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Recap Of The Inaugural F-Body Nationals in Memphis TN

Camaros, and other F-bodies, converged on Memphis for the inaugural event!

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F-bodies—that would be Camaros and Firebirds for those not hip to the nomenclature—are arguably one of the most iconic cars ever churned out by General Motors. It was Chevrolet’s answer to the Mustang and even though we are pretty biased we’re convinced it won the ponycar wars. Given the platform’s huge popularity, it’s no wonder so many clubs and organizations are loyal to the nameplates. But, what was really needed was a venue for likeminded fanatics to come together. That was the idea behind the Classic Industries F-Body Nationals held in September 2017 in Memphis, Tennessee. Yep, an entire event dedicated to all things F-body. When we found out we just had to go check it out for ourselves.

The event had a little something for everyone. It was held at the Memphis International Raceway so there was a great dragstrip to play on, with exhibition Pro Mod cars. For those that like a few turns thrown in there was a pretty challenging CPP-sponsored autocross. If you just wanted to relax there was a large car show with Camaros, Firebirds, and Trans Ams of all generations on display. There was also a large tent holding some pretty rare F-body examples, including VINs 001 and 031, some of the first Camaros ever produced as well as other historically important rides.

To top it off they gave away a customized 1967 Camaro! Yep, everyone that attended was put into the raffle and at the end of the day David Glidewell, of Corinth, Mississippi, won the F-Body Nationals Trim Parts Giveaway Camaro built by A&R Restorations in Emory, Texas.

This year promises to be bigger and better, so mark your calendar for September 21-22, 2018, and visit www.fbodynationals.com for more registration info. We heard this year they’re giving away a ’68 Camaro, so be sure to bring your rabbit’s foot for luck.

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Classic Performance Products (CPP) sponsored the autocross, which was a hit with both drivers and spectators. They even had a shootout between the top competing cars where Valerie Pichette, driving her ’88 F-body, won with a time of 39.964 seconds.

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In addition to the competitors, a few exhibition cars made laps, including Kyle Tucker in Detroit Speed’s (DSE) badass LS-powered third-gen Camaro. We’re pretty sure he wore out a full set of tires giving rides to spectators.

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CPP also brought out a few cars to the autocross they sponsored, including this super-clean ’68 Camaro.

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There were a wide variety of cars on display, but one of the nicest in the Restored category was Ronni Held’s Cordovan Maroon big-block 1968 Camaro RS/SS. In December 1967 it stickered for $3,837.25. Today, it’s worth considerably more!

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Pro Mods, always a crowd favorite, ran hard at Memphis International Raceway all weekend long.

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Another pro driver giving exhibition rides in his stupid-fast, track-proven second-gen Camaro was Brian Finch.

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Brian Nick’s ’67 Camaro RS/SS had a great mix of classic vibe and custom touches. When he wasn’t displaying it in the show he was running it at CPP’s autocross, which made the car that much cooler.

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On display was the very first Camaro. Yep, beautifully restored, this is the car that started it all. The irony of it being a six-cylinder, low-option ride isn’t lost on us, but it’s still one of the more significant Camaros in terms of Chevrolet history.

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We even ran across an old project car from our days at Camaro Performers magazine. Nick Licata’s Black Betty ’01 Z28, now owned and driven by Mark Golovin, tore up the autocross track, winning the Fourth-gen class, and turned in one of the fastest times at 39.731 seconds. It was great seeing the fourth-gen being driven as we intended!

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We even ran across an old project car from our days at Camaro Performers magazine. Nick Licata’s Black Betty ’01 Z28, now owned and driven by Mark Golovin, tore up the autocross track, winning the Fourth-gen class, and turned in one of the fastest times at 39.731 seconds. It was great seeing the fourth-gen being driven as we intended!

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In addition to the show, dragstrip, and autocross, there was a good-sized F-body swap meet where everything from hard-to-find parts to complete cars were up for grabs.

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The dragstrip was open all weekend for the bracket classes, but anyone who had a car registered into the event, so long as they passed tech, could make a pass down the 1320.

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The dragstrip was open all weekend for the bracket classes, but anyone who had a car registered into the event, so long as they passed tech, could make a pass down the 1320.

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Second-gens were also well represented, including the one that CPP drove to Memphis from California just for the event.

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Best Resto Mod went to the ’69 Camaro owned by Kenny and Tammie Brazell of Blythewood, South Carolina. Featuring an LS3 backed by a 6L80E trans, we imagine it drove even better than it looked.


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The giveaway ’67 Camaro was really a sweet ride and filled with off-the-shelf parts from some of the top aftermarket companies, including CPP, Golden Star Classic Auto, Right Stuff, Chevrolet Performance (Gandrud Chevrolet), ididit, Classic Instruments, American Autowire, Optima, Vintage Air, Soff Seal, Trim Parts, Dynamat, Eddie Motorsports, PUI Interiors, Shiftworks, Hooker, Holley, Jegs, National Parts Depot, CFR Performance, Lonestar Parts, American Legend Wheels, Falken Tires, and Classic Industries. Alan Pound, of A&R Restorations, ran the build, including laying down the stunning red Axalta paint. The Camaro had over $125,000 in parts and labor, so we can imagine David Glidewell was pretty happy when they pulled his ticket for the raffle! The Camaro’s a driver, too, having earned its Long Hauler stripes on the Hot Rod Power Tour. This year’s giveaway car is a ’68 Camaro and if it’s even half as nice as this one you’re going to want to make sure you’re in on the raffle! To find out more visit www.fbodynationals.com.

Photos by Steven Rupp

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