A square portrait photograph of Nick Licata posing for a picture with his arms crossed
Remembering Your First

o you ever wonder what happens to all the old magazine feature cars after they’ve had their moment in the limelight? I do, all the time. Probably a little too much. Being a vintage car magazine nut I tend to think about all the wild, influential Pro Street and Street Freak Chevys from the ’70s and ’80s and can’t help but wonder where they are today. Were they sent to a faraway island where past-their-prime muscle cars go to die? Did they just fall off the end of the earth? I’d like to know.

As build styles and trends change with time, I’m aware many of those cars were no longer relevant and sold to new owners who likely stripped them down and started from scratch to rebuild them with the latest aftermarket bits to fit in with the flavor of the day. I also have this feeling that some of those great old magazine feature cars have been slumbering for decades in the back of a garage under a moving blanket with a box of old metal records stacked on the hood.

As with fashion trends, what once was old has a way of sneaking back around attempting to be cool again. Case in point, the Mullet. Although the once-popular haircut is making a comeback, thankfully it’s not nearly as popular as it was in 1982. This little resurgence would be better left in the ’80s if you ask me.

Although not quite as trendy, there appear to be a lot more vintage muscle car owners reaching in the past for ideas to help give their hot rod a personality all its own. I’ve noticed an uptick in cars being built with the gasser-style vibe more so today than I’ve seen in a long time. That look never really went away all together, but this build style has opened new doors of creativity that brings with it a welcomed dose of nostalgia and a window to the street freak genre of the past.

Pro Street is another style that has survived over time and has recently gotten a little makeover from its raw beginnings to show a strong presence in the muscle car world. Unlike the latest watered-down versions of Quiet Riot or Warrant hitting the stage these days, the latest incarnation of Pro Street muscle cars has maintained a sincere vibe that reflects 1982 while possessing the dexterity and functionality of 2022. It’s cool to see these street beasts from the past taking a fresh approach to waking up the car show scene and a few neighbors as well.

As I look through my stack (stacks, actually) of old car mags, I’m hopeful some of these feature cars are still around in some form. So, if you happen to own one or have any intel on a high-profile Chevy that appeared in any notable ’80s- or ’90s-era car magazines, send some photos and a short story my way. I’d love to see and share some muscle car badassery from a time gone by.

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Blown '73 Vega on 1985 Car Craft magazine cover
This blown big-block ’73 Vega was no doubt a real attention-grabber when it appeared on the pages Car Craft magazine back in 1985, and I bet with its raw, Pro Street purity, it would turn more heads today than it did back then. I can’t help but wonder what became of this street hooligan.
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