Dick Martin has been building hot rods for over 60 years—mostly early Fords. In fact, his first car was a '40 Ford coupe that was on the cover of Hop Up magazine back in 1952. Dick claims no allegiance to the Blue Oval; it's just what was popular back in those days. Although he's built a few Corvettes, this in-progress '71 Camaro is the first real Chevy muscle car he's done.
"I got a ride in Bad Penny, the Camaro Performers magazine project car, at the Del Mar Goodguys autocross a few years ago. That was it for me. Right then I knew my next project was going to be a Pro Touring muscle car."
At the Del Mar Goodguys show in November 2012, Dick came across this '71 for sale. It had some suspension mods and the paint and upholstery were recently redone. After a check for rust and to ensure the car was straight—it turned out to be a very clean example—he snatched it up.
"I drove the car like it was for about two months. During that time, I did a lot of research on which suspension parts I'd be using to upgrade it," said Dick. "I settled on using Detroit Speed, Inc. components, then had the guys at Best of Show Coach Works in Escondido, California, order up the parts."
Dick moved forward and tack-welded in the suspension himself then bolted in an LS3 and 700-R4 trans he'd purchased from Turn Key Engine Supply in Oceanside, California.
Best of Show took it from there and finish-welded the subframe, did all the wiring, installed the Wilwood brake system, ran the fuel lines, filled the holes in the firewall, and doused the engine bay in flat black.
Budnik G-Series Spyder wheels reside on all four corners (18x9 front, 19x11 rear) and are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport rubber.
Once finished, this second-gen will be a fantastic crossbreed hot rod featuring an amazing amount of "show" and plenty of "go." Dick is looking forward to getting the car out on the autocross the first chance he gets.
Look for a full feature of Dick's '71 Camaro in an upcoming issue of Camaro Performers.