed to possess an interest in it. He has always dug old cars, and he really thought my Challenger R/T was sharp when I bought it, against both he and my moms advise. In fact, I believe there was some sort of threat that I wouldn't be storing it in their garage come winter, a threat that was erased when I dropped it off to them early that fall and told them to drive it around and have fun. I hope that the magazines, along with the books, light a fire under him to continue the project I started on the car. He now fully admits that I was right about the car's value, that prices are soaring towards $100,000 at an unbelievable rate.
My dad was actually aware of many of the parts, specifically body parts, that are now available for the car. He even inquired about the rear suspension, questioning why it sat so low. He was unaware that the front simply needed to be lowered to match, then it would look right. The car is gonna have one wicked stance when it's all said and done. Here is a comparison of how low it sits next to my Formula.
This isn't the first Mopar my dad has owned. He bought a brand new 1973 Charger SE with a 400 big block and automatic transmission. He loved this car, as it was his first car he bought new, and only car with some power he had prior to his 1995 Formula.