The shaved firewall eliminated the factory climate control unit, a problem that Butch happily replaced with a Vintage Air system. Butch and his pal Walt McPherson modified the OEM wiring loom to accommodate the climate system and an Alpine head unit. It, in turn, drives Infinity component sets. The bulk of the interior remains stock, including the seats that Butch and nearby Jim's Upholstery trimmed in black comfort weave. Even the seat belts are the ones that came with the car.
Butch shoed the car with Coddington Timeless-series wheels. The fronts measure 18x7, and the rears, a whopping 18x12. "When I had the wheels made, they had to weld two hoops together because the offset was so deep," Butch said. Speaking of offset, all wheels feature 4-inch backspace. They also wear ZR-rated Michelin Pilot Sports, 225/40 and 335/35, respectively.
Butch took a few liberties with the interior. He scotched the stock gauge cluster in favor of a Detroit Speed dash and outfitted that with Autometer Pro-Comp Ultra-Lite gauges. He replaced the fixed column with an ididit tilt column and topped it with a Comfort Grip steering wheel and upgraded the wipers with the optional delay function.
The remote mirror, tinted glass, and deluxe interior weren't his doing though; they were all there from day one, factors that Butch said weighed heavily during the car's build. Though at first glance the car appears highly modified, it is, in fact, quite intact. "All the changes that were made were done without sacrificing the style of a '69 Camaro," Butch said. "That way it would be possible if someone ever wanted to go back."
By our comparison, to pedigreed cars it might sound as if we're making the case that clones and hot rods like Butch's are somehow lesser. But nothing could be further from the truth.
Truth be told, pedigreed cars are too precious anymore. About the only extreme thing a true COPO car endures today is a good throttling as it crosses the auction block. From there they might get a cautious lap around the block before they go back in their trailer and ultimately back into a climate-controlled garage.
But as anyone who's ever fallen in love with a car will tell you, a muscle car earns its keep when pitched sideways and held a tick shy of its redline. Honestly, hardly a pedigreed car-certainly not one in the hands of a half-sane owner-will ever approach that sort of glory anymore. What a pity. Like a happy puppy at the end of a short leash, a muscle car begs to play. What misfortune to deny one that pleasure. We'll stick to our mongrels, thank you.