You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Inside Peter Fink’s Amazing American Muscle Car Museum

HOT ROD logo HOT ROD 12/8/2017 Hot Rod Network Staff
peter_Fink_Garage_part_two.JPG© Hot Rod Network Staff peter_Fink_Garage_part_two.JPG

In last month's installment of This Guy's Garage, we were introduced to Peter Fink of Omaha, Nebraska and his American Muscle Car Museum. It's comprised of two 4,200 sq-ft rooms where Peter showcases about 30 vehicles from his collection of domestic performance vehicles, which presently sits at 86 and counting. His display of vintage muscle cars is comprised of Detroit's most exciting and desirable products. This month we focus on the masterfully-finished resto-mod and pro-touring portion of his collection.

Research

"I own 15 true resto-mods, and that doesn't include the three factory drag race cars," says Peter. "I've built some of my own, like the silver 1963 Corvette. I have a couple of other projects going right now, too. Most of those in my collection were purchased as finished projects, however." When asked what he looks for in a finished resto-mod vehicle, Peter replied, "It can't be engine or suspension upgrades only. The entire car has to be modified, and it has to be really well done. It needs to be tastefully over the top without looking sick."

Like all vehicles in his collection, Peter says he uses his resto-mod and pro-touring vehicles, too. "I drive them a more often than my original muscle cars, and I drive them harder, too, since I don't have to worry about originality. If something were to ever blow up, I'd look at that as a chance to upgrade in some way."

In addition to modified vehicles, Peter's growing collection also includes three late-model factory drag cars. "I have always been around racing and really love the sport. I think it's cool that the OEs build factory race cars and bought one of each. While I have driven them and done a few burnouts, none have been raced yet. I bought them to add to my collection and make part of my museum." And what a collection Peter has!

peter-fink-garate-part-two-map.jpg© Hot Rod Network Staff peter-fink-garate-part-two-map.jpg

1

This replica of a 1937 Ford roadster is a kit car that caught Peter's wife, Carolyn's eye at a Barrett-Jackson event a few years ago. At first, Peter wasn't sure that it fit within the scope of his collection, but Carolyn convinced him otherwise. The chassis is completely custom-built, and it's powered by a GM LS3 V8 backed by a 4L65E transmission. Peter says it rides and handles great with the air-ride suspension. And best of all, Carolyn loves it!

2

Peter bought this 1970 Firebird Formula 400 at age 16, and he says it's what started his love affair with cars. It's equipped with a Pontiac 400-ci V8, a four-speed manual transmission, and 4.11 rear gears. He raced it frequently back then and didn't have the means to pay for repairs, so he learned to fix whatever he broke while racing. That experience resulted in attending automotive trade school where Peter met an instructor who helped become him a transmission expert. Peter then became a transmission technician at a local Chrysler dealership, and during his off time, he was part of the service manager's private race team. That's when he met his wife of 32 years, Carolyn. Peter says his Formula 400 is the most important vehicle in his collection because it's responsible for everything he has, from his wife to his business.

3

This beautiful 1967 Chevrolet Corvette roadster has a significant history. It's an authentic tri-power 427-ci backed by a Muncie four-speed. It was originally ordered by a GM executive and was built with every available option including A/C, power-steering, power windows and locks, head rests, and an AM/FM radio. Peter says the brass-hat car is fully documented and also includes the paperwork from above the fuel tank. He says it's the perfect cruising vehicle.

4

Peter rescued this once-scorned 1963 split-window Corvette from certain doom. He sent it off to Factory Hot Rod in Cincinnati, Ohio for a complete transformation. While the exterior is subtly modified, it features a 2014 Z06 drivetrain complete with engine, six-speed manual transmission, and suspension. Peter says it's quite fun and comfortable to drive.

5

At first glance, it would appear that this 1971 Chevrolet Camaro RS offers little more than a bold paint job and aftermarket wheels and tires, but looking past the outer skin reveals a host of new chassis and drivetrain components. The Super Camaro was the tenth built by Jeff Richards and contains a GM LS3 V8 and a six-speed manual transmission. The suspension is completely modified and the rear axle features in-board disc brake rotors. Peter believes that his Super Camaro was Richards' wildest build to date and says that it's a car everyone talks about when they see it.

6

Anyone familiar with the resto-mod scene will immediately recognize the Ring Brothers name. They built this heavily-customized 1969 Camaro in 2010. Known as Razor, it's powered by a modern GM ZL1 V-8 that's backed by a six-speed manual transmission. The Pro Touring car was subtly and tastefully modified in every way and is simply stunning. Peter saw it displayed at SEMA in 2010 and immediately fell in love with it. He was able to make it part of his collection in 2012, and it is one of his favorite cars for carving cones at autocross events.

7

Kona was another Ring Brothers creation. The beautiful black 1967 Mustang is powered by a Roush-built Ford V8 with fuel injection and backed by a C4 automatic transmission. The air-ride suspension transforms into an excellent riding and handling ponycar. Peter saw it displayed at SEMA in the late 2000s and though it was bad ass enough to purchase when it came up for sale.

8

This 1967 Mustang was built in 2010 to compete for the coveted Ridler Award. It was among 12 finalists and has been featured in a number of magazines. The monster hood bulge draws plenty of questions about what lies beneath, and that's a supercharged 4.6L Ford V8 that generates about 720 hp. It's backed by a six-speed manual transmission, and the suspension and braking systems were upgraded accordingly. Peter says that because it isn't equipped with air-ride suspension, it goes down the road with that lowered stance. It turns many heads whenever he drives it.

9

Peter says that Razor, the Ring Brother's modified 1969 Camaro, was such a popular show car upon its debut that Snap On immortalized its image on a commemorative tool chest. A total of 250 were produced in the series. Peter purchased the car in 2012 and added this Razor Snap On box with serial number 001.

10

This 1966 Chevrolet Nova is among the few carbureted resto-mods in Peter's collection. It's completely modified inside and out, and underneath, too. All exterior door handles have been removed and replaced with electronic solenoids that are controlled by key fob pushbuttons. Under hood is a 383-ci small-block Chevrolet V8 that's topped by a trio of two-barrel carburetors. Peter says someday he will convert it to electronic fuel injection.

11

Peter purchased this 2013 Super Cobra Mustang after learning that Ford had been producing factory drag cars since 2008. It includes a factory-installed roll bar, slick tires, and open headers. It's equipped with a supercharged 5.0L Ford V8 that generates more than 1,000 hp. Peter says is capable of running the quarter mile in 8.5 seconds. Understandably, the Super Cobra Mustang isn't street legal and was delivered without a title- only a bill of sale proves ownership.

12

Chevrolet began producing COPO Camaros in 2012. Once Peter learned about the factory-built drag race vehicle, he knew he had to have one. His 2013 COPO Camaro is equipped with the all-aluminum 427-ci V8 that's backed by a Powerglide transmission. The engine generates about 950 hp and can propel the fifth-gen Camaro down the quarter mile in about 8.8 seconds. It isn't legal for street use.

13

Dodge's factory drag car was its Challenger and Peter's 2011 model is powered by a V10 Viper engine. Rated around 950 hp, it propels the full-body Challenger down the quarter mile in about 8.8 seconds. Most of the Dodge hot rods were white, but Peter says his may be the only one painted black. Since his COPO Camaro and Super Cobra Mustang were black, it only made sense to add this black Challenger to his collection.

14

Peter is in the transmission repair business and he not-so-coincidentally built this 8-foot statue of Optus Prime from the Transformer movie using mostly used transmission components. The balance is comprised of used car parts. The statue weighs around 2,000 pounds and is one of four similarly-constructed figures on display in the museum. He said they draw much attention during charity events and tours.

15

Not limited to cars only, Peter's resto-mod collection includes this 1950 Chevrolet five-window pickup truck. It's been completely modernized, and its bold exterior finish is complemented by a slammed-look created by the air-ride suspension. The drivetrain was pirated from a late-model Z06 Corvette and the review mirror displays the automatic transmission's gear status. It features leather interior with six-way power seats, power windows and locks, and a tilt steering column. Peter says it's very fun to drive and on that he enjoys taking on the highway.

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from HOT ROD

Loading...

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon