Motion Performance History
View: Photo Gallery | Wild Advertising | Old magazine articles | External links to other info
Created by Joel Rosen, Motion Performance started building supercars in 1966, and by 1968 was the #2 producer of specialty performance vehicles, behind the Ford owned and run Shelby GT Mustang operation. They created the "Fantastic Five", the SS-427 Camaro, Chevrolet (Impala/Biscayne), Chevelle, Corvette and Chevy II (Nova).
Other dealers active in the supercar market were Scuncio Chevrolet in Greenville Rhode Island, Yenko Chevrolet in Canonsburg, PA, Nickey Chevrolet in Chicago, Berger Chevrolet in Grand Rapids Michigan, Fred Gibb Chevrolet in LaHarpe Illinois and Dana Chevrolet in South Gate, California.
The way it worked was a car was ordered through either Baldwin Chevrolet or Motion Performance. The car was delivered through Baldwin Chevrolet. Then it was dropped off around the corner at Motion Performance where the modifications the customer desired were installed.
Not all cars modified by Motion Performance were delivered through Baldwin Chevrolet, (especially after Baldwin Chevrolet went out of biz). Stand alone Motion Performance Automobiles are generally called Conversions.
Cars such as this were also built by other well known conversion shops such as Dick Harrell Performance in Kansas City Missouri & Bill Thomas Race Cars in Anaheim California.
In 1968, the Phase III Camaro was guaranteed to turn 11.50 1/4 miles times at over 120 mph with a M/P (Modified Production) licensed driver on an NHRA or AHRA sanctioned track. This car was "reliable & streetable" and was able to run these times shortly after being driven off the showroom floor. The warranty on the SS-427 Camaro was 90 days or 4000 miles on the powertrain and 24 months/24000 miles on the rest of the car - excluding all speed options. There was no warranty on any engine that was fitted with "internal engine modifications", such as a camshaft and high rev-kit.
Documenting and Authenticating
Joel Rosen is the ONLY PERSON (besides his wife) who knows EXACTLY how many of these cars were made. He has not, nor ever will tell anyone the exact number of cars produced, either in whole, or by year. He told me the number was between 300 - 500 cars of all flavors (Vette, Camaro, Chevelle, Impala, Nova, Vega), from 1967 to 1974. Anyone who says they know how many cars were produced in 19xx is guessing or speculating.
Every Motion car was invoiced and delivered out of Baldwin Chevrolet until the dealership was sold around 1972. After 1972, cars were obtained from various Chevrolet dealers and Motion cars were invoiced out of Motion Performance. The criteria for obtaining new Chevrolets was based on the dealers ability to deliver a car in a timely manner (and I assume price was a factor too?). Remember, GM was on strike in 1972.
EVERY car came with an invoice. Without this invoice listing the car as a bonafide Motion car, the ONLY way to verify the car is to speak with Joel Rosen.
IN FACT, IT IS A GOOD IDEA TO SPEAK TO HIM BEFORE YOU PURSUE OR PAY FOR A MOTION CAR. Be advised, the documentation fee ranges from $1000 - 1500. However, this is a small price to pay to find out if you're about to buy a "Motion Performance" car or an overpriced replica. One reason for the fee is if the car checks out you get a complete documentation kit, and it also helps discourages everyone else who just possibly might have a motion car from asking. If you're pretty sure of what you have, you'll probably spend the money. Apparently, it's been known to happen where someone has paid big $$$ for a replica, only to be told after they cleaned out their bank account that it's bogus. Let's just say there's a lot of replicas out there for sale. The documentation fee is a quarter of the cost of a Yenko check. In addition to being Faster than Yenkos, Motion cars are protected more closely as well. My intent here is not to get into a "what's better: Yenko or Motion", but I'm using Yenko as a comparison.
I can NOT verify a "Motion" car. If you ask me to help you verify a car, either a Camaro, Vette, chevelle or whatever.... I'll tell you to email Joel. If you email joel, he'll tell you to pay the documentation fee. This is being done to protect the integrity of the cars. If you notice, you can't buy Motion emblems (legit ones) or decals. The only way to obtain these is to prove you have a motion car. You'll notice that several other "supercars" have decals and badging readily available for cheap from the restoration market. This is not the case with Baldwin/Motion cars.
If you're restoring a documented Baldwin/Motion car and need some help with emblems, decals or whatever.... call Joel, not one of the restoration suppliers out there.
The reason you don't see Baldwin/Motion emblems floating around is because:
The name "Motion Performance" is trademarked.
The paint scheme - is trademarked and owned by Motion Performance.
Joel Rosen owns the rights to these entities and will not allow reproduction emblems or decals (without his knowledge).
Phase III Paint Scheme
I asked Joel about the paint scheme. Apparently, there's nothing to really stop you from painting your car however you want it to look. The paint scheme is trademarked though. There are no stripe or stencil kits to duplicate the Phase III paintjob. If you wish to paint your car this way, you gotta "wing it".
There are no "Phase I" or "Phase II" cars. You got the 454, and if that wasn't enough for you, you went straight to Phase III.
Unless the customer ordered a base camaro to build his Motion car, the car would be ordered as an SS, with a 396/375 hp engine (the only way to get the 396 was to order an SS). It was also common to build Motion cars by beginning with a Z28. You may be able to say the Z28 was the "base" model in this case.
There is one Phase III - 396 Motion car floating around. A 1970 I believe. The customer wanted to keep the 396, the engine had the Phase III goodies installed and it's invoiced as a Phase III.
The number of Z30 cars built was "very few".
Motion Performance continued to build supercars up until the late 70's. There's a 1980 Motion Camaro and a mid 80's Motion IROC, but after the 1974 meeting with the EPA things slowed down. Today, they focus on mail order fiberglass products.
Joel also sells very nice aircraft and naval collectible models and has an extensive Japanese Doll collection.
|Motion 454 Camaro||$4995.00|
|Standard Equipment: High Performance 454 Engine, 4 speed, posi rear, heavy-duty suspension, power front disc brakes, bucket seats, HD radiator, special white letter tires, chrome valve covers, chrome air cleaner, 7500 RPM Ignition and full Dyno-Tune.|
|Phase III 454 Camaro||$5995.00|
|Standard Equipment: All above listed equipment plus, HD Superbite Bars & shocks, special 850 CFM double pumper carb, Phase III fiberglass hood, high capacity fuel pump, Phase III CD Ignition, special headers, SEMA approved clutch, flywheel and scattershield and special emblems.|
|Phase III Z/30 Camaro||$5495.00|
|Equipment Special High Performance 350 cubic inch engine, 4 speed, posi rear, power brakes, special solid lifter cam & kit, dyno-jetted 850 CFM carb., special Z/30 fiberglass hood, rear spoiler, high capacity fuel pump, HD superbite Bars & shocks, Phase III CD Ignition, headers, SEMA approved clutch, flywheel & scattershield, 60 series tires, Z/30 stripe and special emblems, sport mirrors.|
|Phase III Z/50 Camaro - Same
equipment as the Z/30 plus turbocharged 350 CID Engine.
The Hottest Small Block Car Around
All above performance options can be added to the basic 454 Camaro.
Where applicable prices are exchange for original equipment.
Links to external sites
Supercar Registry Site
Sorry folks, almost all the links were so old they were no longer valid.
Thanks to Mr. Joel Rosen (aka Mr. Motion) for Proof-reading and okaying content
Return to Main Page
© 1997 - 2010 Motion Performance
North Georgia Classic Camaro (tm)
All rights reserved