Often referred to as automotive masterpieces, the creations that emerged from Joel Rosen’s Motion Performance speed shop in the ’60s and ’70s were unlike any other. The Yenko COPO Camaro, Dart GSS, and other sought-after high-performance cars of the time were overlooked. The spotlight was on Baldwin Motion builds. Back in the 50s, on the East Coast, the high-performance automotive market was somewhat overlooked, but this changed everything.
A small family-owned Chevrolet dealership in Baldwin, New York is where the base of these machines originated. Camaros, Chevelles, and Corvettes would arrive to the dealer as usual, and customers were given the opportunity to customize them with paint, suspension, engine modifications, body modifications, and more. They essentially created one-off cars completely unique to themselves. (Think of it as the original Hennessesy Performance.) After their new car purchase (that could even have the full price financed through GM), the car would be sent to a local shop: Motion Performance. This partnership birthed the now rare and legendary Baldwin-Motion builds.
It’s said that Motion Performance produced roughly 500 cars in their seven years of prime business. In the late-’60s, “Phase III” of the Baldwin-Motion builds debuted. They were built with only the highest of quality, came with exclusive trim and badging, and were offered with an array of performance engine and transmission packages. Today, they’re the most valuable of all cars that left that shop.
Without knowing the number of Phase III Camaros that were produced, we think it’s safe to bet it was less than a dozen. These cars were shipped worldwide but, somehow, we stumbled across one on Mecum’s website. It’s crossing the auction block next week in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and we bet it’s going to go for some seriously big money.
This example, built in ’73, is believed to be the last ever Baldwin-Motion Camaro built and sold. It was actually originally owned by the technician that built it at Motion Performance. A unique gold exterior paint with white stripes covers the car. Under the aggressive L88-style hood sits a 454 cubic inch V8, and it’s power is put to the ground with Mickey Thompson S/S Indy Profile tires wrapped around mag wheels. Inside, it features a classy black interior with sporty bucket seats, a floor console with a shifter, a basic AM radio, dual sideview mirrors, and even a Motion-installed roll bar–but most impressively: the autograph of “Mr. Motion,” Joel Rosen.
There’s no doubt that it is a perfect machine to mark the end of an era.
Even just viewing it in photos, the nostalgic vibe that comes with its history is evident. And, one lucky person will fully experience it as they take it home with them next week. To learn more about the car, or view more photos of it, check out its listing on Mecum’s website HERE.