Blues/Rock guitarist Guy Martin has been slinging his axe around the California music scene for about 25 years now, and in order to haul his Fender amp and arsenal of Fender guitars from show to show, his generic-looking pickup truck serves the purpose. Being his only means of transportation, the Ventura, California, resident was growing a little tired of the less-than-stylish ride. It was time to get something with a little more flair and a whole lot more performance. Like all musicians, he had in image to uphold, and like a bad haircut, the truck wasn't helping out matters.
"It was mid-2010 when my dad and I were talking about the possibility of him helping me out with a down payment on a new Camaro," remembers Guy. "I loved the style of the fifth-gen, and he told me he could help, but it would be a while before he would be able to float me the dough. In the meantime, we emailed each other back and forth about what would be the best color; stripes, no stripes; wheel selection; grille; manual or automatic, etc …"
A couple weeks go by and Guy gets the unrelenting urge to drive a new Camaro. He and his pops head down to the local Chevy dealer to test out an SS six-speed manual. His dad opting to stay behind to chat with the salesman. Although Guy thinks this is a little strange, that quickly passes, and he hits the road for a testdrive. "I returned from a somewhat lengthy joy ride and the salesman asks if I like the car then informs me that a loaded Summit White SS automatic was to be delivered here in a week or so as one of their customers ordered it then changed his mind and instead wanted a Corvette," explains Guy. "A little over a week passes and the Chevrolet dealership salesman calls and said the heavily loaded Camaro just came in and that I should come down and have a look. I instantly drop what I'm doing and head down to the dealership to check it out. Sitting in the showroom, there it was; a perfect-looking 2010 Camaro with custom-painted stripes, custom wheels, aftermarket grille, and tinted windows. I couldn't believe it. This car was freakishly loaded up with everything my dad and I were talking about via our email exchanges."
Guy excitedly calls his dad immediately to come to the dealership to have a look at this "awesome" Camaro. Pops responds with a nonchalant, "I'm eating lunch and will be there in about 45 minutes." Guy hangs up and continues to stare at the Camaro while the dealership lights, in a surreal way, showcase the car's gorgeous body lines. His dad finally arrives and the salesman asks if they are up for going into his office to crunch some numbers and possibly put together a deal on the car. Guy responds for both without hesitation, "Of course."
"The salesman shuffles some paperwork on his desk looking slightly flustered and trying to locate the right document, he then looks at me and says, ‘Have you ever seen that TV show called Punk'd?' Well, of course, I said. It's a funny show. The salesman reaches into his desk drawer and pulls out a set of keys and says, ‘You've just been punked! Your dad bought the car weeks ago and had of all the mods performed at other shops before bringing it back to us.' Needless to say, I didn't mind the prank, and even though I got ‘punked,' I rolled off the dealership a very happy man."
Guy drove the Camaro for a little over a year before performance mods took place. First up was lowering the ride with Hotchkis 1.25-inch lowering springs front and rear. He and his late stepfather, Craig Layfield, tackled the job. Following that, he, Tom Dewitt, and Chris Coatsworth installed a 3-inch Flowmaster American Thunder cat-back exhaust to give the car some vocal attitude.
"A few months went by and I had the opportunity to drive a friend's fifth-gen, which had a Granatelli twin-turbo system, and I was instantly hooked. All that horsepower was unbelievably addicting. By August of 2012 I'd saved up enough coin and headed over to Granatelli Motor Sports in Oxnard, California, to get that same system installed on my car. Let me tell you, the feeling of 325 additional horsepower and sound of two PTE6365 Precision ball-bearing turbos is awesome. The adrenaline rush that came with the first outing was incredible. I just about s#!t my pants."
While they were at it, Granatelli upgraded the L99's top end with dual valvesprings, pushrods, lifters, 65-lb fuel injectors, and a COMP (269/279 with lift of 0.581/0.591 and 111 LSA) cam. After all was said and done, the turbo-ized fifth-gen belts out a menacing 650 hp and 645 lb-ft of torque to the tires. An Aeromotive A1000 fuel pump ensures ample fuel delivery when Guy hammers the loud pedal.
A Granatelli 1G suspension system including their trademark Butterfly subframe connecting kit helps keep chassis twist at bay and offers extra stability in cornering situations. Guy's not shy when it comes to putting the car's performance to task, as he's up for hitting as many driving events as possible. In 2010, he made the trek to Chandler, Arizona, for the Camaro Performers magazine "Duel in the Desert" event. More recently, he took First Place at the 2012 Super Chevy Fifth-gen Challenge in Las Vegas, and managed a Second Place finish at the 2013 event held at the Auto Club Famoso Raceway near Bakersfield, California, this past May.
For now the stock Brembo binders handle deceleration duties and peek behind a set of Boze Pro Touring Mesh wheels (20x10 front, 20x12 rear) with brushed centers and polished lips. The attractive wheel choice confides with the slightly lowered stance for an aggressive nuance – a feature lacking with stock fifth-gens. Vredestein Ultrac Sessanta rubber establishes the gripping relationship between tire and tarmac (275/40-20 front, 315/40-20 rear).
While the interior retains the stock GM trim, the exterior's factory Summit White pigment was treated to a Titanium Silver SS stripe with gray pinstripe done by the crew at Bump & Shine Auto Body in Ventura, California. ZL1-style rocker panels and front splitter bring in additional attitude, while the After Market Anarchy billet grille transpose the otherwise pedestrian front end with a touch of style and racing panache. The Oracle color-changing halo headlights set the stage for Guy to alter the car's personality with the touch of a button.
At nightclubs and concert halls, Guy is known for busting out the coolest guitar riffs through his Fender Strat, and on the dragstrip and autocross he's known for having one of the coolest-looking, badass fifth-gen Camaros to hit the pavement.
Check out www.guymartin.com for news and tour dates.