There is a common thread that appears in the interviews we’ve conducted over the years. Enthusiasts tell us the most fun they get from their automotive hobby happens when they’re finally able to build their dream vehicle. Whether it’s a hot rod, custom, or restored antique, the ultimate car is the one that’s perfectly tailored to their lifestyle and the way they enjoy the sport. Driving their creation for the first time becomes one of life’s most treasured memories. Jack Bines lives in Largo, Florida, and works in the family medical business. He has been an avid enthusiast most of his life, with a warm spot for the classic first-gen Camaro. His notion of a dream car became even more sophisticated when he attended the Turkey Run in Daytona and heard GM’s awesome 572 crate engine run for the first time. It only took a moment for the big-inch V-8 to become part of the dream.
Although he had been casually looking for a Camaro for about five years, that audible encounter with the new crate motor spurred the decision to transform dreams into reality. Jack began a concerted search for a project car and you can imagine his excitement when he not only found a fairly complete ’67 Camaro, but also discovered that it already had the new 572 underhood! The car was built by a man in Naples, Florida, but the powertrain proved to be a little too strong for him and he put it on the market. Jack snapped it up, thrilled to finally have the perfect combination in his garage.
Of course, all enthusiasts know that personalizing is part of the process, and it didn’t take long before Jack began making changes. The goal was a custom Camaro with a Pro Touring look that he could drive on a regular basis. Dave and Andrew Stevens at NBS Performance in Pinellas Park rose to the challenge, ready to complete his list of upgrades.
NBS began the project by installing new bushings and subframe connectors, then rejuvenated the frontend with KYB shocks and Hotchkis springs. Landrum Performance rear springs were combined with 24-inch Southside Machine traction bars to minimize rear wheelhop. The springs also helped the profile, lowering the frontend 2 inches and the rear 11/2 inches. The finishing suspension mod was an AGR quick-ratio steering box for precise handling while retaining road feel.
Rollers & Binders
Four-wheel Wilwood disc brakes with stainless steel lines guarantee stopping power to match the high-performance engine, and the elegant Wilwood master cylinder is a jewel-like addition to the engine compartment. Boyd Coddington Timeless 5 rims, 18x9 up front and 18x10 in the rear, are wrapped with 40-series Falken rubber.
Moving inside, the car’s original ’67 interior was still in surprisingly good shape, but it was rejuvenation time! Wanting an entirely new look, Jack turned to his good friend Mark Kraus, from Inner Werks in St. Petersburg. Kraus began the makeover by installing Honda Accord buckets, recontoured and with the headrests removed. He created a template from the front seat in order to build the matching rear seats from fiberglass. Once the rear shells were complete, he upholstered all four seats with Dove Gray Ultra Leather and Ultra Suede. Gray suede headliner and gray wool carpeting continued the theme. Kraus designed a fiberglass center console that runs from the dash to the rear package tray, imitating the profile of the seats. The center armrest is functional, opening for storage up front and providing cupholders in the rear. Door panels and rear quarters were also custom-built from fiberglass and blend perfectly with the rest of the interior. Providing precise tactile connections for the owner, a new Lecarra wheel and tilt column went in along with the B&M Pistol Grip shifter that controls the rebuilt Turbo 400 three-speed automatic. Dakota Digital instruments upgrade the original Camaro pods. But that’s not the end of the story.