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  #21  
Old 01-08-2021, 03:00 PM
Bill Pritchard Bill Pritchard is offline
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Ha! Back in the early 80's I was in a car club and we used to hang with Dan Crampton and the Central IL Super Chevys club, but I never heard that story from them. Thanks for posting!
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  #22  
Old 01-08-2021, 03:05 PM
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Xplantdad Xplantdad is offline
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Very cool!
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Old 01-09-2021, 01:02 AM
Stefano Stefano is offline
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"THE ORANGE CAR"...... On August 26, 1975, Steve Quickel, received a call from Dave Varney, a high performance car salesman from Whitmore Chevrolet in Ottawa, Illinois who knew Steve's extensive performance knowledge. Dave was excited to have just taken in a trade-in that was one of a kind, A HOTROD MAGAZINE COVER CAR!!

It was a particular 1973 Chevy Nova with the 430 horse, 12:1 compression, aluminum headed open chamber L88 engine, easily the most radical engine available! Steve replied, "I have the magazine Dave, I will certainly know if this is THEE CAR!!" Calling Daniel Crampton he relayed the historical significance of this particular vehicle. Next, Dan called his banker, who told Dan to go ahead and write the check and come in the following day to finish the paperwork!! All good to go.


The 20 minute drive seemed like hours. Dan and Steve got there and did a walk around, and Steve said, "This isn't the car; it has a 4 speed. The magazine car had a Turbo Hydro transmission". Dave promptly told him the original owner had replaced the automatic transmission with a new M-22 Muncie, and all the original parts come with the purchase of the car. Everything else appears correct, aluminum head L-88, Rocket Stage 1 wheels, Lakewood traction bars, 4 Turbo mufflers, and only 3,312 miles on the odometer. Dan is extremely excited and pumped up with even the thought of being the proud owner of this truly "ONE OF ONE" automobile! AS THIS CAR NEEDED NO INTRODUCTION!



It almost took an act of congress to get approval to JUST test drive this car! Varney agreed to it as long as he could send Ernie Mitchell (another high performance salesman) with Steve and Dan. And remember, no funny business! It's agreed. Dan started it up ,and it was the most obnoxious sounding, loud, vibrating, shaking, rattling piece of junk that Dan has ever driven! On the test drive, Dan got the nod of approval from Ernie when asked if he could get on it. On Boyce Memorial Drive (a nice, wide, smooth street, just right for a little display of power), Dan pushed in the Schiefer Rev Loc, stomped the gas pedal to the floor, and side stepped the clutch!

Much to his dismay, it was VERY DISAPPOINTING to say the least! The tach wouldn't go over 3500 rpm, popping, banging, and backfiring. Thinking to himself, he saw why the guy traded it in. He looked over to Steve who calmly said, "I can fix that, don't worry.", Dan, confident Steve could do as he said, headed to the office to get a figure they could both live with. Salesmen knows the lines… "we know what we have here; there are people standing in line to buy it; if you don't, it will be gone tomorrow; where are you going to find another; but Dan, if you're worried about how it runs, we can have our service department take a look at it." Dan's reply: "THE SERVICE DEPARTMENT ISN'T GOING TO LOOK AT NOTHIN! Nobody is going to lay a finger on it besides "Mr. Horsepower" Steve Quickel!" With the poor running condition as the only remaining negotiation, Dan reluctantly wrote out the HUGE check in the amount of $4,014.00 with tax, title, and plates out the door. OUCH!!

Twenty minutes later, Dan was driving, or shall I say sputtering off the lot enroute back to Streator! First stop, the car wash to steam clean the undercarriage, suspension, and engine bay before heading to Steve's, But not before Dan got pulled over by the cops for loud exhaust, getting a warning to get a new muffler (even though Dan was just idling along, but I know many of you will find that hard to believe). Dan explained that he'd just purchased the car and it had 4 mufflers on it, Johnny Bacha, the cop replied with a stern warning, "You better get 6 mufflers on it before I see or hear it again!"

Dan headed on to Steve's to get the super tune, and soon Steve had a pile of bad parts laying on the work bench, spark plugs, plug wires, distributor cap, rotor, valve cover gaskets, and a pile of smog-related items ready to go in the trash! While Steve ran to Napa for the necessary parts, Dan was using Steve's wife's hair dryer to remove the factory side stripes.
Randal Brown (aka Racer Brown) stopped by to see the new car and help get it waxed up and throw some polish on the Rocket Stage 1 rims. Man, this car looked brand new! It was almost brand new. After Steve finished setting the valves on the WILD solid lifter L88 cam, he then set the timing to 36 degrees. Underneath, Dan was aligning the exhaust system to keep it from rattling and banging against the floorpan. It was ready for a test run! As Steve got a call for dinner, Randal (Racer) Brown gladly volunteered to be the co-pilot like dozens of times before, and of those times, only a couple times did they have to walk back to town to get a fan belt or a tow.

WOW! THE CAR SOUNDED TOTALLY DIFFERENT! Dan and Racer headed out to Smith Douglas Road, a nice smooth blacktop. As they crossed the tracks before the Plymouth Tube factory, it looked as good of a place as any to test it out. This time when Dan mashed the pedal to the floor and sidestepped the clutch, the Sun Super tach needle was already on 7500 rpm, and he was heading directly towards a Ford Mustang. The eyes of the lady driver got REALLY BIG! As he power shifted into second gear, the car straightened out, he hit 3rd gear, and then let off! Racer Brown said, "did you see those guys?" "WHAT GUYS?" "There were probably a dozen guys holding picket signs! They saw you coming, dropped the signs, and dove for cover! ' Come to find out, Racer worked at Plymouth Tube and worked with those guys! Little did they know at the time, Racer was Dan's partner in crime that day. I bet that story surfaced at break time for years to come!

The performance of this engine far surpassed their expectations, and the story has only begun on this special "ORANGE CAR". Remember the "HOT CHOCOLATE" story? Well this story intertwines with that story, so be on the lookout for THE REST OF THE STORY!"

By Cat Carter
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