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Classics Shine at Hemmings Musclepalooza 2013

Jay Ramey June 4, 2013 Car Shows, Cars You Should Know 19 Comments


Hemmings Musclepalooza is exactly what it sounds like, a classic car event that celebrates America’s muscle cars with a judged concours and drag racing action. And this year didn’t disappoint, with more than 300 cars turning out for a day filled with classics and racing excitement. This year there were some excellent cars in the field, not only concours-grade classics but also modified classics, as well as a generous selection of late-model muscle cars.

The 17th annual Musclepalooza actually ran on the Monday rain date, as Sunday was absolutely deluged. Despite this, the Monday show enjoyed a very high turnout, and the weather was just spectacular as if to make up for the previous day. Musclepalooza is an event that takes place two times a year, Memorial Day Sunday and Labor Day Sunday in the Fall, and is of course organized and sponsored by Hemmings Motor News. After the jump, let’s take a look at some highlights from this Spring’s Hemmings Musclepalooza, including the winning Buick.

Up top is a ridiculously photogenic 1972 Ford Gran Torino owned by Glenn Holderbach of New Milford, CT, and one of my personal favorites from the show. It’s kind of amazing how quickly the Gran Torino became something else entirely in the 1970s, and then disappeared altogether, and I don’t think anyone will dispute that the 1972 Gran Torino as well as the Starsky and Hutch version were the high watermark for this nameplate.


A sharp Buick GSX owned by David Cleveland of Massachusetts. A nearly identical car belonging to David Johnson ended up taking the Best in Show award.

gsx 2

A detail of David Cleveland’s GSX.


Another great muscle car was this Ford Mustang Mach 1. This was one of several Mach 1s at the show, and one of my personal favorites from Musclepalooza.

olds 442

A wonderful example of a Oldsmobile 442 was this 1967 brought to Musclepalooza by Dave Goldfarb. This example had 124,000 miles on it, but looked great inside and out. Always nice to see one of these, and certainly something that you’re just not going to see at your local cruise-in. Unless you live, uhh, somewhere on the Monterey Peninsula.

gto black

Yes, this GTO looked as mean in person as it does in the photo. And a great example of this classic muscle machine, inside and out.

torino gt

This was a sharp example of a Ford Torino GT, and was in excellent condition throughout. I was especially impressed with the paint on this example.


One of several Dodge Challenger R/Ts that appeared at this spring’s Musclepalooza. I think everyone will agree that this is the best color for these cars, and it was nice to see multiple examples in this color at the show.


Now here’s a nice Impala, and just look at those tires! These look killer with those dog dish wheelcovers, instead of, ahem, the obligatory cragar mag repros.


The front license plate pretty much sums up my thoughts about this Buick Grand National, one of two black examples at the show this year. These certainly meant business, and you’ve just gotta love that turbo whoosh. I later saw one of these at the dragway, and it was amazing to see it’s no-fuss sprint down the track.

gto red

An impressive Pontiac GTO, even more so given just how rare it is to see one of these in such well preserved condition. Anyone remember what happened to these, by the way? It’s been a while since I have really seen one up close at a major classic car show.


This Plymouth Duster from 1972 was a wonderful surprise, and frankly I wanted to take this one home. No, it wasn’t for sale. And yes, this is the Gold Duster trim level, one of several different trims that were offered on the first generation Dusters made from 1970 till 1976.


Another extremely photogenic car was this wonderful Chevrolet Camaro. Basically, this car proved to me that red and orange are overrated and overrepresented when it comes to vintage muscle. Even though these same Camaros look fantastic in orange as well. Or just about any bright color for that matter.


And speaking of modern muscle cars, Musclepalooza wasn’t just about classics, as a healthy number of modern cars, modified and otherwise, made an appearance this year.


A thouroughly awesome Buick LeSabre, another car you won’t see at your weekend cruise-in. The chrome on this example was just as great in person as it looks in the photos. This one was ready for the track with fatter tires in the back.

That’s it for Hemmings Musclepalooza this spring. As this is event takes place twice a year, you can go to the next one on Labor Day weekend this year, on Sunday.

Dont forget to take a look at the full gallery below:



  • stigshift

    Some very nice looking cars there. That GTO is a '74 model, and it's last year of production. The GTO was offered on the Colonnade body for one year in '73, then moved to the Ventura (Nova) body for it's last year. The Duster is a '73 or 4, as can be seen by the addition of the big ugly "safety" bumper.

  • As nice as it is, that Gran Torino is not a muscle car. Nor are some of the others. Harumph.

    • UDman

      Obviously you are not paying attention to my Obscure Muscle Car Postings… Open you mind man…

      • I read them faithfully … but saying something is so doesn't make it true.

        • Oh, you're just saying that last bit.

          • It's true! Really!

            • Okay, if you say so.

    • OA5599

      [ z7X2_V60YK8 ]

  • Karo

    I like the front end on the '72 Torino. Too bad it only lasted one year until the big bumpers were mandated.

    • Jay_Ramey

      Yeah, Ford had some good things going, but things changed so abruptly from year to year it's difficult to keep track of even now.

  • OA5599

    "One of several Dodge Challenger R/Ts that appeared at this spring’s Musclepalooza. I think everyone will agree that this is the best color for these cars…"

    I think something's wrong with your camera. The Plum Crazy isn't showing up purple enough.

    <img src="; width=500>

    • You mean "Statutory Grape"?

      • OA5599

        The other "rejected" color names here:

        • "Fisher Body Rust" I wish they'd used that one.

  • Krash Kadillac

    Barracuda caption:
    "Mr. Peepers got tired of his wife changing her mind on her color choice, so he took matters into his own hands……"

  • CalculatedRisk

    Great photos. That Impala looks so sinister with black steelies.

  • David Cleveland

    Thank you for posting the photo of my SWTGSX ( Sweet GSX ) in your post.

    I was the other 1970 Buick GSX and the other David that was there. I am also from MA, Western MA though.

    I think hemmings picked the wrong GSX as the winner, but they did chose a nice one 🙂 .

    I'll be back in the fall to give the other Dave a run for the best Buick and hopefully the Best In Show :-).

    Thanks for showing my Buick GSX



    • Jay_Ramey

      Ooouuff, thanks for catching that, a photo collation snafu, corrected now. Who'd have thunk there'd be two nearly identical yellow GSXs owned by guys named Dave? : ) If I'd known that, the title of the article would have been: 100% of Daves Agree that Yellow Buick GSXs Rock : )

      That was a great show, I hope you had a good time there, we were all concerned about the turnout given the fact that it was a rain date, everything really gelled. We'll be there this fall as well, though perhaps only in the morning as that may be the same day as Lime Rock Sunday Concours.

      • David Cleveland

        No problem, I was stoked to see the great shots that you took of my sweetheart…

        Your title could have been two David's from Ma agree that GSX's rock 🙂 , small world :-)…

        I gave a better going away show then I gave coming in, I saw that folks were giving the crowd a good show as we were leaving, so I had to show them what GSX's could do :-)…

        See you in the fall, it was a great show ( even though Hemming picked the wrong GSX 🙂 ), I will be there. I already signed up for it…






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