Big Red History 2003-2004

In 2003, RJ returned to his native California from the east coast, and his thoughts immediately turned to taking Big Red out for a ride again. To give credit where credit is due, Hot Rod also largely was responsible for the crusade to get Big Red out of mothballs and back on the road tearing up asphalt. The rumors of a return of the beast were confirmed in the June 2004 issue. Then, in the September issue, the first photos of the Camaro’s restoration appeared in the magazine’s “20 Hottest Project Cars.” If nothing else, the photos alone showed how much simpler Pro-Touring racing had been in the 1980s, with one engine and one transmission for one type of racing. Now the car was being fitted with Baer Brakes for a different sort of high-speed run. The article stated that “Joe Pettitt was the Hot Rod staff editor stupid enough to ride shotgun [in the ’89 SSCC].” When asked if he’d do it again, Joe replied, “Nah, I’ve done that.” Regardless, in 2011, RJ managed to change Joe’s mind, and there he was tearing around in the passenger seat againBig Red was restored to a condition that outshone the display at the museum. Standing next to the newly restored Big Red are (from left to right) Larry Mollicone, RJ Gottlieb, Dan Gottlieb, and Dave Ward

big red camaro car

In 2003, RJ returned to his native California from the east coast, and his thoughts immediately turned to taking Big Red out for a ride again. To give credit where credit is due, Hot Rod also largely was responsible for the crusade to get Big Red out of mothballs and back on the road tearing up asphalt. The rumors of a return of the beast were confirmed in the June 2004 issue. Then, in the September issue, the first photos of the Camaro’s restoration appeared in the magazine’s “20 Hottest Project Cars.” If nothing else, the photos alone showed how much simpler Pro-Touring racing had been in the 1980s, with one engine and one transmission for one type of racing. 

Now the car was being fitted with Baer Brakes for a different sort of high-speed run. The article stated that “Joe Pettitt was the Hot Rod staff editor stupid enough to ride shotgun [in the ’89 SSCC].” When asked if he’d do it again, Joe replied, “Nah, I’ve done that.” Regardless, in 2011, RJ managed to change Joe’s mind, and there he was tearing around in the passenger seat againBig Red was restored to a condition that outshone the display at the museum. Standing next to the newly restored Big Red are (from left to right) Larry Mollicone, RJ Gottlieb, Dan Gottlieb, and Dave Ward.

camaro car and driver
big red history
big red history
big red history