photos by: the author
Timeless Muscle’s New Editor-in-Chief Introduces Himself!
Let me introduce myself –I’m Scott Parkhurst, the new Editor-in-Chief here at Timeless Muscle. I hope you recognized the phrase (and logo) I chose for a headline this month, as it reflects an era we’ll be looking back to on a regular basis here. “Forward Look” was Virgil Exner’s design theme during his reign at Chrysler styling from 1955-1961. For most of us, that means “crazy tailfins” but horsepower came along with them, so it’s all good. The 392ci Hemi engines that powered so many of those cool cars could handle nitro, and nitro changed the world for gearheads like us. It’s all relevant!
Personally, I’ve been turning wrenches on classic American muscle cars since the 1980s. I was just a kid then, but I never lost the urge to make a V-8 sing. I’ve had Mopars, Pontiacs, Chevys, Buicks, and not one single Ford. I know, the Ford fans out there aren’t feeling the love here.
But I’ll work extra hard to make sure the Blue Oval crew gets the coverage they deserve. Currently I’ve got a couple Buicks, and I’m looking for a cool project to build up here too. I might end up selling one (or both) of the Buicks to fund that effort, but you can probably relate to that, too. In fact, relating to what I’m writing about is a big part of what I hope you’ll like about Timeless Muscle. If you like traditional American muscle cars with V-8 power, you’ll probably enjoy what I intend to bring here.
Restoration is a big part of any project. Since the classic muscle car era happened 40-50-plus years ago, the cars we’re working on aren’t new and they’ll surely need some level of freshening up to look their best. We’ll be covering some of that- from supplies to tools and techniques.
Similarly, upgrades are readily available for virtually every system on these cars. Bringing a classic ride into the modern era is rewarding on many levels. We all love adding power, and it’s never been easier. Reliability is key to really enjoying a car, and many modern upgrades bring greatly increased durability with them. The same goes for modern braking systems and tires- improved performance really increases the joy of driving our classic rides.
The safety factor increases with the addition of modern goodies too – and we have to share the road with modern cars that have pretty impressive capabilities. If they stop suddenly in front of you (with their 4-wheel disc brakes, ABS, and sticky tires), you will have to stop suddenly too. The equipment exists to make this happen, and the confidence it brings really lets you enjoy a car you built to have fun in. I’ll show you how to do that.
The race track (whether that is a drag strip, a road course, or an autocross) represents a greater challenge. The stakes go up when there aren’t any limits, and you’re being encouraged to push your car and yourself to the limit. I’m proud to say I’ve got some experience behind the wheel of a muscle car on all of these kinds of tracks and can share what I’ve learned from those experiences with you
Racing on a track with a street-licensed car teaches some bitter lessons, but the learning is invaluable. Finding the weak links in your car helps you make it better, and learning performance driving techniques will only make you a better, safer driver on the street. The track is your friend, and you should have no reservations about taking your muscle car to the racing facility of your choice.
If you stick with me for a while, you’ll quickly learn that I really love engines. I like designing them to accomplish a specific purpose by teaming the best-possible components. I enjoy the precision assembly process, making sure every specification is proper and every dimension is within tolerance.
I love the dyno tuning procedure, from the initial fire-up through the testing and tuning, and finally to the full power pulls. Then, once it’s installed in the car, doing the final tuning to maximize drivability and fuel economy in the real world. It’s an involved and in-depth process that I really embrace fully. It’s extremely rewarding for me and I want to share that enthusiasm with you as projects come together on the pages.
In my long career, I’ve worked on aircraft, professional racing engines, new cars, national magazines, and more. I’ve written technical details about an incredibly wide range of machinery, and I’ve been fortunate to work with very talented co-workers who have helped me learn the art of taking very technical subject matter and turning it into easily-understood writing.
I’ve been shooting technical and feature photography since way back when cameras used film, so hopefully my shots will look good on the pages here. I prefer clean, crisp, honest photography that really shows the subject over the super artsy stuff. I hope that works for you the way I intend it to.
So, that’s me. That’s who I am, what I’m into, and what I’d like to share. The key to this site’s success is with the readers, and I need to hear what you’re into. I promise to keep my finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the market and to share that with you. All the latest stuff- from sheetmetal body panels, to tools, and of course engine parts- will be posted up here.
The latest cars from the country’s best builders will show up on these pages. The coolest events will be covered here, and I want to hear about the events you love attending the most. What makes an event cool to you? Is it the quantity of cars? The driving challenges they have there? The location? Let me know what makes your favorite event great, and I’ll let the world know what they’re missing.
I’m going to share what I like, and what is fresh and new. The classic muscle cars have gone through many trends over the decades, and I’ve loved them all. From Day 2 period upgrades, through the Pro Street era, to the Fastest Street Car days and the current Pro Touring cars, they all have their strong points and definitive styles. I don’t want to limit what’s featured here, beyond the fact that the cars will be classic American muscle.
Whether it’s a perfect restoration, a low-mileage survivor, or a wildly-modified machine, I want to put them all in front of you for your perusal and enjoyment. That’s my Forward Look – I hope you’ll join me for the ride
After spending almost a decade in the aerospace industry, Scott Parkhurst chose to learn about racing engines by working in some of Southern California’s most respected engine shops. He took on the role of Tech Editor at Popular Hot Rodding magazine back in 1998, and was instrumental in the development of both the Engine Masters Challenge competition and Engine Masters Quarterly magazine. He was also the founding Editor of Street Thunder magazine and Author of the V8 Horsepower Performance Handbook before he arrived at Timeless Muscle.