Will's transmission choice is odd but not totally original. Though it has a straight 1:1 high-gear ratio, the M22 is the icon of street four-speeds. He separated it from the original with Auto Gear Equipment (Syracuse, New York) that includes a Super Case, ductile iron mid-plate, and a rollerized low gear assembly. The transmission is preceded by an 11-inch Centerforce clutch and surrounded by a Lakewood blast shield. At the other end of the action, Will built himself a 12-bolt equipped with zingy 3.73:1 gears and a limited-slip carrier. The whine of straight-cut gears gives the Camaro a presence not possible with any other type of street transmission. The other guys out there are hearing an M22, so the car must be a bad actor, right?
The Pleasure: As part of the Fikse team, Will's street-machine outlook was significantly tinged by the world in which they operate, one rife with heavy-loaded cornering, brakes like a mountain, and lots of low-profile rubber. Quarter-mile times? Refreshingly, nobody in this house gives a damn about that. What we're looking at is the means to more than one end. While the overstocked suspension becomes an active safety device, it also allowed for the perfect stance. Rather than relying on expensive coilover shocks or air springs to tilt the car one way or another, he simply dropped the car and set its stance accordingly. He trimmed half a coil from the Hotchkis springs and set them between factory control arms. Competition Engineering adjustable shock absorbers temper wheel control, and in all, the front of the Camaro is nearly 4 inches closer to the center of the earth.
At the hind end, the solution is just as rudimentary but with spectacular results. The Camaro plays on de-arched leaf springs that sink the body 3 1/2 inches. Competition adjustable shocks do their business. Will stiffened the chassis with Comp subframe connectors; wheel hop, should there be any, is quelled by Comp slapper bars. Scrubbing off energy is left to dinner-plate large Wilwoods, 14-inch, six-piston jobs in the front and 14-inch four-piston renditions at the rear. All is encased in one of our favorite parts, those vital things that visually make or break a car: Fikse forged modular rims, hewn from aircraft quality aluminum. They are undeniably beautiful and just as succinct, no frippery, no exposed bolts, just pure, streamlined sex. At the leading edge of the car, 18x8 FM 5 wheels (5 1/8-inch backspace) are strapped with hungry S-03 Bridgestones. The 18x10 drive wheels (5 5/8- inch b/s) are fitted with even hungrier 27 5/4s. See how the wheels accentuate the car's deep, obsidian glow? Yes. So good you could eat them.
Though Will's is an absolute street car, it curiously does without most amenities, thus amplifying its mystique. There is no air conditioning. There isn't any sound system, either. The seats and the rest of the interior are as stock and as black as the outside of the Camaro. There are a few bright bits: Auto Meter instruments, an original chrome shifter on the Hurst linkage, and scattering of buttons and pull knobs blinking in the dimness. The classic steering wheel is a Grant GT.