1999 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 - It's All Good

A 1,000-rwhp Camaro built for everything. And nothing

Justin Cesler Mar 28, 2014 0 Comment(s)
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Enter Noe Martinez and his '99 Camaro Z28… This is a project that started out as a heads/cam LS1 pushing about 440-rwhp that spiraled into something larger, but it never gave up on any of its original style or reliability. Sure, it's making much bigger numbers now, and it's got a lot more stuff plumbed under the hood, but this is a daily-driven street car with air conditioning, power steering, a full interior, and just about everything else a loaded fourth-gen Camaro could ship to your door with. Well, all that and a Vengeance Racing-built 427 complete with a single 83mm turbocharger pushing out just over 21 pounds of boost…

That's right, this do-it-all-and-look-good-doing-it Z28 makes north of 1,000-rwhp – 1,049-rhwp and 957 lb-ft of torque to be exact – and still manages to drive like a showroom stock musclecar. The engine, designed and built by the Vengeance Racing crew, features heavy-duty racecar parts but was spec'd to last a long time on the street. A 4.125-inch LSX block serves as the foundation of the engine program, and Vengeance stuffed it with rotating hardware from Callies and Diamond, choosing to employ a 4-inch Dragon Slayer crankshaft paired with a set of 6.125-inch connecting rods to keep the Diamond 4.125-inch pistons moving. Up top, Vengeance dropped on a pair of 6-bolt 245cc cylinder heads, which rely upon a custom (don't ask for the specs…) camshaft and Morel link-bar lifters to get air moving in and out of the combustion chamber. And just one look in the engine bay let's you know that this fourth-gen features a killer Beck sheetmetal intake manifold, which moves a ton of air into the cylinder heads. If this sounds like some serious racecar stuff, it is, but it's what you're going to need to make this kind of power to the wheels day in and day out.

1999 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 2/6

Well, you'll need all that and a couple pounds of boost.... and for Vengeance Racing, that's something they've got some experience in. A single 83mm Bullseye billet wheel turbocharger is the star of this show, but it's the supporting cast of characters that make this turbo system work on the street and track. Turbosmart was chosen to control the system, with a 60mm wastegate controlling exhaust flow, a Race Port blow-off valve venting unused compressed air, and an eBoost2 controller keeping everything in check. The complete system, which was fabricated in-house at Vengeance, features stainless steel and aluminum piping throughout, and relies on a set of Stainless Works "up and forward" turbo headers to get everything done. DEI titanium heat wrap – lots of it – keeps the engine bay temps under control during those long summer days spent cruising Hotlanta.

1999 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 3/6

Of course, big boost means big fuel, and Noe's Camaro relies on a set of 1000cc injectors, along with twin in-tank 340-lph fuel pumps, to keep the good stuff moving. Pump gas? Sure, no problem, although you'll have to settle for "just" 869-rwhp and 789 lb-ft of torque on the pump stuff. Have we mentioned yet that all of this power flows through a complete SLP dual/dual exhaust system and a 4L80E overdriven transmission? Yep, this cruiser is built for cruising, and RPM Transmissions' built a stout 4L80E to handle the power, which was stuffed with an FTI 10.5-inch lock-up stall converter. A Moser 12-bolt drives the rear wheels, which were custom-built for this project by 360 Forged. The 18x10.5-inch rears wear a set of 305/35/18 Nitto drag radials and they get the job done on the street thanks to some pretty well designed boost control… That said, traction is still an obvious issue.

1999 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 Engine 4/6
1999 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 5/6

Inside this missile, you won't find hardly anything that would let you know it's a fast car. In fact, all you will ever see is a set of gauges on the A-pillar pod. The rest of this Z28 is minty fresh and essentially stock, with the factory shifter, radio, and interior still in place. There's no rollcage, there are no racing seats… there isn't even an annoying rattle (or eight… stupid F-bodies!), just a stock-appearing interior that's in immaculate condition. Jump in, key on, fire it up and drive. Just the way you would with a stock Camaro, give or take a couple hundred horsepower. But honestly, driving this Camaro was just as easy as driving a stocker and, truth-be-told, you would be hard-pressed to tell this beast made near as much power as it did until you start to hear that turbo spool. But by then, it's much too late.

Truly, this is a street car of epic proportions, and it's refreshing to see a stock-bodied fourth-gen built to do nothing more than put a smile on the owner's face. At the end of the day, isn't that what this is all about?

1999 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 Rear 6/6
A single 83mm Bullseye billet wheel turbocharger is the star of this show

Data File

Car: 1999 Camaro Z28
Owner: Noe Martinez
Block: Chevrolet Performance LSX, 427cid
Compression Ratio: 9.5:1
Heads: Trick Flow Specialties 245cc, X.X00-inch intake, X.X00-inch exhaust valves
Cam: Vengeance Racing, custom hydraulic roller
Rocker Arms: Yella Terra, 1.7-ratio
Pistons: Diamond, forged
Rings: Total Seal
Crankshaft: Callies, forged
Rods: Callies, forged
Throttle Body: Accufab, 105mm
Fuel Injectors: 1000cc
Fuel Pump: Walbro 340lph, in-tank
Ignition: Stock, coil-near-plug
Engine Management: Stock, tuned by Vengeance PCM
Exhaust System: Stainless Works turbo manifolds, 2.5-inch hotside, 3.5-inch downpipe, SLP dual/dual exhaust
Turbocharger: Bullseye turbocharger, 83mm billet wheel
Blow Off Valve: Turbosmart Race Port, 50mm
Wastegate: Turbosmart Power Gate, 60mm
Boost: 21psi
Transmission: 4L80E built by RPM Transmission
Converter: FTI Super Pro Mod, 3000-stall
Driveshaft: 3.5-inch, aluminum
Front Suspension: BMR Suspension K-member, BMR upper and lower control arms, Bilstein shocks, Eibach springs, UMI Performance swaybar
Rear Suspension: BMR Suspension lower control arms, Panhard bar, Bilstein shocks, Eibach springs, UMI Performance swaybar
Rear End: Moser 12-bolt, 3.73:1 gear, Moser 33-spline axles, Eaton Posi
Brakes: Wilwood 6-piston, front and rear
Wheels: 360 Forged Straight V, 18x9 front, 18x10.5 rear
Front Tires: Nitto NT555, 285/35/18
Rear Tires: Nitto NT555R Drag Radial, 305/35/18
HP/TQ: 1,049/957

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