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1972 Chevrolet Camaro - Midnight Muscle

700 HP Backed By 345mm Of Drag Radial Rubber

By Andrew Schear

When we first spotted David Daniels' '72 F-body, we almost dismissed it as simply a mild street machine. After taking a closer look at the giant meats and 700hp small-block, we reconsidered. After all, the Super Chevy Shows are a haven for early muscle.

Dave's '72 represents what we think is the gray area for a street sleeper. No wild green paint, no pink interior, but one heck of a loud motor. If the thumpy cam isn't a tip off, go ahead and run with Dave, but you'll probably lose.

Dave's F-body began as most projects do, as a work in progress. As his work in progress turned into a full-blown restoration so did his attention to performance. With the '72 stripped into pieces the only prerequisite was that his machine had to have the Pro Street influence while still maintaining the stock exterior look. Pro Street machines in general often lack the comforts of a nice plush interior, stereo and A/C. Dave wanted something different, a Pro Street look with the conveniences of a modern-day Camaro or Vette. His transformation was made that much easier purely by his line of work as a custom interior fabricator.

With the engine, tranny, and rearend out of the car, Dave tore the entire suspension into pieces in preparation for the Chassisworks rearend and modified stock front end. In the front the bushings, tie-rod ends and control arms were reinstalled to OE specs. To make launching a bit more fun, Dave installed Koni drag shocks and SSBC 10-inch disc brakes. In the back, a similar set of shocks and brakes were also utilized. In order to take the abuse of a big-inch small-block a Moser 12-bolt rearend was installed with 3.55 gears and Posi. In the engine department a built 406 was assembled and topped with 200 hp of squeeze for Friday night drags. With this kind of power there was only one tranny choice, the trusty GM Turbo 400. With a bulletproof driveline such as this, burnouts, Friday night drags and the occasional jaunt to the grocery store pose little threat to Dave's '72 street machine.

With the mechanicals out of the way it was time to go to Dave's real forte, aesthetics. The body was stripped down to bare metal and straightened. After numerous blockings the '72 was blown apart, sprayed, sanded, polished and awaiting its new Classic Industries trim.

Having serviced the hot rod business for many years as an interior fabricator, Dave finally had the opportunity to let his own ideas run rampant. With comfort as a primary issue Fourth-Gen Camaro buckets covered with custom leather made their was into the cockpit of the '72. The late-model buckets were accented by Cyberdine gauges and Kenwood audio equipment.

While we have no solid proof that Dave's lil' street machine is a sub 12-second machine the burnout seen on this month's cover is a good hint to its potential.

By Andrew Schear
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