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A 1969 Chevrolet Camaro that’s getting a modern makeover while keeping its vintage style

Keeping Pace

Oct 27, 2017
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OK, so here’s the deal. You find an original, real-deal 1969 Camaro pace car but most of the original parts are gone and it’s been heavily modified. You’ve also been having sweaty dreams about owning a Pro Touring ride. What to do? Build a really cool pace car-themed Pro Touring Camaro, of course.

That was the plan when a customer brought the pace car to AI Design in Tuckahoe, New York, for a complete redo. The owner raced in the Ferrari Challenge and Lamborghini Super Trofeo series, so he owned some impressive cars. The challenge was bringing the ’69 up to this level without losing the flavor of the Indy 500 pace car in the process.


To power the Camaro, AI Design dropped in a 427 LS7 mill worked over with Mahle forged pistons, Mast Black Label 285cc heads, a custom-grind cam, and Detroit Speed Inc. (DSE) 1 7/8-inch headers. This combination is good for around 650 hp. Backing up the engine is a six-speed TREMEC Magnum with a Ram 10.5-inch twin-disc clutch.


To get the ’69 handling like a supercar, a DSE hydroformed front subframe was slid under the F-body and paired with their QUADRALink rear suspension system. JRi/DSE shocks on all four corners give a good ride while also allowing the Camaro to slice through the curves. To slow things back down, Baer Extreme Plus six-piston monoblock calipers with 14-inch SDZ rotors were bolted on up front and tied in to more Baer disc brakes in the rear.


The body was left looking as stock as possible, but DSE mini-tubs were added to allow for wider rear rubber. The interior was fully customized, but done in the period-correct orange and houndstooth scheme to carry forward the pace car vibe. Cadillac CTS-V seats were reshaped to fit the design of the car. It all works together to make for a Camaro that has modern underpinnings but with the classic looks that will never go out of style. To see more visit AI Design at www.aidesign.com.

Photography by Steven Rupp


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