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1972 Chevy Camaro RS - Split-Bumper Splendor

Dennis Patterson Wasn't Afraid To Get His Hands Dirty When Building This Second-Gen Camaro

By Arvid Svendsen, Photography by Johnny Hunkins

Moving this spectacular split bumper along is a 383 small-block estimated at 440 horsepower with 475 ft.-lbs. of torque. Built by A.R. Racing in Richmond, Virginia, the stroker motor features an Eagle steel crankshaft and Keith Black 9.8 to 1 pistons. Valve motion is supplied by Competition Cams with .520-inch lift and 226 degrees duration. The Edelbrock Performer Aluminum heads have been ported allowing the 1.6 roller rockers to keep the 2.02-inch intake and 1.60-inch exhaust valves on the job.

Exhaust exits via the Hedman Tork Step headers, 2.5-inch pipes and Dynamax mufflers. Helping the motor to fire properly, Dennis chose a Mallory Distributor. On top, the polished Edelbrock RPM intake is home for an Edelbrock 750 cfm carb. A K&N air cleaner properly sanitizes the breathing. Dennis reports that the car really likes the Muncie M22 transmission and Hurst shifter. A McLeod clutch, flywheel and bellhousing package make shifting a bulletproof combination.

As vice president of Classic Soft Trim, Dennis was well versed in making the interior as up-to-date as any SEMA showcar. Distinctive Industries handled the custom upholstery, which features black leather with '69 Camaro style silver inserts in the Sparco seats. Leather covered door panels and console tie the interior together nicely. Trenz of Bakersfield, California, supplied the beautiful Billet steering wheel, which was wrapped in matching black leather by Distinctive Industries. The Trenz billet custom gauge cluster became home to a slew of Autometer gauges, while maintaining the factory look. Tunes are supplied by a Rockford Fosgate stereo system with a 351S 350-watt amp.

In order to get this split-bumper car sparkling, Dennis chose the non-metallic Chrome Yellow from House of Kolor. Body work for the car was handled by the owner himself, because in his words, "I love to build them." The cowl hood from Classic Industries looks right at home under the black Z28 stripes. Dennis located the short style rear Z28 spoiler that is an absolute necessity to completing the look of this car.

Dennis wanted to especially thank his wife, Irma, good friend Brian Jones, and John Hotchkis for the invaluable help and assistance. Everything was handled by the owner in first-rate fashion and driven by a passion to build an exciting, up-to-date musclecar. Though painting the car in a mobile home canopy next to his house will certainly bring back fond memories, Dennis has plans for a new shop to be the home for his next project, a 1968 Mustang Fastback that promises to be as striking and as owner-built as this Camaro, the "first of a few more to come."

When it came time to spray the car, a mobile home canopy was purchased, the canopy was attached to the side of Dennis' house, portable fans were inserted, and the car received its new hue. Dust was not a big problem, but the Southern California heat was a definite challenge. The look of this car was topped off in magnificent fashion by the one-off billet grille built by Trenz using the exact dimensions of the stock grille for the openings.

By Arvid Svendsen
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