•Issue: July 2013 •Car: 1971 Camaro •Owner: Tim Bowler •Photgrapher: Stephen Kim
One day you see yourself as a casual Camaro fan, and the next you're hard-core when you see a build style that knocks your socks off. That's what happened to Tim Bowler the first time he saw a g-Machine–style second-gen. Swayed by the mean stance and big wheels of a Pro Touring-style ride he saw at a car show got his wheels spinning hard. Right then he knew what his next project would be. Diving right in, he got busy working on a wrecked '70. He replaced just about every body panel, tossed in an L92 engine, upgraded the suspension for autocross purposes, and bolted on a set of Wilwood disc brakes on all four corners while waiting for a vacancy at a local paint shop. With a wait list of about a year, Tim decided to skip that nonsense and buy a clean '71 then transfer all of his upgrades from the '70 over to the car you see here.
Tim has future plans for more suspension upgrades, but for now the PPG Midnight Blue second-gen looks just right in our Best of the Best issue.
•Issue: July 2013 •Car: 2011 Camaro SS/RS •Owner: Jordan Priestley •Photgrapher: Robert McGaffin
With the number of fifth-gen Camaros on the road today, it takes quite a bit extra for it to grab our attention. Well, at the American Street Car Series' 2012 Return to the Coast event, we took notice of this '11 SS/RS's looks, but the angry sound coming from the LS3 as it screamed down the back-straight of the road course really piqued our interest. Jordan Priestly owns JDP Motorsports out of Sandy, Utah, and uses the car as a testbed for his LS-based performance parts business. His idea was to build a kick-ass naturally aspirated fifth-gen that would perform on the track while retaining reliable street manners. Jordan and the crew at JDP massaged the engine to the tune of 480 hp to the tires then bolted up a consortium of Pfadt track-proven performance suspension goodies to provide the Camaro with an extra dose of corner adherence.
It's great to see a portly fifth-gen keeping up with many of the lighter Camaros at the track, yet still being street-driven. To us, that's exactly what this hobby is all about. Jordan's fifth-gen is well-deserved of making our Best of the Best issue.
•Issue: September 2013 •Car: 2010 Camaro SS/RS •Owner: Guy Martin •Photgrapher: Nick Licata
The first time we saw this Camaro it was at the Camaro Performers Duel in the Desert event at Firebird Raceway near Phoenix, Arizona, back in late 2010. We fell in love with the car's looks, but at the time it only featured a few bolt-on mods. Well, a few years passed before we ran into Guy Martin and his '10 SS again. Only this time the SS was armed with some major artillery: a Granatelli twin-turbo system belting out over 650 hp to the tires and a Granatelli 1G suspension system! And Guy isn't afraid to unleash every ounce of the car's fury. The Camaro took First Place at the 2012 and Second at the 2013 Super Chevy events held at the Auto Club Famoso Raceway near Bakersfield, California.
Although the car retains the factory Summit White paint, the Titanium Silver SS stripe sets the car apart from its brethren of fifth-generation enthusiasts—enough so, that this stellar late-model muscle car is worthy of making our Best of the Best issue.
•Issue: December 2013 •Car: 1970 Camaro •Owner: Terry Hansen •Photgrapher: Nick Licata
There's no doubt early second-gens are more popular than ever, and if you've gone out to price one in somewhat decent shape, then you know the asking price can rival a first-gen in comparable condition. Not long ago the aftermarket catered mostly to the first-gen Camaros, but today respect is paid to its early-'70s cousin. Suspension, brakes, sheetmetal, and trim parts for these cars are now easily accessible. Terry Hansen grew up in the SoCal muscle car scene and has seen build styles come and go, but found the Pro Touring/g-Machine movement to be the perfect template for his well-preserved '70 RS/SS. Performing most of the work himself along with the help of his son Zachary, the two upgraded the chassis with DSE suspension components and Baer brakes, then built up an LS3 to the tune of 620 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. This PPG Silver second-gen is a prime example of a stellar home-built project, making it a perfect choice for our Best of the Best issue.