Sriyantha Weerasuria, SW for short, is an owner of an exotic car dealership who is never still and never content. His busybody nature started with the urgency he felt to get a car of his own when he was first able to drive. His father always had a stable full of vintage and modern European cars and SW got started with the junior editions to his father’s exotics. His first car, for example, was a Fiat.
SW was loyal to his dad’s preferences until he saw a visitor of his neighbor come around with a Buccaneer Red ’70 Trans Am. He would wait anxiously with his palms pressed against the living-room window for the Firebird to round the corner to visit his neighbor; immediately he would dart out and take up any offer for a ride around in the first American muscle car he laid eyes on. Since then, the sound of a large-displacement American V-8 pulled at his heartstrings. For years his dad would point his chin down and shake his head in disapproval, but what’s a child without a little rebellion? His dad is well into his 80s and he still shakes his head at his son’s love for heavy-metal domestics.
And during the 30-plus years of being an active car buff, SW has owned close to 20 Trans Ams, along with a few Corvettes that were sometimes used as track cars. As we noted earlier, SW has full access and owns many high-end supercars, but when he does his daily trip to the garage, he walks right past them all and straight into his mint ’71 second-gen Camaro.
The creation of this second-gen started when he found a perfectly nice ’71 Camaro to bring home. It was a decent car with a white coat and blue stripes, a clean interior, and was a running driver. The plan started small, as it usually does, but it was Eric Griffith of Griffith Metal Shaping in Austin, who was SW’s right-hand man when it came to pulling off the quick personalization of his purchases. Like most of us, he can’t leave well enough alone, and this drivetrain swap morphed into a complete bolt-by-bolt Pro Touring transformation.
The inspiration for this Camaro came from Kyle and Stacy Tucker of Detroit Speed. SW originally spotted their ’70 Camaro RS and it was then he knew this would be the platform for his next car. SW wanted something his local Euro and Corvette friends would be shocked to see pass by them by on the track. His friends’ mindset is still that American muscle cars are simply drag racing or cruising tanks only. Obviously, his buddies have never seen what a Detroit Speed car is capable of.
SW cracked open the second-generation F-body section of the Detroit Speed catalog and basically ordered one of everything. He knew, with total certainty, that their combination worked the way he wanted. He was able to start with their hydroformed subframe and QUADRALink rear suspension and completed the package with their mini-tub assembly. The hard parts were the easy part; it was the paint and body process that SW obsessed over. The Camaro spent six months at Custom Car Crafters getting the body gaps absolutely perfect. The Z06 Machine Silver paint was laid down with the highest attention to detail.
This guy is pretty busy too. His better half, Jennifer, is amazingly supportive of his long days at the dealership, long nights at the shop, and long weekends racing his track-only Ferraris and Porsches. They recently had a baby, Shelby, who is already showing signs of being a car guy. Whenever he starts to cry, SW takes him in his arms and walks him to the garage. There, within 20 seconds, he stops crying and looks around in amazement. The only question we have; what will be Shelby’s first ride? Whatever it is, we have no doubt that SW will have someone to continue his passion for performance rides.