By Ashley Dunkak
CBS DETROIT – Since Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander showed off his Lamborghini and Ferrari at spring training this week, he mentioned he is looking to add some American muscle to an already impressive car collection.
It’s something local car fans have been clamoring for, but what should he buy?
To come up with a selection that might fit the bill, I consulted someone who saw these cars before they were classics – my dad. Similar to Verlander’s dad, it seems, my dad has always been a car guy. As someone who drove (and generously modified) a Pontiac Le Mans in high school, he eventually bought (and has modified) a new GTO. With that little bit of background established, check out these picks for Verlander and his unlimited budget.
’70 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda – With the 426 cubic inch Hemi V-8 and the dual 4 barrel carburetor option, the 1970 ‘Cuda is loud, nasty and menacing … just what a classic muscle car should be. Also, the manual transmission would be my choice, as the ‘Cuda came equipped with the famous “pistol grip” shifter for those who enjoy the virtues of rowing their own gears. Lastly, Plymouth offered some outrageous color options in 1970, to include eye-popping hues including but not limited to lime green and purple. If you’re looking to go “old school” in a classic Mopar, this may be your ride.
’69 Pontiac GTO – The original ’64 GTO is credited as the car that started the muscle car war among the “Big 3” in Detroit. While Pontiac’s first GTO was a huge 389 cubic inch V-8 stuffed into the lowly Tempest 2-door, by 1969 the GTO was sleek and stylish, and featured a new 400 cubic inch V-8 with Ram Air induction.
The preferred transmission for Justin would be the Hurst “his & hers” dual-gate automatic. The will allow him to select a manual shift mode for those early Saturday morning blasts, while still having the benefits of a normal automatic for those times his gifted right arm is needed to drape over the shoulder of a certain supermodel.
’70 Chevrolet Chevelle SS – Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and … Chevrolet. Equipped with the 454 cubic inch V-8 and cowl induction, the SS would be the perfect boulevard cruiser. Add in the convertible top option (still less than a Lambo ), and evening cruises in the spring and summer months in Detroit would be the next best thing aside from a one-hitter. The dual stripe package was available in either white or black, but when you’re the Cy Young winner, custom color choices can be explored to create a unique ride. Big block rumble, open air driving, and classic American muscle – you can’t go wrong here!
Which one would you pick?