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Classic Chevy Camaro - Classical Resurrection

After Seven Years, Our State-Of-The-Art Camaro Is Finally Finished!

Photography by Andrew Schear, Terry Cole

If the General had taken this long to create the legendary Camaro, chances are it would have never happened! That being said, there's no question that Super Chevy's Classical Resurrection Camaro was well worth the wait. During its seven years of construction, this First-Generation F-body took on a life of its own, eventually lending itself as a virtual test bed for many aftermarket firms and, in some cases, R&D for new and exciting parts. The original concept for the car, to bring those who haven't followed its evolution up to speed, was to build a First-Gen Camaro to the level of performance-and comfort-of a Fourth-Generation machine. What began as simple upgrades to improve the car's power, handling, braking and driver friendliness ultimately produced a car with a stellar combination of modern appointments, industry firsts and legendary classical character.

The original plans called for taking what was a low-mileage, albeit tired, bare bones Camaro and installing a strong small-block, disc brakes, cool wheels and tires and a host of reproduction items. For power, we started with a crate motor from GM Performance Parts. Rated at 300 hp, the goal to emulate an LT1 Fourth-Gen's 285 ponies was right on target. From there, a Hughes Performance Turbo Hydramatic 350 transmission was included in the blueprint, which was linked to a DTS 12-bolt rearend spinning 3.73 cogs.

Initial suspension upgrades included a set of Wilwood disc brakes on each corner, Tokico gas shocks, Helwig sway bar, and a suspension rebuild kit from PST. Cal Tracs traction bars were also employed early on, but found their way onto another project as the Camaro took shape as more of a g-machine than a quarter-mile racer.

While all of these first upgrades hit the mark, it didn't take long for the car's evolutionary destiny to perpetuate. The first prototype component to find a spot under our project was a set of 2-inch dropped spindles from Superior Spindles. Coupled to these castings was a set of Wilwood's then all-new 12.1-inch drilled and vented rotors. Same-size rear rotors and billet four-piston calipers rounded out the brake system.

It wasn't long before Hotchkis Performance jumped on board the test bed with the company's first offerings of gigantic front and rear sway bars. Rounding out the Camaro's cutting-edge underpinnings are Global West's beefy upper and lower tubular control arms and QA1's tough, fully adjustable coilover shocks. Three-inch dearched rear leaf springs from Eaton supported by aluminum QA1 shocks helps to give this beauty its awesome stance.

Other "firsts" that eventually found their way onto the Classical Resurrection include a US Gear V2OD manually operated 20-percent reduction overdrive unit (which bolts to the tailhousing of the Hughes TH350 and links to the rearend by way of a Denny's chrome-moly driveshaft). Lokar's first attempt at a street-rod style shifter was installed and works perfectly in the Classic Industry's reproduction center console. Flowmaster took advantage of our project by providing their first single muffler dual exhaust system. This fully coated assembly of pipes connects from the Hedman shorty headers to a dual chamber single muffler that's mounted transversely in the stock Camaro location. Our local exhaust guru, The Muffler Man, welded up this cool system and it works perfectly with the car's in-the-weeds attitude.

AGR sent us one of their quick-ratio power steering boxes that links an ididit tilt column to a sharp Budnik leather-wrapped, billet steering wheel. As for rolling stock, 17-inch Budnik Famoso billet wheels spin Toyo high-tech rubber (255-35s in the rear and 215-30s up front).

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