Spotlight Hobbies

I had the privelege of being deeply involved with the promotion of the Anniversary 427- a pretty mind blowing project

Imagine building a tri-five with a GM designer who owns a gorgeous '57, along with the engineers, fabricators and resources of Performance Division. It was designed from the jump to be THE tri-five to set the bar for good.

GM designer Dave Ross had a free hand on the project, which he designed all the while working on his day job, and everywhere you look inside and out, the car was an homage to all the great Chevys that had gone before. The custom touches are so well done, you hardly notice them, from the slanted eyebrows to the hood scoops that fed the ram air system (all in steel, looking 100% factory) to the cnc-machined emblems and branding.

Performance Division's Mike Copeland and his team did an awesome job on the build the fabricators, builders, trimmers and painters handled X as if it was their own. You want to see how to build a hot rod the right way, that was it.

My team at the agency worked with all the other partners to do the advertising and marketing - with the help of clients who got out the checkbooks and supported the ideas all the way. The engine launched live on Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale, pulling a great reaction and a record price - no one had ever just wheeled an engine out there to put under the gavel. Now it is routine, but I'm proud to say we did it first.

Alas, we could not have predicted the economic meltdown that followed and drove a teetereing GM into bankruptcy, which ended the party sooner than planned. There are probably Anniversary 427s out there in the dealerverse, at least the places that didn't get pancaked and scrapped out.

Watching the work on GM Performance today from a distance, it is clear that the priorities and leadership have changed, as has the media coverage. Plainly, the romance is gone.

The project is still one of my favorites...only handful of times in my 38 years of slingning syllables have the clients, products, budgets and people ever been THAT fully aligned. Those are the days you walk out of the building pinching yourself, thinking, "@#$# ... they are paying me for this."

Good times. Mabye I'll get to build a replica one of these days.

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