1968 Chevy Camaro - Tazmanian Devil

The Beast Within The 572

Bernadette Foti May 1, 2009 0 Comment(s)
View Full Gallery

We couldn’t understand a word he said, but he was fast and he chewed up everything in his path with the sheer momentum of his movement. What a feat to be able to harness that kind of energy and speed. You could get your chores done in half the time, and you could beat any other car on the street. What a dream!

Camp 0905 10 1968 Chevy Camaro Tail Light 2/12

Well, thanks to engineering brilliance at GM Performance Parts, dreams do come true. The GM Performance Parts 572ci crate engine epitomizes the explosion of energy and speed best illustrated by the Taz Man himself. Yes, it is a 620hp crate engine that’s delivered in a wooden crate. But just one look and you know this bad boy is no ordinary rodent. And when you give it a bit of gas, even off idle, it cackles like no other.

When you have the opportunity to make the past perfect, stepup to the plate and don’t get caught snoozing at the lights. Any racer will tell you to grab a handful and run with it, and Tony Foti of the LAPD Racing Team is not one to blink.

Tony learned that a ’68 Camaro was sitting in a tow yard collecting dust and rust. It had been road hard and it sat long. But, as bad as it was, it’s still a piece of American Muscle. Resurrection was not an option; it was mandatory, and it had to be evil.

Camp 0905 05 1968 Chevy Camaro Chrome Bumper 3/12

After choosing the “Tazmanian” crate motor, Tony turned to Classic Industries in Huntington Beach, California, to help with the Camaro restoration. Using their comprehensive catalogue, he was able to order all interior and exterior body parts necessary for the Camaro’s prominent return glory.

The car was then delivered to Carlos Maldonado of John’s Customs Paints in Chatsworth, California, where they added a four-inch cowl hood to accommodate the tall deck of the 572ci crate engine. Tony then selected PPG Cortez Silver from Simi Paint and Supply in Simi Valley, California, the perfect base for Carlos to lay down the glass-like finish.

The crew at J.P.A. in Chatsworth installed the drivetrain with speed and precision and then bolted up a custom set of Doug’s 2-inch, ceramic-coated headers with a 3-inch Flowmaster muscle car exhaust system. They also tuned the suspension by installing upper and lower tubular control arms, as well as a set of coil springs and sway bars from Global West products.

Camp 0905 11 1968 Chevy Camaro Front Headlights 4/12

To prevent high-rpm belt-slippage, Tony went with a GM Performance Parts serpentine belt system, and turned to Milodon Industries for a deep street oil pan and oiling system to ensure slick operation under the often-delt, extreme conditions. Additional accessories such as a K&N air filter, mini starter, and chrome alternator were obtained from PAW.

Galaxy Auto Sounds in Reseda, California, kicked in with the tunes, while SoffSeal rubber was used to keep the window gaps tight and leak-free.

The powerplant utilizes a Centerforce, dual-disc, 12-inch clutch with an Auto Gear M-22 four-speed. This combination is coupled to a Gear Venders Overdrive unit, which sends thunder to the Strange 12-bolt posi. It’s a perfect blend of technology that keeps the Camaro purring like a kitten on long highway trips while retaining the necessary strength for tearing up the road. To monitor this bad boy, Autometer Sport Comp Gauges keeps tabs on the vitals.

For stopping reliability, Tony had the crew at J.P.A. install Stainless Steel disc brakes on all four corners. As good as they look, and as essential to stopping performance, Tony covered them with 17x8 Cragar SS chrome wheels wrapped in Bridgestone radial tires.

This 572 beast is in a class by itself. To the skeptics who think that 620 hp can’t be set loose on pump gas; step up and feel the thunder. Extra shorts sold separately.




Connect With Us

Get Latest News and Articles. Newsletter Sign Up

subscribe to the magazine

get digital get print