1994 Chevy Camaro Z28 - The Long Road To The Top

Building The Fastest All Motor, Six-Speed LT1 In The Country, The Long Way

Justin Cesler Mar 1, 2010 0 Comment(s)

"I remember the first test-drive like it was yesterday. I pulled out of the McDonalds in Houston [Texas] with my dad in the passenger seat. I drove about an eigth-mile up the road and turned off on what looked to be a quiet, untraveled highway, to really see what the Z had. As I brought it up to 30 mph in First gear, I let her have it. I put my foot to the floor and then, all of a sudden, it stopped and threw us forward harder then it was sitting us back." Broken Camaro and all, Brady decided to buy it anyway and limp the Camaro home. "I didn't drive nine hours to come home with no Camaro, after all, it was the car I wanted." And with that, the long journey began. "The front nose and passenger side fender had lost a fight with a mailbox, the paint and windows were water spotted from sitting outside. Random dash lights were on and others didn't work. We brought a trailer to take it back on, but I was so proud of my Z28, I drove it all the way back home."

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Once back in his driveway, Brady went to work, the start of what would end up being a 10-second monster worthy of running with the best LT1 cars on the planet. "After reading about the GMHTP LT1 bolt-on shootout and seeing the times the guys put down, I knew where I wanted to go with the car. I tried for over a year and a half to break the best M6 time and I finally ran a 12.295 at 112 (to the previous record of a 12.34 at 110), which was the first time I had accomplished anything big with the car." Now completely addicted, it was time to go faster. "It was time to run with the big boys ... or so I thought. I ordered up a Nitrous Express kit and before long the 150 pills had made there way into my kit. I remember the first time I hit it (on 150) and thinking to myself 'so this is what horsepower feels like!' It didn't take long to move to the 200 pills." Unfortunately, greed finally did get the best of Brady, as a set of Llyod Elliot heads and camshaft found its way onto the LT1, and made just enough power to destroy the stock motor on the nitrous.

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With the car on jack stands, Brady took a second job to help fuel his go-fast addiction. He also started doing side jobs building other people's cars, doing cam swaps and clutches for local racers' LS1 cars. "I loved the work, it seemed like I was the only one with a set of tools on my block, so I had phone calls every day." With cash to spend, Brady began collecting a killer pile of parts, including a set of BRE CNC-ported Dart PRO1 cylinder heads, which would eventually sit atop his freshly built, 383-cubic-inch powerplant. Using an LT4 block, Brady installed an Eagle 4340 crankshaft, Eagle H-Beam rods, and Diamond Pistons, a solid foundation for all the things to come. A custom solid roller camshaft was chosen to direct the valve events, an idea that came only after ordering and installing all of the normal hydraulic roller parts. "I would stay up late every night reading what all the fast guys were using." With his new knowledge, Brady assembled a killer drivetrain to back his new bullet, using a homebuilt face-plated LS1 T56 to turn a 3.5-inch driveshaft. The rearend was fully fortified using a new Moser 9-inch stuffed with 4.11 gears and 35-spline gun-drilled axles. Madman was called upon to supply most of the suspension pieces, with AFCO shocks front and rear.

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