The Chevrolet Dealers. Their Creations.
In the late '60s and early '70s, a backward K put the terror into many a racer.
This backward K meant that you were up against a "Nickey" built car from the dealership owned by Edward and John
Stephani, the midwest's one stop high performance marketplace. Nickey joined Bill Thomas from California in the
venture that would become one of the country's largest sellers of high performance cars and parts. This was
accomplished through lots of advertising, distributing a large mail-order catalog, and by selling some of the hottest
cars ever built. If you had the money, Nickey would either build you the car and/or
sell you the parts to build it. If the lure of owning a supercar wasn't enough to get you hooked, Nickey
advertised that they would pay the airfare one-way for you to pick up the car of your choice. Most Nickey
cars were Camaros, even though you could get other models such as Novas and Chevelles. The Location of the dealer
was 4501 Irving Park Road, Chicago, IL.
Berger was a major player in the high performance car market with
close ties to Chevrolet brass in the know regarding high performance products.
They began stocking hard to find performance parts and sold many of these parts through their
"Prescribed Power" performance catalogs. Berger was well known through
the use of their "Berger Girl" posters. Berger trailed only
Yenko Chevrolet in the sell of 1969 COPOs, most of them being Camaros with COPO 9561 and a few Chevelles
with the same L-72 cast iron motor. Berger Camaros with the 9561 option differed from the Camaros Yenko sold as
a few were Rally Sports, and most had the SS fender stripe. The Location of the dealer was 2525 28th Street SE,
Grand Rapids, MI.
Owner Peyton Cramer and manager Dick Guldstrand of Dana Chevrolet were very involved on
the racing scene in Southern California. As racers, they saw the need for special built high performance
cars. Thus came the "Dana" cars. Dana cars can usually be identified by their distinctive dual scoop
fiberglass hood. Other options available included 427 engines, headers, open element air cleaner, suspension and
ignition upgrades, and about anything else the customer would want. Most of the Dana cars were '67 and '68 Camaros,
with a few '69 Danas known to exist. If you raced in Southern California and saw a car with a chrome plated Dana emblem,
you knew not to mess with this machine--unless you too were in a Dana! The dealer was located in
9735 Long Beach Blvd. South Gate, CA.
What can you say? Don Yenko, the son of the founder of Yenko Chevrolet,
was the man behind the '69 COPOs, and was probably the best known and largest supplier of muscle cars back in the
60's and 70's. Don started using GM in 1965 to get special Corvairs, then moved on to transplanting 427s into Camaros
in '67 and '68. In '69, Yenko used the COPO pipeline to get factory 427s in Camaros and Chevelles, then transplanted
a few 427s into some Novas. In '70, he again used his COPO ties to get an LT-1 equipped Nova. From there, he
began hot rodding Vegas and then produced a few hi-performance Camaros in '81. The dealer was
located in 575 West Pike St., Canonsburg, PA.
If you want to read more about Yenko Chevrolet, Don yenko, and the Yenko S/C, enter here
to go to our exclusive Yenko page..
Say the words Baldwin-Motion or just Motion around car nuts and watch them perk up.
Joel Rosen set the East coast racing scene on its ear when he came up with the idea to take new Chevrolets, sold
through Baldwin Chevrolet, to his shop and turn them into some of the fastest street/strip cars ever. Joel's
engine of choice was usually the L-88, with the first being put into a 1967 Camaro. So confident of his cars,
Motion offered a guarantee with his Phase III Camaros, that they would run 11.50 at 120 mph. Motion not only
built up the power train, but was into the exterior as well. Fiberglass hoods, including Stinger hoods on
the earlier cars and the famous L-88 bulge hood on the later cars, distinctive stripes, etc., set the Motion
cars apart from the rest. Besides turning new muscle cars
into supercars, Motion had a large mail-order business where the
customers could order and build the car of their dreams. Motion probably pushed the envelope to the limit when
it built a 454 powered Vega. The famous Motion emblem can be found on almost any model that Chevrolet sold in the
late '60s and early '70s, with the most popular being Camaros and Corvettes. In 1969, Joel and Bill Mitchell
raced a 1969 Camaro and took the A/Modified Production record away from Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins.
The dealer was located in 598 Sunrise Highway Baldwin, Long Island, NY.
Fred Gibb Chevrolet
Fred Gibb was one of the dealers that believed the saying "win on Sunday, sell on
Monday", as he sponsored several area racers, as well as having a race team of his own. Even though Gibb
was doing engine swaps, he recognized the need for Chevrolet to build "race cars" that could compete
against Ford and Mopar in the stock classes of NHRA and AHRA. The first of these was 50 1968 L-78 Novas (COPO # 9738)
with an automatic transmission. As potent as these cars were, some became even more powerful, as they were taken to
the speed shop of Dick Harrell in Kansas City for performance upgrades, including a 427 engine. With the success of
this car, Gibb and Harrell came up with another plan for a factory race car for 1969. It was COPO # 9560,
the awesome ZL-1 Camaro, featuring the aluminum 427 powerplant that put out over 500 horsepower. Gibb Chevrolet
received cars 1-52, excluding car #3 and car #51. After receiving the 50 cars, Gibb returned many of the cars
back to Chevrolet because of the high cost of the car. Car #1 is probably the most famous ZL-1. It was the car
that Gibb and Harrell raced across the US in 1969. As the driver of the year, Dick Harrell set a world record,
was named AHRA Driver of the Year, named to Hot Rod magazine's Top Ten list for 1969 and was AHRA World Points
Champion. In 1971, with Jim Hayter driving the car, Gibb won the AHRA World Pro Stock title. The car has now
been restored back to the way it looked when it was raced by Bill Porterfield. Car #5 was prepared by Dick
Harrell for Mrs. Shay Nichols. The dealer was located in LaHarpe, IL. If you want to read more about the
ZL1 Camaro, enter here..
Dick Harrell Chevrolet
Mr. Chevrolet, Mr. Excitement--these were the words used to describe Dick Harrell during
his brief career as a race car driver and as a race car builder. Dick built his reputation as a race car driver
first in the mid '60s, and then turned his efforts to race car building, as well as driving. His first effort in
building race cars was with Nickey Chevrolet in Chicago. After a couple of years at Nickey, he moved to St.
Louis and then on to Kansas City, where he continued to build and race cars. Dick helped engineer many of the
cars for the major dealerships, including Yenko and Gibb. Even though Harrell put his emblem on many high
performance cars, including a few 1969 COPOs, he is most remembered for the '68 Novas, an L-78 automatic COPO car that Dick transformed into a supercar with the addition of a 427
engine, Cragar wheels, and many other items that the customer might want on the car. He also "warmed up" a few of the
L-78 automatic Novas that Gibb received. As a race car driver, Dick was unmatched in his success. He drove the
#1 ZL-1 built for Fred Gibb in '69 to many wins, set a world record, was named AHRA Driver of the Year,
was on Hot Rod magazine's top ten list of drivers for 1969, and was AHRA World Points Champion. Dick suffered an untimely
death in his funny car in 1971. Not only will Dick Harrell be remembered as a very successful driver,
but as one of the driving forces behind the boom of high performance cars in the '60s and '70s.
The dealer was located in 11114 Hickman Drive, Kansas City, MO.
Gorries Chevrolet in Canada, is known for their exclusive cars known as the
Chevrolet Camaro Black Panther. An extremely rare and desirable muscle car. Only one or two cars survive today, and
the mystique surrounds their names. The Black Panther was available with a 327 small block engine or with the all mighty
427 big block. The dealer was located in Toronto, Canada. If you want to read more about the
1967 Chevrolet Camaro Black Panther, enter here.
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