As the build progressed, Jamie played a pivotal role in the direction of the car. Paul’s original plans called for updating the suspension and restoring the stock interior, but what he ended up with is an LS3 crate engine, a T-56 Magnum trans, a Moser 9-inch rearend, a Heidts Pro G front clip, a Detroit Speed Inc. four-link, and Wilwood four-piston disc brakes. “I never intended to go this far with the build, but it just snowballed. The original front subframe had some damage, so it made sense to go aftermarket. Then, after hearing a friend’s LS3 with a cam, there was no going back. Then if you go with an LS engine, you have to get a manual trans. Jamie Bush is a true artist, and he talked me into doing it right the first time so I wouldn’t have any regrets once the build was finished. Every step of the build turned out so nice that it was hard to skip out on anything. A wise man once told me that price will soon be forgotten, but the quality will remain.”
While anyone can bolt on off-the-shelf parts, it’s often the custom fabrication of a project that separates the studs from the duds. Once again, Paul’s Camaro doesn’t disappoint. One of the most noticeable changes from stock is the custom front valance with integrated ’69 Camaro running lights. To clean up the windshield area, the wipers got deleted and the cowl has been smoothed flat. Under the hood, the inner fenders, firewall, and radiator cover are all smoothed as well. Adding just the right touch of bling are Marquez Design LED taillights and parking lights and Ringbrothers hood hinges and door handles. It’s all finished off in House of Kolor Candy Red paint, and MHT Foose Nitrous wheels—measuring 19x8 up front and 20x11 out back—complement the aggressive stance.
Not surprisingly, no expense was spared inside the cabin, either. Paul Atkins gets credit for the trick custom fiberglass dash, which houses retro Classic Instruments gauges. After Jamie Bush built the custom center console and door panels, he took it all to Little Joe’s Upholstery (Pearl, Mississippi) to have it covered in two-tone leather. As expected, the Camaro’s interior is packed with modern creature comforts such as power windows, Vintage Air A/C, and a Clarion stereo with GPS navigation.
Since completing the build in early 2013, Paul has taken the Camaro to a couple of shows, but what he enjoys most is going on long cruises with his family. In the near future, he plans on installing bigger brakes and taking a stab at autocrossing. Somewhat predictably, Paul has received many offers to buy the car in the 28 years that he’s owned it, but he’s never even considered parting ways with his Camaro. “The best part of owning a classic car is the time you get to spend with your friends and family. This car is a part of me, and selling it would be like selling a family member,” he quips. Unlike the guy who unsold it before he sold it, we don’t think Paul is going to change his mind once, let alone twice.