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Scenes from Musclepalooza XXVIII

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Musclepalooza XXVIII, early morning. Photos by author.

Sometimes it all comes together. Sunday’s near-perfect weather delivered a crowded show field and more than 200 race cars for Musclepalooza XXVIII, held  at Lebanon Valley Dragway in West Lebanon, New York. In a crowd of award-worthy American muscle cars, one stood above the rest, and Tom Leahy’s 1970 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 went home with the Best in Show trophy. You’ll see more on this car in an upcoming Hemmings Daily.

1970 Chevrolet Camaro Z28

Best in Show went to this 1970 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, owned by Tom Leahy of Kingston, New York.

For those who have never been, Musclepalooza — which takes place at Lebanon Valley Dragway every Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend — blends a car show with a day full of drag racing, with classes that include everything from “run-what-you-brung” to Factory-Appearing Stock Tire (F.A.S.T.) to tubbed-and-caged 8-second cars. No matter what make or model of American muscle is your favorite, chances are you can see it run at Musclepalooza.

1970 Rebel Machine

Owner Josh Joseph chooses to enjoy his 1970 Rebel Machine instead of parking for a restoration.


Chevrolet Camaro Z28s

James Rossetti poses with his fourth-generation Camaro Z28s. The black ’99 is his daily driver, while the silver ’98 is his show car.


2017 Chevrolet Camaro 2SS

The Star Wars Imperial Stormtrooper theme worked well on Pete and Sandy Zerneri’s 2017 Camaro 2SS. Equipped with a Whipple supercharger and other mods, Pete says it makes around 700 horsepower in its current tune. The Zerneris are from Cornwall, New York. 


2018 Roush Jackhammer

This 710-horsepower 2018 Roush Jackhammer belongs to John Abrams of Newburgh, New York.

As for the show field, the event draws everything from late-model cars to barn finds. Our second-place winner in the AMC class — a 1970 Rebel Machine owned by Josh Joseph of Marcy, New York — wore its patina proudly, with its owner opting to enjoy the car as-is instead of taking it off the road for a protracted restoration project. On the other end of the spectrum, James Rossetti brought a pair of fourth-generation Camaro Z28s, including his daily driver (a ’99 with 91,000 miles on the odometer) and his show car, a museum-quality ’98 with just 24,000 miles.

A pair of Plymouth Barracudas go head to head. 


Pontiac Le Mans

Here’s something you don’t see every day — a 10-second ’63 Pontiac Le Mans.


Ford LTD Landau

This Ford LTD Landau wasn’t fast, but it was probably the most comfortable car racing.


Willys Gasser

The RattleTrap Willys Gasser goes wheels-up.


Henry J Gasser

Henry J Gasser.

We hope these images give a sense for what Musclepalooza is all about, and perhaps inspire a few readers to get project cars on the road in time for Musclepalooza XXIX, coming up on Sunday, May 26, 2019.

Ford Pinto

A 10-second… Ford Pinto?


Chevy Nova

This Chevy Nova had a great launch, but…


…something went wrong soon after. The driver missed the car in the far lane and kept his Nova off the wall.

Chevrolet Camaro 351 Windsor in '61 Ford Falcon