Real Cars, Real People
Compiled by Eric Kaminsky - April 11, 2013 10:00 AM
Open Air Cruisers
Owner: Joe Guerriero
“I’ve been a subscriber to Auto Enthusiast for many years. I always look forward to reading the articles and love that the magazine covers all types of American-made cars.
“That is probably because my two collector cars could not be any different. My first is a 1969 Corvette with a four-speed and the 350 motor rated at 350 horsepower. This car purchase is a story you have heard many times before. A kid in my high school almost 40 years ago had a green C3 Corvette. I think it was a ’71 or ’72. I fell in love with that car the minute I saw it and never forgot about it. I bought a 1978 Corvette in 1998 but I still wanted a convertible chrome bumper Corvette. So I sold the ’78 and started my search. I found this car on a Chevy dealer’s used car lot in 2002 and wasted no time in buying it. The car is an absolute blast to drive and I have returned most of it back to stock.
“My other car, which technically is my wife’s, is a 1966 Pontiac Bonneville convertible. This was my wife’s uncle’s car, which he bought new. When he passed away in his 80s after having partially restored the car, we had the opportunity to purchase it. We have owned it since 2000 and we have every slip of paper that came with this car. It is really cool to have a 47-year-old, one-family car in the garage. It may not have the handling or speed of a Corvette but on a nice summer day, there is nothing better than floating down the road in a big old American-made car.”
Owner: Kris Collins
“In hopes of expanding your reader’s ride section and maybe cutting back on others, here is my ride. It is a 2002 Pontiac Collector Edition Trans Am. I have owned Pontiacs for 30 years now.
“Some of the cars that I owned in the past was a ’70 GTO, ’75 Formula Firebird, and three third generation Trans Ams. When the commercials for the ram air birds hit the television back in the late 1990s, I knew that I had to own one someday. That day came back in January of 2008.
“After endless whining and crying at car shows and after watching car auctions, I got the green light to purchase one. I found mine at a used car lot section of a Honda dealer in New Jersey. I laid a deposit down and picked it up one week later. The bird has been treated very well over the last five years by living a cushy life in the garage, car shows, and occasional Sunday back roads. This year (2012) a decision was made to upgrade the engine. Seeing how muscle cars have come back to life over the last 10 years since the Trans Am’s demise, I thought it was only fitting to take the leap.
“Engine upgrades such as heads, cam, headers, exhaust and an assortment of bolt ons, to name a few, boosted the cars performance to 512 horsepower. A pretty good jump from the 325 horsepower from the factory, something Pontiac should have done to send the car model out with a bang. In my garage, the muscle car lives!”
It’s your pride and joy and we want to help you show it off, right here in Auto Enthusiast. We want to see your car and your passion and hear the story that connects you. Send your high-resolution pictures and details to us via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll tell your story.
We don’t care about the color or the condition, but keep it American-made only, please.