Scott Teeters and Marty Schorr Bench Race about the early days of the car magazing biz and how VETTE Magazine got started.
To listen to the FREE Archived Show, CLICK HERE!
Our guest is author and automotive journalist, Marty Schorr. Marty is a “car guy’s, car guy.” With over five decades of hands-on experience, behind the wheel and under the hood of some of the most amazing cars ever, plus capturing images with his camera and word-smithing the life and times of the American muscle car, Marty Schorr has a unique perspective.
Marty came of age in the ‘50s, right at the beginning of the birth of America’s postwar love affair with performance cars. After joining a hot rod club in his home town of Brooklyn, New York, Marty learned that his real talent wasn’t driving race cars or spinning wrenches, though he definitely is skilled in those areas.
Marty’s gift is in the arena of visual arts and word-smithing. By the late ‘50s Marty got the bug for writing stories and photographing hot cars for magazines. What started out as a passion for cars became a lifelong career. - Scott
Visit Marty Schorr's TOTALLY FUN new website, Car Guy Chronicles, HERE.
It’s a Friday Night Car Show at Far Out Radio! Our guests are Marty Schorr and Joel Rosen. Marty is the former editor of CARS Magazine, founder of VETTE Magazine, editor and chief of CarGuychronicles.com, and owns PMPR, an automotive public relations business. Joel Rosen is the former owner of Motion Performance and currently owns and runs Motion Models, a world renown scale military model company.
Back in the ‘60s, Marty Schorr was the editor of CARS Magazine and Joel Rosen was the owner of Motion Performance. Schorr and Rosen became friends and Motion Performance was CARS Magazine’s “special projects” shop. The two creative guys came up with a Chevy supercar concept, not unlike Carroll Shelby’s Ford Shelby Mustangs, only at a local level.
Baldwin Chevrolet was a local Mom & Pop Chevy dealership on Long Island. Schorr and Rosen pitched the concept of offering supercar versions of new Chevy muscle cars purchased through Baldwin Chevrolet. Rosen designed a near-bullet-proof parts package and took care of the assembly. The team created the Baldwin Motion “look” and Schorr took care of the branding, advertising, catalogs, and PR.
Rosen spun the wrenches and Schorr spun the spin. The cars had drop-dead, in-your-face aggressive good looks to go with their ground-pounding performance – all with a 100% Chevy warrantee! The guys created a legend that still being talked about 45 years later! Survivor Baldwin Motion Supercars are today VERY valuable. Read the rest of this entry »
Baldwin-Motion fans, Lee and Michele Riley’s tribute to Joel Rosen’s Motion Performance
Psst… Be sure to check out the slide show below!
Fans can be wonderful. be they fans of sports teams, Hollywood celebrities, or cars. Recently, Joel “Mr. Motion” Rosen sent me a collection of photos sent to him by Motion Performance fans, lee and Michele Riley. I opened the images and was totally delighted. “WOW!” was all I could say.
Obviously, someone spent a lot of time studying photos from old issues of CARS Magazine and Marty Schorr’s Motion performance bible, “Motion Performance – Tales of a Muscle Car Builder.” The Riley’s diorama depicts the four garage bay areas of Rosen’s Motion Performance shop. Five fully decorated Phase III Supercars complete the diorama. The cars include a 1970 SS-454 Phase III Chevelle, a ‘69 SS-427 Camaro on a lift, a ‘70 SS-454 Camaro, a ‘70 Chevelle on Rosen’s dyno, and the awesome ‘70 A/Modified Production Camaro that Dennis Ferrara drove to several NHRA national records and many a match race victories.
An abused Motion Performance exotic gets a new lease on life! Can you help find the remaining two Can-Am Spyders?
(Check out the slide show at the bottom of this post!) SPECIAL REQUEST: According to the Motion Performance “bible,” Marty Schorr’s “Motion Performance: Tales of a Muscle Car Builder” book, only 4 Motion Can-Am Spyder Corvettes were built. One red car with white striping and three yellow cars, like the one presented in the below post. To date, only two of the four cars can be accounted for. As documented in Schorr’s book and on the net, the red Can-Am Spyder is part of Dan McMichael’s collection of Motion cars. And now we know of the below car. If you know of the whereabouts of either of the remaining two yellow Can-Am Spyders, please let us know. Thanks! – Scott
When it comes to old cars, most of us are familiar with the expression “barn find” and I’m sure that we’ve all had a day dream or two about finding an old neglected exotic, hiding under a pile of stuff in a barn. Well, here’s a new version of that “barn find” expression that I’ll call, “body shop find.” That certainly was former body shop owner and Maryland legislator, Rick Impallaria's experience.
When Rick decided to get into public service as a legislator, he had a close his body shop business. While the business was officially closed, he still owned the building and equipment, so he leased his old enterprise to former professional baseball player, Richard Green. If you follow professional baseball, you surely will recognize that name. Green had the notoriety of having played in all four Oakland A’s World Series games. Well, life goes on after retirement, even for pro ball players and Green decided to get into the auto body business. In addition to doing customer work, Green brought in one of his own cars, a customized Corvette. After a time, Green’s business fell on hard times and Impallaria ended up having to evict his tenant. Upon inspection of the facilities, Rick found what was left of what had once been just a “customized Corvette,” or so he thought.
While Rick is definitely a car guy, he wasn’t familiar with what was in his building. He explains, “Someone mentioned to me that the hulk that was in my building might be a Motion car, but they really weren’t sure. So I did some online research about the Motion cars and then I found your BaldwinMotionReport.com site with the story about the Motion Can-Am Spyder. I was pretty sure I had something and I thought about possibly putting the car back together again, But honestly, I’ve got too many projects going right now and I knew I wouldn’t have the time to do it right.”
After Impallaria was about 99% sure it was one of the rare Motion Can-Am Spyder Corvettes, he took the high road and started looking for a buyer that would do right by the car and properly restore the car to its original glory, rather than using it as a donor car for a custom or race car project. After some more searching Rick found a buyer that knew what they were buying and how to correctly restore the car. On November 1, 2011, a few minutes past midnight
For real, authorized Baldwin Motion Supercars are BACK! We go bench racing with the original "Mr. Motion."
Note: Joel Rosen is the proud owner of the very first of the NEW Baldwin Motion Camaros. Be sure to check out the slide show of Mr. Motion's new ride!)
Little did Joel Rosen know in 1960 when he bought Neclan Service Station in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, that over 50 years later, people would be writing about him and going to car shows featuring his creations. Motion Performance was officially born in 1963 and Rosen had a string of successful drag cars of his own, plus many cars that he super tuned. He relocated the shop from Brooklyn to the community of Baldwin on Long Island, on Sunrise Highway in 1966. The following year, Chevrolet unleashed their answer to Ford’s red hot Mustang – the Camaro.
Rosen pitched to Baldwin Chevrolet’s Ed Simonin a new way for buyers to get a brand new, turn key “super” muscle car, with a proven, reliable setup – ready to rock! By 1968 the full “Fantastic Five” lineup of cars was established, featuring Phase III SS-427 versions of the Chevy Biscayne, Nova, Chevelle, Camaro, and Corvette. For just $3,495 you could buy the ultimate street sleeper, the SS-427 Biscayne. Or, if your POCKETS were really deep, for $6,995.85 (an enormous amount of cash beck then) you could get the Phase III SS-427 Corvette. Each car was custom made to order, so every car was slightly different. What’a heady time to be into the high performance street scene.
As “they” say, the rest is history, and since you wouldn’t be here if you already weren’t familiar with the Baldwin Motion story, we don’t need to retell the entire story. Mr. Motion is now semi-retired and living the good life in warm, sunny Florida. With the Baldwin Motion brand back in action and in very good hands, thanks to his relationship with Howard Tanner, Redline Motorsports in Schenectady, and DeNooyer Chevrolet, Albany, New York. I thought the Baldwin Motion fans would enjoy hearing from the original Mr. Motion, Joel Rosen. So, one evening in early July 2011, Joel and I had an interesting conversation. Here goes…
Scott – How did the new Baldwin Motion deal come about?
Joel - Well, it was a little bit of a bumpy start, but we turned it into a very positive deal. DeNooyer Chevrolet and Howard Tanner had been marketing Howard’s “HTR” Camaros and Corvettes for a while. It was kind of like what I was doing with Baldwin Chevrolet back in the day. DeNooyer and Tanner were building new Chevy supercars, ala the Phase III cars. A friend of ours contacted us letting us know that these guys in upstate New York that were using modified versions one of Marty Schorr’s old Baldwin Motion ads – WANTED! – in their advertising. I didn't know who they were but when I learned what they were doing, we worked out a deal for DeNooyer and Tanner to work with me and build and market Baldwin-Motion Gen V 427 & 454 Camaros. They even painted up the front showroom windows the same way we did at the Baldwin Chevrolet dealership. Just like that famous photo with “Fantastic Five” on the windows. It was pretty cool. And part of the deal was that I would be able to order Phase III 427-SC Camaro #01. I did a lot of research on Howard and DeNooyer and must say that they have my full respect. Howard can do anything with modern performance cars, knows the electronics such that he can build the engines to specific horsepower levels, then adjust the electronics to get the car‘s emissions right. We couldn’t do any of that back in our day. They didn’t even have computers controlling fuel and spark. We were just told that we couldn’t remove ANY emissions devices. A lot’s changed. Read the rest of this entry »
Chevrolet’s 427 big-block engine grew to 454 cubic-inches in 1970 and Joel Rosen, “Mr. Motion” was right on it!
CARS Magazine used to publish special edition “annual” magazines covering the full range of the Detroit muscle car and street scene. For those of us that were following the offerings from Detroit, it was a cool way of comparing cars. The statistics pages were pretty simple: engine size, transmission type, rear, brakes, suspension, general, and performance.
While it was no secret that CARS was the unofficial house organ for the Baldwin Motion Supercars, the road testers seemed fair in their accessments. I have the 1070-1/2 edition of “Supercars,” although the cover is long gone. And I have the ‘71 edition of Supercars.
Maco Shark Attack at Motion Performance! Maco Sharks Spotted Inland on Long Island! Drivers Beware!!!
Back in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s I had five car magazines I followed every month. They included, Hot Rod, Car Craft, Popular Hot Rodding, Super Stock and Drag Illustrated, and CARS Magazine. The HR, CC, and PHR were west coast mags and had a unique look and feel to them. SS and CARS were east coast mags and were very different from the west coast mags.
The west coast mags had lots of cool dragsters, funny cars, gassers,and customs. And the photos were almost always showed off the perpetual sunny So-Cal weather. East coast mags covered more door slammer cars and were grittier. SS&DI was published in Alexandria, Virginia, just south of Washington, DC, and CARS was published out of New York City.
CARS editor was Marty Schorr, a born and raised, New York City guy from the ‘50s and ‘60s. CARS definitely had that unique New York “attytude” that gave CARS Magazine it’s unique flavor and was the perfect backdrop for the “IN-YOUR-FACE” 550-plus horsepower Baldwin Motion Phase III Supercars.
SUDDENLY… It's 1971-1/2
As if the Baldwin Motion Phase III GT Corvette wasn’t enough, Joel Rosen upped the ante with another stunning version of his proven Motion Performance formula for supercars. While the new ‘68 Corvette was very well received, some asked, “Where’s the Mako Shark II???” Many asked, but fiberglass man John Silva decided to make his own Mako Shark II Corvette. By the time Silva had completed his first Maco Corvette, Rosen had his Phase III Corvettes well established.
Silva produced three cars for Rosen and authorized Joel to make molds from his Motion Maco cars as either complete Baldwin Motion Phase III cars, or just some of the parts, or the complete body kit.
TAKE A RIDE in the Motion Performance 1970 Phase III SS-454 Camaro
Every high-performance enterprise that offers supercars, capable of running the quarter-mile in eleven and a half seconds, NEEDS a demo car, right? The subject car of this 1970 CARS Magazine road test was the Motion Performance demo car. (Click the images to see the larger version)
Note the quarter on the display base for scale.
Modern high-performance engines are just amazing machines. A quick look at the most powerful production engine to ever come out of Detroit is the supercharged LS9 ZR1 Corvette engine. This 376-cubic-inch engine has a Net horsepower rating of 638-HP. Measured in the old “gross” power rating system and the number would be easily be in the low 700-HP range. The ZR1 and it’s little brother the 505-HP Z06 can easily smoke ANYTHING from the old glory days of the stump puller muscle car era and get double the gas mileage to boot!
But this isn’t about numbers, it’s about aesthetics. Take the plastic or carbon fiber covers off on any LS-powered Corvette and you’re greeting with a maze of complicated hardware. I guess I’m “old school,” but I enjoy looking at old, pre-smog control device muscle car and racing engines. The simplicity of those old mills was oftentimes “art.” Read the rest of this entry »
A Quickie Road Test in an A/Modified Production 427 ZL-X-Powered Street 1969 Phase III Camaro
The 427 ZL-X was an all-cast iron version of the all-aluminum 427 ZL-1. Imagine all the big-block goodies on a ZL-1 at the same weight as an SS-396 Camaro. Rosen dynoed this one at 650-HP after balancing and blueprinting, and a few of Rosen’s tricks. While this Camaro was being developed, Rosen’s Motion Performance Camaro, with Bill Mitchell at the wheel, was giving Grumpy Jenkins a good run.
Lots of BANG for the Buck, in a Stylish Package!
Back in the day, CARS Magazine was my FAVORITE car magazine. While I still have many of them, somewhere along the line, I thought it would be a good idea to cut out the Baldwin-Motion material to make a scrapbook. GRRR!!! Well, at least I still have the scrapbook.
Here’s the first of many posts to share with fans some of the CARS Magazine Baldwin-Motion road tests.
Here's one of the early Phase III SS-427 Corvettes that Rosen worked his magic upon. The side-pipes weren't designed for the C3 but they sure looked "boss."
Sometimes special “teams” organically seem to come together. You know, duos, such as, Abbot & Costello, Burns & Allen, Martin & Lewis, Lennon & McCartney. The specialty car market has a similar dynamic duo. But because what they created was so brilliant, it mostly took the spotlight off of them and on to the real stars, the Baldwin-Motion Phase III Supercars. “They” happen to be former editor of CARS Magazine, Marty Schorr and owner of Motion Performance, Joel “Mr. Motion” Rosen.
Baldwin Motion Corvette Camaro Muscle Car Collection Part 1
The Baldwin-Motion Phase III experience was unleashed in late 1967 with Rosen’s ‘67 Phase III SS-427 Camaro. Being a Corvette racer and fan for years, it didn’t take Rosen long to have at it with the new Mako Shark-styled ‘68 Corvette. The results were staggering. For an enterprise such as this, it helps to have a good PR guy, with a good camera eye, and a way with words. Enter, Marty Schorr. As editor of CARS Magazine, Marty made sure that Baldwin-Motion machines got plenty of ink. So Marty kept the Chevy faithful stoked with great photos, road tests, and in-your-face ads, while Rosen and his team kept the ET slips on ALL Baldwin-Motion Supercars at 11.5 ET or better – AS DELIVERED to the customer! Mr. Shelby wasn’t offering that!
Book Review: Motion Performance – Tales Of A Muscle Car Builder by Martyn L. Schorr – Forward by Joe Oldham
Hardcover – 176 pages, 10.9” x 9.4” x 0.7”, 262 photos (113 color, 149 B&W), $35.00, Published by Motorbooks – First published 2009, Copyright © 2009 by Martyn L. Schorr
Review by K. Scott Teeters
I'll say this up front. I was NOT disappointed with this book. Actually, I had a tough time putting it down. Author, Martyn L. Schorr is THE man to tell this story because not only was he there as CARS Magazine editor, he helped plan, develop, promote, and market the entire enterprise. Plus, he got to drive most of the Baldwin-Motion Phase III Supercars!
Joel Rosen and the crew at Baldwin-Motion dish up the ULTIMATE muscle car, sports car, street machine – the SS-427 Phase III Corvette!
The Corvette has always been a premium car. With the introduction of the Mako Shark-inspired C3 Corvette in ‘68, the new Vette had it all – four-wheel independent suspension, 4-wheel disc brakes, excellent cornering capability, the strongest engine available in any GM car, and totally original, drop dead styling. Could buyers ask for more? Sure! And Joel Rosen and Baldwin-Motion Performance could deliver.
The Phase III SS-427 Corvette was the flagship of the Baldwin-Motion Fantastic Five lineup. Since all Motion supercars had the same 11.5 ET guarantee, it wasn’t just drag strip performance that made the Phase III Corvette special. Of all five of the Motion supercars, the Corvette had the highest level of eye candy. The ‘67 big-block scoop atop of the 427 hood dome looked like that’s the way Chevrolet should have done it. The ‘68 Phase III Corvette wore ‘65-’67 factory side-pipes that, while didn’t fit as nicely as the ‘69 versions, still looked great. Festooned with the trademark wrap around rear stripe that ran over the rear deck, roof, and hood, the Phase III Corvette was stunning.
Over the years, Rosen would offer the standard Phase III, Phase III GT, the Motion Maco Corvette, the Manta Ray Corvette, the Moray Eel, and the Can-Am Spyder Corvettes. While the lion’s share of Motion cars were Camaros, the Corvettes were top shelf, with several costing over $13,000 – an ENORMOUS price back in the day!