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1969 Chevy Camaro - Adrenaline Junkie

This '69 Satisfies The Need For Speed

By Andrew Schear

Terry Murphy, a Southern California based FedEx pilot and former Naval aviator tells us that there's nothin' like lighting the afterburner in an F-14 Tomcat. When you fly jets for a living, it takes a lot of adrenaline to keep you on the tips of your toes, Terry tells us. The combination of 27,000 pounds of thrust and Sidewinder missiles is about the manliest duo on Earth.

With a background such as this, one would think that anything that can't hit mach two is a slight disappointment. Terry tells us that isn't quite so. When he hops into his 502 powered '69 and drops the hammer, the only thing he can think is: Wow! This is way off the scale on my official Fun-O-Meter. After seeing Terry's F-body lay a second gear patch 10 feet long, we agree.

As a young kid, Terry recalls drooling over the '69 every time the garage door opened. It had been in the family since 1976, Terry tells us, and was originally purchased by his big brother, but was unfortunately crashed in 1978 or 1979. After the accident the '69's primary purpose was to catch the dust before it hit the garage floor, a lousy existence for a beautiful machine. Some 20 years later, Terry sought the permission of his siblings to bring the '69 from it's resting place in Illinois to the West where he intended to give the '69 a revival fit for a king. With no complaints from his family, Terry made the long trek back to California and straight to Hot Rods And Custom Stuff, in Escondido, California.

Once at HR&CS, Terry and shop owner Randy Clark hammered out the details and began the work. Terry's rationale was simple, since the car was not a Z/28 or the like, it made no sense to return the '69 to original condition. With this in mind, the '69 received a GM 502/502 big-block backed with a Richmond six-speed transmission. Power was transferred through a 9-inch rearend, housing 3.73:1 gears and a posi unit. Cornering ability was derived from a set of Eibach springs in front and Eaton springs in back. All four corners were dampened by Bilstein shocks mounted in the OEM locations. To help keep the '69 rigid, Detroit Speed sub-frame connectors and thicker sway bars were also installed.

Now that the '69 was mechanically sound it traveled down the street two blocks to HR&CS's in-house paint facility where the body would be straightened and prepped for paint. After the shell was blocked straight, it was dipped in a deep, Garnet Red PPG two-stage clear with black stripes. When the clear had dried the finish was color sanded, pinstriped, re-cleared, color sanded and then buffed to a glass like finish.

In the interest of drivability air conditioning was installed as well as the wiring for a stereo. After the Torque-Thrust wheels were dropped on, the only thing missing was the cash from Terry's pocket. There's something to be said for knowing when enough is enough, and we think that Terry knows just where that is, his garage of course! We hope to see this rubber-burning monster around the highways of Southern California, but with Terry's need for speed, all we'll be seeing are his taillights!

TECH SPECS Owner Terry & Diane Murphy
Vehicle '69 Camaro
Engine 502-inch big-block, GM Gen VI heads, forged-steel crankshaft, Pink rods, 9.6:1 pistons, GM aluminum high-rise
manifold, GM cam .527-inch lift, 234 degrees at .050, GM HEI ignition, K&N 14-inch filter, Sanderson headers,
Dynomax mufflers
Transmission Richmond six-speed, Centerforce dual friction clutch
Front 2.5-inch dropped spindles, Eibach springs, Bilstein shocks
Rear 3.73:1 9-inch rearend, Eaton 2-inch lowering leaf springs, Bilstein shocks, by Hot Rods and Custom Stuff (760/745-1170)
Wheels 16-inch American Racing Torque Thrust II
Tires BFG Comp T/A
Front 225/50R/16
Rear 255/50R/16
Interior Classic Industries carpet and door panels, vinyl seating surfaces, OEM seats, Autometer gauges, Grant steering
wheel, Ididit steering column, Richmond shifter, by HR&CS
Exterior PPG Garnet Red two-stage clear with black stripes, by HR&CS
By Andrew Schear
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