My name is Nick Costa, and I recently moved to Media with my future wife. I'm sending in my Delco Cruiser membership as we speak, and I'm excited to join the community.
I've always been a fan of cars - my father is the type that just wants 4 wheels that can get him from Point A to B, but hanging around my older brother (mechanic), and Uncle ignited a spark for cars. My brother has a 73 Charger (more on that later), and my uncle had a 39 Chevy Coupe - one a lot of the Delco Cruisers are familiar with (more on that too). Now that I'm older, I finally purchased my car about a year ago.
Right before I went to grad school I bought a 2009 HHR LT. I needed a reliable car with decent gas mileage, and something big enough to carry my drums to gigs. I joined an HHR forum, and fell in love with the car. I soon learned that an SS model was made 2008-2010, and planned on turning my LT into an SS clone. I've owned my LT for about 6 years now, and have racked 110K miles on it - so I felt turning it into an SS clone was throwing money down the drain. I ended up buying a 2010 HHR SS August 2015, and planned on selling the LT to drive the SS for a few years as an everyday.
3 months into owning the SS, the turbo blew. Looked into options, and figured if I planned on turning this into a show car, I might as well start over. My brother and I ended up installing a high-performance European version of the motor, with a few more upgrades, and turned it into what it is today - which we're told can make about 315WHP (We will believe it when we get it on a Dyno and see it). If you're interested, we did an entire write up on the process, experiments, mistakes and all, here.
Now for the 73 Charger - this car was given to my brother after my dad moved out to the suburbs. Growing up my brother always told me he would give me the car when I got older. He eventually bought a truck, and the car sat outside, exposed to the elements. While in College, I helped him with getting body fixed, and car primed for paint, but it's sat ever since. I became a little impatient, which was another reason why I jumped on my SS. I hope to one day continue this build with him, but scheduling, families, etc, keep getting in our way.
For my Uncle - He was an original member of Delco Cruisers, Lou Caponi. When he passed, my cousin asked my Aunt to keep the car, and they did with the agreement that Dom would take it to car shows and maintain the car. It's still at my Aunt's house, and Dom comes down from NYC from time to time to take it to car shows. I help with car show prep, and so far it's won awards at both shows we took it to. The Boeing show Summer of 2015, and the Conshohocken Car show June 2016.
My dream show would be to have all 3 cars lined up - the 39 Street Rod, the 73 Charger Muslce Car, and the 2010 HHR SS all in a row with all the family there hanging out.
Here are some photos of the ride. To honor my late uncle, I had a custom fuse box cover made and asked for them to include an outline of a 39 Chevy (should have specified a coupe, but I know what it symbolizes.)
Although my car is fairly new, I hope that 20-30 years down the road it will become a rarity that turns heads at car shows. For now, I get a lot of soccer moms complimenting how it could fit all their kids in it