Recently on Jay Leno's Garage, Jay and Dax Shepard pit two classic Buick Roadmasters head to head. Setting the stage at Irwindale Drag Strip in sunny southern California. The two set out to see who has the baddest Roadmaster. In one corner, Jay's 1955 Buick Roadmaster, rocking a 572 Cubic Inch V8 Chevrolet Big Block crate. While in the other corner, Dax's 1994 Buick Roadmaster Wagon with a 700+ horse LSA Smallblock performance crate motor. Folks this could be a close one. Crate motor vs crate motor, Buick vs Buick. How did it end? Well you'll just have to see for yourself in the clip below. Till then let's talk about the cars.
Jay's 1955 Buick Roadmaster has made it's rounds on various car shows over the years. Below you can see the My Classic Car guy, Dennis Gage giving it the work over. From my research, Jay bought the car in 1973 for $350. Shortly after he first moved to LA. What a steal! The car was originally black and white. He later switch the white out with silver. Jay and his wife had their first date in the car. He even drove to his first television appearances in this car. He nick named the car "Rosebud." For over 16 years the car sat in his mother-in-law's driveway. Sometime around 2002 Jay decided to do an all out restoration. The front and rear suspension completely replaced with a C5/C4 Corvette suspension (front/back). Gone is the Buick Nailhead V8 and replaced with a 572 cubic inch Big Block GM Crate motor pushing over 600 horsepower. This thing is a monster. Stock in appearance, but anything but stock. Custom aluminum wheels with stock looking covers. Amazing work.
Dax's 1994 Buick Roadmaster wagon more than likely began it's life as a family hauler. Today it's still serving the purpose. Dax bought the car soon after he found he's was going to be a dad. He wasn't ready for the minivan. I can't say I could ever picture him behind the wheel of one. This Roadmaster is also special to Dax. He went on to say he often got to drive this model during his first job. Personally, I think they're one of the most underrated cars of the 90's. Originally these cars would have had a LT1 V8 plant. Dax did away with that, replacing it with a GM Performance LSA crate motor. Putting 700+ horse power at demand. If that doesn't get the groceries home, I don't know what will. Car has a laundry list of add-ons from rollcage to BBS Wheels. Again, nearly stock in appearance, but not stock in performance.
Show time! Specs wise it's a close match. You might be surprised.
What I find amazing about these two cars. Their owners have the means to buy pretty much any vehicle. But they prize these cars the most. They take pride in showing them off. They have memories and sentimental value. That's what makes classic cars special. Till next time, keep on haul'n.
Bonus: Check out this awesome wallpaper of Jay and his Roadmaster!
It's been said that "Life imitates art far more than art imitates Life" (Oscar Wilde). But what happens when art imitates' life more? I think that's where Two-Lane Blacktop fan Dave Smolski comes in. The other day I was browsing the Model Car group on Facebook and came across the model above. I had to stand back a moment and ask myself "Is that a real car or just a model?" Scary realism right? I contacted Dave on Facebook to ask if I could post this up for our readers to see. I was met with great enthusiastic. Not only did Dave share his great model. But he gave me some create photos of the build, a video (below) and some of the reference pictures. Dave says it started out as a diecast by Ertl that was completely disassembled, re-engineered and detailed. There are scratch built parts, like the headers made from Romex wire. There are also lots of parts that were modified from other sources, like the seats, tires, wheels, floor jack, etc. Let's check them out.
I really like the level of detail Dave went to on the trunk. Just like in the movie the trunk lid simply lifts off. It's common for race car builders to have the trunk lift off to save weight (less hinges etc). I can say I've personally have lifted (with help) the trunk lid off a stock tri-five. They an't light. I would hope in the movie it was fiberglass. Dave mentions that in his video above that it's possible it was made of fiberglass. But notice the properly branded battery mounted in the trunk along with tools, car jack and slicks. Firestone tires. The tool box is custom built to match the one in the movie. Even down to the brand. Slightly rusted bumper. Just like in the movie.
Now we're looking above from over the engine compartment with the hood-flipped forward. You can see the power-house 454 Chevy Big Block front and center. Dual quads on the top with a tunnel ram intake. I like the detail of the headers flowing under the firewall. The plug-wires are poring out over the engine and all neatly routed to the plugs.
Close shot from the passenger side. You can see the working doors and door jams. I really like the weathering work on the primer like paint coat. Not to mention the sweet sliding windows. Just like in the movie.
Another shot from the side looking into the interior of the model car. Dave spent a lot of time on the seat belts. Note the realistic carpet covering floor-boards. You can also see the header collector in this view as well.
Here's a build shot. Doesn't it remind you of someone working in their garage on the real thing? Almost forgot. Be sure to watch the video above for the full experience with diorama! Amazing detail and realism. I would like to thank Dave for sharing. You can see more photos on his Photo Bucket. If you have an On Screen Car related project you would like to share. Shoot us email via our contact page! Color Me Gone!