Some folks might have a problem working all day, then coming home, and doing the same thing until the wee hours of the morning. That is, unless you’re a professional mechanic working after hours on your dream car. Ed Nash from Port Orange, Florida, has been a professional autobody technician for the last 28 years. The enthusiast seed was planted early, thanks to his father, in charge of the local Chevrolet dealership, who would bring amazing cars home and do burnouts and donuts in front of the house. Back then, the split bumper Camaro was one of young Ed’s favorites, and it still is. Having built almost a dozen high-performance vehicles in the past, he decided it was time for an awesome street car and decided to make the fantasy of that second-gen Camaro a reality. He found this ’71 Camaro SS locally and, although it was in genuinely poor condition, the price was right. Ed had a clear view of the potential however, and the beat-up car was the perfect choice since he planned to upgrade everything anyway. Ed has a unique philosophy: “I don’t like cars that I don’t own. And if I don’t build them, they’re not really mine.”
Rollers & Binders
Big brakes were as important as any other element of the car and Ed chose ’09 ZO6 binders with 14.5-inch, six-piston calipers up front and 14-inch, four-piston versions in the rear. The 19-inch three-piece Forgeline SP3P forged alloy wheels up front are 10 inches wide. Wrapped with 255/35-ZR19 Nitto Invo rubber, the Camaro grabs corners like it’s on rails. In the rear, 20x12 Forgeline rims create just the right rake while the fat contact patch from the Nitto Invo 315/35-ZR20s plants the power to the ground.
Creating the chassis became a two-step process but it wasn’t planned that way. The build began with Ed creating his own 2x4 Art Morrison–style chassis and equipping it with Corvette C4 front and rear suspension. Unfortunately, when it came time to join body and frame, the design of the rear framerails intruded so far into the passenger compartment that the back seat would no longer fit. Since four seats and a roomy interior was an important element of the completed car, the new chassis was scrapped. Rethinking his plan for the car, Ed realized that if he put stock ’rails and floorpans back in, he could still build the car the way he wanted and achieve roughly the same effect while retaining seating for four. Dynacorn reproduction rear ’rails along with stock front and rear floorpans solved the problem. With the basic structure once again sound, Ed began adding some creative touches. In the rear, he designed his own four-link to hold the Ford 9-inch/3.50 rear, stabilized with QA1 coilovers and centered with a Panhard bar of his own design. Up front, he created an Art Morrison-style 2x4 front clip using Jake’s Rod Shop C6 suspension parts that included upper and lower A-arms and knuckles along with QA1 coilovers, 400-pound springs, and a 1.5 inch sway bar. A T-Bird power steering rack was added and body bushings from Detroit Speed ensured the new car would have minimal lean in the corners.