Loading... Please wait...

Lightning McQueen and the Dream for an IROC-Z T-TOP

Posted

My 3-year-old son is a diehard fan of Lightning McQueen from the Disney Pixar film Cars. I probably didn't even need to tell you that. After all, asking if a 3-year-old – or pretty much any kid in general, if we're being perfectly honest – likes Cars is akin to asking if a bear poops in the woods or if a cat has climbing gear. These movies were tailor-made to hook kids and sell toys. The vibrant colors, upbeat renditions of rock 'n' roll classics, and anthropomorphic automobiles are the ultimate bait, ensuring that any time we pass a red sports car or hear “Life is a Highway,” my son will erupt into gleeful shouts of, “Lightning McQueen, daddy! Lightning McQueen!”

Despite the obvious snark, I don't hate the Cars movies. The first film was interesting and told a simple morality tale about pride and selfishness. I wasn't particularly fond of the second outing, but the latest release, Cars 3, is actually the best film of the series. With the series having aged 11 years, all of the initial gripes (Where are all of the people? Who built the cars and the buildings?) have fallen to the wayside.In this installment, Lightning finds himself outmatched by modern technology and makes it his mission to remain competitive and stay relevant. McQueen and company deliver a truly timely tale about aging gracefully and not letting the world pass us by.

Lighting reminded me of my hunt for an 'aging gracefully' Camaro. Specifically a T-top IROC-Z 350cid that needs some love. When I was a kid in the '80s, that was the coolest sports car anyone could have possibly owned. It was the dream. All of the old guys had their Corvettes which, of course, I also love. But the young dudes with the pretty girls, blasting hard rock out of the open T-top of an '87 IROC – that was something for eight-year-old me to aspire to.

In high school, my buddy Josh had that exact '87 IROC – paint code 8774, Bright Red – and it caught the attention of everyone from the tuner kids to the Euro snobs. It was like the best rock 'n' roll – loud, fast, and heavy (his parents refused to let him gut it for safety reasons).We tore up and down the North Carolina highways in that beast, and even though she wasn't always the fastest in the age of nitrous oxide, she got us there in style.

Lightning McQueen gets my son going in the same way that those rumbling IROCs in the '80s got me going. A guy in my neighborhood recently brought home a Bright Red 2017 Camaro ZL1, with the 650hp Corvette V8, and I know it probably gets his kids going. If I ever find my IROC, I'll have to get him to go driving with me and see who turns more heads. I'm sure that all of the bells and whistles of his modern supercar-killer will set hearts aflutter, but Lightning McQueen managed to find his place in the world, so maybe there is still some love out there for my 30-year-old dream car.

-Trey Fennell

Coco #51 Black & Red

Embarrassing Car Stories

We've all done it. Some of us even got away with it. But more often than not, we got busted.I'm talking embarrassing car stories, and do I know some great ones.My mom was 15 when she snuck out and borrowed my grandad's precious 240Z to drive to the grocery store and buy a pack of [...]

Read More »


Generation WRX: The Modern 2002

A few weeks ago, my best friend finally took the plunge. No, he didn't get married – he and his wife have been together since high school – though this particular platform is one that nearly everyone in our group of friends has been climbing, approaching the edge of, and then carefully backing down from for almost as long as [...]

Read More »


Fast, Furious, and Family

The Fast and the Furious films are to car culture what Spongebob Squarepants is to marine biology. They are manic, cartoonish representations of actual driving but if you can suspend disbelief for 90 minutes and take them as blistering, bare-knuckle, action-packed entertainment, they are furiously entertaining. Most people either love or hate the [...]

Read More »


Porsche 356: An Undying Classic

I know this is a car blog, but I have to vent. Thanks to the wonders of Netflix, my wife has roped me into binge-watching the entire run of The Vampire Diaries. If you somehow managed to dodge the teen-vampire Twilight bullet, consider yourself lucky; I'm taking one for the team. The show follows [...]

Read More »


Nov, 1st, 1982. Honda starts manufacturing cars in America.

Today in 1982, Honda became the first Asian Auto Company to manufacture cars in USA with the Honda Accord.A Quick HistoryIn 1937 Soichiro Honda got his start by crafting piston rings for the Japanese automaker Toyota under the company name, Eastern Sea Precision Machine Company. By the 1940’s Honda was helping Toyota in the production [...]

Read More »


Audi's 40 Years of the Five-Cylinder Engine and the Audi Quattro

While Audi celebrates '40 Years of the Five-Cylinder Engine' check out our customer's 1984 Audi Quattro. Born from the idea of chassis engineer Jörg Bensinger who had just seen the Volkswagen's Iltis, the Audi Quattro grew out of the Audi 80 and into the "first sports car with permanent all-wheel drive" (The UK quattro Network). [...]

Read More »


The BMW 633CSi

In the 1970’s BMW was working on the 3.0 CS replacement. Originally wanting to go taller, VP Bob Lutz proposed an alternate lower path. The BMW 6 Series. Production started in 1976 with the 630 CS (CS stand for Coupe Sport) and the more powerful 633 CSi. The 633 CSi sported a 3.3 liter straight-six [...]

Read More »


The Volvo P1800

The Volvo 1800 dates back all the way to 1957 when the Swedish auto maker wanted to produce a sports car to compete in the American and European markets. The prototype, designed by Pelle Petterson, was currently being called the X1 and was on course to be produced by Karmann in Osnsbrück, Germany. Volkswagen, one [...]

Read More »


1988 BMW M5

In 1986, BMW merged the M1 engine with the 535i chassis to produce the BMW M5. Sporting a 5 speed 3.5L engine, the M5 was "the fastest production sedan in the world."This 1988 BMW M5 carries our #91 Jaspe color. With a black exterior and a beige interior with black accents; the Jaspe's wide color [...]

Read More »



Sign up to our newsletter

Recent Updates

Made in America