Forget the birds, bees, and flowers. The surest signs that spring has come to Detroit are pothole-patching crews descending on the asphalt like ants on a jelly sandwich, immediate complaints about the Tigers’ deficient bullpen, and Inline Tube throwing open its doors to help kick off the car show season. For the latest gathering, Mother Nature decided to cooperate for a change, showering participants with wall- to-wall sunshine, which drew the biggest crowed we’ve ever seen at the open house.
It has been about 22 years since brothers John and James Kryta founded Inline Tube. Frustrated at the lack of suitable replacement brake lines for their restoration projects, they started bending their own, and a business was born. The company’s range of tubing components and countless other restoration parts expands continuously as John and James seek out and fill product holes to make resto work easier and more authentic.
Today they are pushing nearly 30,000 part numbers, and when they are not developing new parts, they are working on their own cars. In fact, John drove to the show in a GTO that he recently built for Pure Stock drag racing, while James brought one of his Olds 4-4-2s. These guys love their 1968-1972 A-Bodies.
“We are the same enthusiasts we develop parts for,” says John. “We’re always looking to make our cars just that much better, and we know that’s what our customers are looking for.”
Potholes and lousy closing pitchers may be perennial parts of life in Detroit, but the annual gathering at Inline Tube makes it all a little more bearable — and fun.
Mark Fedders’ 1967 Mustang GT packs a four-speed-backed S-code 390 engine, which was rated at 320 hp. The GT package included the grille-mounted fog lamps, power front disc brakes, lower-body stripes, and GT badges (GTA identification for automatic-equipped models). Of the more than 472,000 Mustang built for 1967, a little more than 24,000 were GTs.
Tom Johnson has owned this 42,000-mile 1968 4-4-2 for about 15 years. It is a loaded car with power windows, power locks, power seat, and more. The original 400 engine was swapped for factory-appearing 455.
Chris Craft (yes, that’s his name, just like the boats) bought this Sunfire Yellow 1968 Barracuda off a dealer lot in 1972 and recently had the car restored. That included a resto-modification of the 340 engine with six-barrel induction system and aluminum Edelbrock heads. Upgrading to front disc brakes posed a problem because the hubs’ bolt pattern necessarily increased to 4 1/2 inches from the original 4-inch pattern, and it took some time to find appropriately sized slotted mag wheels.
A manual transmission wasn’t offered on the 1972 Grand Prix, but that didn’t stop Bob Casanova from building his own, using factory components such as the pedal assembly and console. The result is so convincing that only the most knowledgeable Pontiac aficionados would suspect it was anything but a factory-original combination.
We didn’t get much info on Rod Brown’s 1965 Coronet A990, but with the hood up, the cross-rammed 426 Hemi spied between its front inner fenders was an undeniable clue about its capability.
There are always plenty of great GM A-Bodies at Inline Tube shows, and Brad Waitkis Viking Blue 1971 4-4-2 W-30 car was one of the rarest. It is one of 810 Holiday coupes built, and of them, it is one of a scant 247 four-speed cars. That rarity made the restoration more of treasure hunt. Waitkis searched long and hard for correct parts, such as the intake manifold, carburetor, distributor, and H-code heads.
Like so many enthusiasts, Dave Asaro formed his penchant for a certain muscle car at an early age. It was the 1970 Monte Carlo that belonged to a friend’s brother. Asaro finally got his own about four years ago and promptly swapped out the small-block for a built 454 that is pushing about 450 hp.
A set of Cragar S/S wheels lend Tom Nelson’s 1965 Coronet 500 a period-perfect look. Under the hood is a 426 Hemi stroked to 472 ci and featuring aluminum heads and a roller cam. It is connected to a manual-control TorqueFlite channeling torque to a 3.27-geared 8 3/4-inch axle.
Inline Tube cofounder John Kryta’s Limelight Green 1969 GTO is one of 93 non-Judge models built with a Ram Air IV/automatic powertrain combo. He has owned the car for 20 years. It was recently built for Pure Stock drag racing, including running a set of 4.56 cogs that spins the 400 engine to astronomical rpm as it drives through the traps.
Gary Lindsley’s 1971 Torino was one of Ford’s Spring Promotion special editions that is notable for its “halo” vinyl roof treatment (so called for the way it doesn’t extend all the way to the drip rails). The package also included GT wheel covers and seat covers. Under the hood are a 302 engine and an automatic transmission.
Jim Early has owned this unrestored 1973 GTO for a little more than a decade. He took it off the hands of his father-in-law, who had owned it since 1978. Despite being only 5 years old at the time the father-in-law acquired it, the car had been through several previous owners, including a gentleman who was a volunteer fireman. The car had emergency lights installed on the roof. The witness marks from it are still in the original paintwork to prove it.
Styling for the 1971-1974 Satellite/Road Runner continues to look better with age, which is proven by Andy Gerling’s 1973 Satellite. It has a 340 engine and a TorqueFlite transmission, along with a beautifully preserved green bench-seat interior.
Dan Jensen’s ultrarare 1970 F-85 was another ultrarare A-Body Olds on hand. It is one of only 152 ordered with the L74-code 350 four-barrel/high-compression engine, which was rated at 310 hp. It is a total grandma’s car, from the bench seat to the thin, two-spoke steering wheel. It has 39,000 miles, and apart from a respray of the exterior color it is pretty much all-original, including the shocks and hoses.
Jeff Wallace’s 1973 Duster 340 is a pretty rare Mopar. Fewer than 16,000 were built that year, out of just about 265,000 Dusters overall, and far fewer than that were originally equipped with a power moonroof like this car.
Tim Stolarski found this 1974 Javelin in Toledo, Ohio, about four years ago and has spent his time since improving on all of its details, including some very challenging wiring projects. The 304-powered car has nonetheless—and rightfully—earned a few trophies along the way. Among its interesting features is an aftermarket air-conditioning system.
The next-generation muscle car contingent was well represented by Paul Sapiano’s 1987 Grand National. With only 16,000 original miles, it is a blue chip collector car that will only rise in value. It also happens to be a blast to drive.
Ken Kiorani’s Carousel Red 1976 Trans Am is a 455/four-speed car. The 1976 model year was a transitional one. It was the last year for the 455 engine. The front end’s urethane bumper cover/fascia was a single-year design. It was also the last year for the shaker scoop’s original rounded design.
Affordability helped make Tim Leslie’s decision to purchase this 1973 Duster. It was a solid, no-rust North Carolina car when he acquired it. He quickly swapped the original 318 engine for a healthy 340. It also packs a 904 TorqueFlite automatic and a sturdy 8 3/4-inch rear axle.
Bob Kessler is the original owner of this 1969 Impala SS427, which is driven by the 390hp L36-code iteration of the 427 big-block. The SS427 package also included a heavy-duty suspension, which comprised stiff springs, a fat front stabilizer bar, and four rear trailing arms in place of lower-range models’ three-arm/Panhard-bar layout. We didn’t get a shred of info on this Olds Rallye 350, but it was too pretty to pass up. Only 3,547 were built for 1970, and the vast majority (2,367), like this one, were built from Cutlass S sport coupes. The bright trim rings on the body-color steel wheels weren’t part of the factory equipment, but many dealers and owners added them to dress up the car.