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Readers’ Rides - December 2013

Nov 20, 2013
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Family Treasure

1980 Chevy Camaro Brian 2/8

Every Camaro has a story, but some stories are just extra cool. A good example is the one of Brian Miller’s. As he wrote us, “When younger, I would hear my dad refer to his 1980 Z, and he always had a smile on his face. He would tell my little brother and I how much he loved that car and the ‘adventures’ him and my uncle had in it. From time to time he would even break out the old photo album and show us the few pictures he had of it from my parent’s wedding night. He eventually had to part with it when I was born, since it wasn’t the best family vehicle. One day I told myself ‘if I’m ever able to find one in my price range I would buy it and surprise my dad with it.’ After all, for everything he’s done for our family, he deserved it. As I was cruising through my usual car forums, I saw a thread titled ‘1980 Camaro for sale.’ I opened it up, and there it was; in primer, ready for paint, and ripe for the picking! Within two days, the car was delivered to our house, and fortunately my dad was out of town at the time. I moved the car to my friend’s shop, and by the end of the week had it painted in the same dark Claret Metallic my dad’s Camaro was painted. I then brought it home, parked it backwards in the driveway, and waited for my dad to arrive home from his trip. The expression on his face was not what I expected. It honestly took him about five minutes to completely understand that this was his car and not just a friend’s that I had brought by for him to look at. He was so excited. It was worth all the work. We spent the next few hours bonding and talking over all the possibilities for the car. It was awesome. From there, we pulled the old, tired 350/350 combo and begin planning the rest of the project.”

The plan was to build a driver, so the duo scored a defunct 5.3L LS engine and 4L60E trans to power the Z28. Using a trick we’ve done ourselves; they added 4.8L pistons to bump up the compression, and added ARP bolts for peace of mind. Worked-over LQ4 heads and an LS6 cam further upped the performance. The interior was reworked and upgraded with new gauges and a Vintage Air Gen IV climate system. Once the car hit the road, Brian, his dad, and his brother Andy have enjoyed driving the car to events near and far. They’ve learned a lot and made priceless memories. Once the suspension and brakes get reworked, they plan on hitting some autocross events and enjoying their new family treasure.

Stock and Sweet

2001 Chevy Camaro Ss Kris 3/8

Kris Carson has owned six Camaros, but this 2001 SS is by far his favorite. With only 29,000 miles on the clock, it’s definitely his weekend cruiser, and he’s worked hard to give the mostly stock SS its own look. The Camaro rolls on black powdercoated Z06 replica wheels while Whistler headlights and clear turn signal lenses upgrade the nose’s appearance. And while he misses the sound of his old LT1-powered Camaro, he loves the added performance of the LS1 engine.

Restoration Hardware

1967 Chevy Camaro Rs Ss Randy 4/8

Manteca, California’s Randy Blankenship did a killer job restoring this 1967 RS/SS 396 Camaro. Backed up by a TH400 transmission, the F-body was a highly optioned ride with adders like tilt wood wheel, remote mirror, rear defrost, fold-down rear seat, power windows, tissue dispenser, and more. It all makes for a classic that will never go out of style.

Future Classic

1984 Chevy Camaro Z28 Scott 5/8

It’s been nearly 30 years since Scott McIntyre’s 1984 Z28 rolled off the factory floor, but with only 47,000 original miles, you can still catch a hint of that new-car smell. Powered by a 5.0L “High Output” engine, the Van Nuys-built Camaro started life as a coupe but was converted to drop-top status by Colorado Custom Tops. Some of the other options include the MD8 700-R4 trans, GT4 3.72 rear axle ratio, and AC3 power driver seat upgrade. Aside from the tires, the whole car, including the paint, is factory original, and Scott even has the original window sticker and buildsheet. Nice to see that third-gens are being kept original just like their classic cousins.

High Output Engine 6/8

Modern Marvel

2011 Chevy Camaro Ss Tom 7/8

Tom Peel has owned various Camaros since 1977 when he bought a new one off the dealer lot. Since then, he’s picked up an ’81 Z28 that’s still in storage, an ’85 Z, and most recently, this ’11 SS.

“After hearing that Chevy was bringing back the Camaro, I became very excited, and after three years of convincing my far-more sensible wife, I finally said to her, ‘I’m heading out to buy the Camaro SS.’ A week later I was the proud owner of a Cyber Gray Metallic RS/SS. Since then I went from driving a fully optioned 2011 Camaro SS to a personalized machine that turns heads at every corner,” remarked Tom. The biggest change to the looks was the addition of three-piece forged rims from West Coast Camaro and a more aggressive GM rear spoiler along with color-matched ground effects. Performance upgrades include a Whipple 2.8L supercharger, American Racing headers, and Corsa exhaust. The power-adders were enough to boost the numbers to 625 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque. The brakes received a set of Baer DecelaRotors with Hawk pads, while the interior got a huge 1,500-watt audio system.

 Chevy Camaro 8/8

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