Salute the General: Five Hot GM Machines from the Valley Nationals
Now that we've had a look at some scenes from the 2017 Valley Nationals, it's time to take a look at five builds that stood out during the event. As we made our way around the show, we weren't looking for cars with any specific theme. It just so happens that these all happen to be General Motors products. So here are five cool GMs spanning the late-'50s through the late-'80s.
1. '62 Chevy Wagon
We are always a sucker for a cool station wagon, and this '62 Chevy Bel Air long roof is dripping with character. Upon seeing it, we felt the sudden urge to go cruisin'.
First up is the aggressive stance—the car dumped into the weeds with air suspension and tucking a big set of five-spoke wheels into its fenders.
Contrasting the modern wheels and ride height is an exterior and an interior that look very original. Unlike some of the gleaming show machines at the Valley Nationals, this one wears its patina with pride.
Last but not least, we dig the use of vintage stickers on the windows to further build on its old school charm. Don't forget the OG California black plates either.
2. Restomod '70 Pontiac GTO
There were plenty of muscle cars at the Valley Nationals and this '70 Pontiac GTO splits the difference between a modern Pro Touring build and a factory style restoration. Beneath the classic Torq Thrust II wheels sit a set of Wilwood disc brakes which surely improve stopping performance over the original 1970 equipment.
Inside you can see the interior is largely original, but that Hurst shifter operates an upgraded five-speed transmission over the original four-speed gearbox.
Under the hood you won't find a modern LS swap, but you will find an original Pontiac 455 painted in the brand's traditional light blue color. This should please the Poncho purists out there.
All-in-all, it's a perfect example of a restomod and we especially like how the original gold body color has been retained, even with all of the modern performance upgrades.
3. Pontiac Trans Am GTA
Next up comes another Pontiac, but one from a completely different era—A 1988 Trans Am GTA Notchback and it's in absolutely immaculate condition. You still don't see too many third generation F-bodies at car shows, especially examples that are this clean, and that's a big reason we were drawn to this one.
The owner has refrained from excessive modifications, and the interior is original right down to the OEM steering wheel and its abundance of buttons.
There have been a few upgrades though, like a set of 18" wheels with Nitto NT555 G2 tires. The wheels themselves are inspired by the original Trans Am GTA mesh design and the gold accents work perfectly against the car's bright red paint.
Despite the fact that third gen Camaros and Firebirds are now well into classic car age, they still don't get the appreciation they deserve—it was great to see this very well cared for example.
4. '72 C/10 Pickup
Another perfect example of a restomod, only this one comes in the form of a 72 Chevy C/10 short bed pickup rather than a muscle car.
Like the GTO we talked about a moment ago, this one is more of a period color—in this case a beautiful dark metallic green with a dark green interior to match. The interior doesn't give anything away either, with the whole thing looking like it could have come straight out of a a Chevrolet dealership circa 1972.
The five-spoke wheels are 17 inches in diameter, with a meaty set of tires they strike a perfect balance of aesthetics without looking out of place or oversized.
Under the hood you'll find a beautifully done 327 cubic inch LS swap with a great attention to detail that somehow almost looks factory. The C/10 is an extremely popular platform with examples built in every style imaginable, but this one is timeless.
5. '58 Chevy Wagon
Finally, we get to one the most talked about builds at the show, a '58 Chevrolet Yeoman station wagon that's been fully modernized and upgraded from top to bottom.
If you can see through the gleam of the 20" five-spoke wheels, you'll find Wilwood, four-piston brakes, while a set of Nitto NT555s help keep the old Chevy sticking to the road.
Powering the Yeoman is a supercharged LSA V8—not only giving the car modern reliability, but also 500+ horsepower on tap whenever the driver leans into the throttle.
The interior might just be the most impressive part of the car, with diamond-stitched bucket seats and a modern center console that has been beautifully integrated with the classic dash design for a seamless look.
With a unique base car, stunning attention to detail and a ton of horsepower, it was easily one of the most impressive cars at the 2017 Valley Nationals and a perfect way to wrap our all-GM selection of favorite vehicles.