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2002 Chevy Camaro SS - In Rare Form

Jeremy Donovan's Fast And Unique 35th SS

John Ryan Feb 1, 2008

Eibach springs give Jeremy's 35th the perfect stance. The GMMG Phase I package included the SS grille and shorter bumper stripes.

Do you remember the first time you saw a Camaro? Jeremy Donovan was just a kid when his family bought a 1971 Camaro SS, but it kindled a love affair that still burns to this day. When Jeremy got his driver's license, he inherited the second Camaro they owned, a 1977 Z28. Jeremy loved that car, even though it was 14 years old. When he graduated high school, he was presented with the keys to a 1983 Camaro Z28. Years later, he was able to buy his first new Camaro, a 1997 30th Anniversary Z. He still owns all three cars.

When he heard that 2002 was going to be the last production year for the Camaro, it was a bittersweet moment. on one hand, the f-body's future was uncertain at best, but on the other hand, he had just been present for the unveiling of the 35th anniversary SS at the Camaro nationals, which are held every year at Carlisle. from the moment he laid eyes on it, he knew he had to have one. his local dealer received a visit from Jeremy the following Monday and took his order. Like most enthusiasts, Jeremy kept in touch with the dealership, waiting to find out the target production week (TPW). Weeks turned into a month, and then into several months. Knowing there were only going to be 3,000 35th anniversary editions available in the united states, Jeremy started getting nervous. hanging out on the SLP message board had made him pretty anxious, seeing other prospective 35th owners happily posting their TPWs. While browsing some marketing materials associated with the release, he found contact information For Scott Settlemire, who is considered by many to be the godfather of the f-body. Scott called him back a few days later, took down his information, and tracked down his car. a grateful Jeremy was able to tell his dealership when the car was going to be delivered before it even knew. the dealership, still skeptical that the car was going to show up, was carefully instructed to leave all of the protective packaging on the car, so that Jeremy could remove it. Four hours later, the car arrived. a short time later, his car made its maiden voyage down the highway. Life is full of bizarre moments, but the strangest moment in his life happened 10 minutes later. traffic had ground to a halt, and while his car sat swathed in its protective wrapping of plastic and paper, a horse barreled straight toward his car. "the horse got so close to my new car that i could have touched it by sticking my hand out!" Jeremy recounts. once the horse was secured, he resumed his journey home. about 48 hours later, after his 35th had been unwrapped and had a bath, and a few starter coats of Zaino, his plans were put into action. From the moment he came across GMMG,Jeremy was impressed with the special edition cars it was building, its attention to detail, and its reputation for high-quality workmanship. Though he had talked with matt Murphy a few times in the past, the opportunity to actually work with GMMG arose after he purchased his 35th edition. While busy with various special editions, like the Berger cars, GMMG had also announced its plans to release a 35th anniversary Camaro Performance edition. after he dropped off his car, it received the Phase i package, which features a performance upgrade to 380 crank horsepower, achieved by upgrading to GMMG'S air induction and its chambered exhaust. the Phase i package also included various handling upgrades, and several cosmetic changes, including the front grille with the SS Badging. stopping was enhanced by an upgrade to C5 Z06 front brakes. Jeremy also found some Z06 wheels that had been modified to look like the 35th wheels, and those found their way onto his car.

A regular attendee of the Camaro nationals at Carlisle, as well as the f-body Gathering held in Atlanta, he has always had a great time showing his car, and checking out all the other cars that show up. he was perfectly happy until a friend arrived with the GMMG Phase ii package, which features substantial performance upgrades and a power increase to 480 crank horsepower. his friend let him take the car for a ride, and it wasn't long before Jeremy was on the phone with matt booking an appointment to drop off the car. the performance upgrades include a custom Comp Cams hydraulic roller, ported OEM heads, Dynatech headers, high-flow catalytic converters, and a SPEC clutch. matt tuned this burly combination with Ls1 edit. this combination cranked out an impressive 440 rear-wheel horsepower. Driving the car is a lot of fun for Jeremy, and he says most of the miles the car has racked up have occurred after he installed the Phase ii package. the car has since visited GMMG a third time, for a line lock, custom seat inserts, and an electric cutout. only time will tell if Jeremy is finished with upgrades for his 35th, though you will find folks on his favorite Web site, www.Chirpthird.com, talking about Ls7 swaps.

His love of the Camaro has not gone unnoticed. after participating in an essay contest, he was selected along with 11 other diehards to visit the Gm Proving Grounds to check out and drive the prototype 5th Gen convertible in spring 2007. a fully functioning car, he and the others were allowed to drive it and then spend some time with the Camaro brand team, who were interested in their feedback. for a longtime fan, being able to talk to the individuals bringing the 5th Gen to market is a dream come true. Jeremy thanks scott settlemire for helping him make sure he got his 35th, matt Murphy for making his car a blast to drive, and his wife Ginger for being incredibly supportive of his addiction to Camaros. Looks like he needs to make room for another one pretty soon!

Data File
2002 Camaro SS

OWNER: Jeremy Donovan, Wallops Island, VA
BLOCK: stock 346 ci
HEADS: TEA Stage 1.5 5.3 milled .015
CAM: COMP Cams 228/230, .596/.586, 112 LSA
PUSHRODS: COMP Cams chrome-moly
ROCKER ARMS: stock 1.7
PISTONS: stock
RODS: stock
THROTTLE BODY: stocked ported and polished
INTAKE: stock
FUEL PUMP: stock
IGNITION: LS6 plug wires; NGK TR5 spark plugs
EXHAUST SYSTEM: Dynatech long tubes, high-flow cats, GMMG chambered exhaust
TRANSMISSION: stock T56, short throw shift stick, Hurst shift ball
FRONT SUSPENSION: Eibach springs, Bilstein shocks
REAR SUSPENSION: Eibach springs, Bilstein shocks
REAREND: stock 3.42
BRAKES: Corvette Z06 front brakes
WHEELS: 17x9.5 Z06 wheels
FRONT TIRES: F1 275/40/17
REAR TIRES: F1 275/40/17
FUEL OCTANE: 93 octane
CURRENT MILEAGE: 6,500 miles



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