The first major suspension modification was the addition of a Lateral Dynamics three-link rear suspension. The installation was pretty straight forward, but since James wanted a factory appearance, he did a lot of work integrating it into the Camaro's factory floor. To get the enclosure for the upper link just right, he ended up reworking a trans tunnel from a late '60s T-Bird.
The trunk was also modified to give additional exhaust clearance. Up front, a replacement factory subframe was welded up by American Touring Specialties and fitted with their Chicane-LM coilover conversion kit. The engine needed to be powerful yet reliable, so James contracted Katech Performance to build a dry sump LS7 mill that spits out 603 hp at 6,200 rpm and 564 pounds of twist at 4,795 rpm on the engine dyno.
Behind the 427 resides a Tremec T56 Magnum from Classic Motorsports Group, and hanging in the balance is a 9-inch rearend assembled by Currie Enterprises. Everything was picked with an eye on dependability. It'll be needed for the brutal events James has in mind. Even something as innocuous as the electrical system was given the top-shelf treatment-an ISIS Intelligent Multiplex system.
But, just because the car was built to race, doesn't mean it can't kick serious ass at any car show. The custom Sunset Red paint laid down by Chris is stunning, and the Marquez Design interior manages to update the classic ride without going overboard. There are billet trinkets from companies like Marquez Design, the Ringbrothers, and RFR Custom Fabrication-but not too much. It's a ride full of subtle details that conspire together to create an overall package that's both classic and modern at the same time.
In total, James' Camaro took nearly three years to build and was finished just in time for the 2008 SEMA show. Since its debut, the Camaro has spent the last year attending various events such as the Nevada open road races, Optima Invitational, open track days, and many autocross runs, all in an effort to get the car sorted out for next year's One Lap showdown.
Instrumental in getting the Camaro in shape has been David Pozzi of Pozzi Racing. He designed custom front and rear Hellwig adjustable sway bars, modified the front steering arms and centerlink to afford more wheel clearance, and along with James, has performed a plethora of suspension tweaks and changes. But wrenching and getting a car "just right" is half the fun of hot rodding. Thanks to guys like James, that shark may never need to be jumped, and Pro Touring will stay true to its roots.