Being one of the premier painters in the motorcycle world, Seth Boldman, owner of Aggressive Designs Custom Motorcycle Painting in Santa Fe Springs, California, is known for high-end, over-the-top artwork that has attracted some of the most serious connoisseurs of custom bike art. Seth and his talented crew might not be widely known in the hot rod painting world, but his unique style of work has attracted celebrity customers such as Las Vegas Mindfreak Criss Angel and members of L.A.'s notorious bad boy rock band, Mötley Crüe.
"I've been spraying motorcycles for over 20 years, but when I got a request from Transtar Automotive Technologies to paint a muscle car, I was eager to take on the challenge," Seth said. "I've painted a few cars in the past and, even though it's not necessarily my forte or what Aggressive Designs is known for, I was definitely up for the task. And not to sound like one of those same ol' generic muscle car cable television shows, but not only did we have just six months to build and paint the car in order to make it to the '09 SEMA show in Las Vegas, there was one small problem: we had yet to find a car."
Seth and his crew at Aggressive Designs immediately put their heads together and decided an early '70s Camaro would be their canvass of choice. They scoured the Internet in hopes of finding a solid, rust-free second-gen that was nice enough to carry the shop's banner without having to devote too much time to excessive bodywork or panel replacement.
It wasn't long before a clean '71 was found. The deal went through without a hitch and within days the F-body's silver pigment was long gone. "Before the car was even in primer, I decided on painting our newly purchased hot rod to resemble something from the same era as the car, only with a modern vibe," Seth recalled. "I remember seeing pictures of the Baldwin Motion Camaros in hot rod magazines and thinking those cars looked sick. The Baldwin Motion stripes just made those cars look totally bitchin'."
Collectively Seth and the crew at Aggressive have about 100 years of custom paint experience, so they put it all together to formulate a four-stage custom job that would make the Camaro stand out from any car they'd ever seen. With SEMA being one of the biggest stages to showcase their talent, the Aggressive team put together a custom recipe consisting of Mint Green basecoat followed by Aggressive's secret mix of Organic Green. The third stage featured a Lime Green Candy Gold, which was then topped off with Transtar Auto's Glamour clearcoat. The custom hue has been aptly named "Aggressive Anti-Freeze Slime Green." Together with the Baldwin-inspired, flat black graphics, the collaboration creates a unique ensemble that must be seen in person to truly appreciate. The only thing missing are the side pipes, but Seth assures that those are next on the list.
To modernize the car even further, Seth got the idea to incorporate carbon-fiber pieces into the mix. Anvil Auto's Power Bulge carbon-fiber hood for second-gens fit the bill and carries the Baldwin Motion look Seth was going for. Not done raiding the Anvil Auto catalog (www.anvilauto.com), a carbon-fiber nosepiece, trunk lid, and spoiler were also added; not only for looks, but the parts also contribute to a considerable amount of weight savings.
With the car leaning toward a modern, California-style Pro Street feel, the aggressive stance and lack of chrome bits support a "best-to-not-mess " attitude, while the stout small-block is happy to comply. The peppy 40-over bored 350ci mill sports Edelbrock Victor Jr. heads, Mallory Pushrods, and 11.5:1 compression JE pistons. Also accessed from the Edelbrock lineage is a Victor Jr. intake that distributes the high-octane swill from a Holly 830-cfm double pumper. Hooker's 3-inch headers and 17/8-inch custom competition exhaust provide quick exit of the roasted fuel. A TCI Powerglide readily accepts all 550 horses as it manifests its way to the Currie 9-inch rearend by way of an Inland Empire driveshaft. A TCI 4000-stall converter plays no mercy on the 4.11 limited-slip cogs when Seth hammers the pedal and a Hurst shifter manages the transition from low to high gear.
Wilwood binders squeeze the 9-inch rotors to help bring the car down from speed while black powdercoated Centerline rollers reside on all four corners. The gnarly second-gen has been back-halved in order to accommodate the 32x17 slicks, and subframe connectors tie the chassis together.
As electric windows and air conditioning only contribute to unnecessary weight, Seth consciously stayed away from modern creature comforts. In keeping with only the necessities, Pete Engle at Westminster Auto Upholstery laid the Mercedes Black carpet and green suede headliner. Classic Industries supplied the side glass and Sparco race seats and steering wheel keep the pilot firmly in line.
"I have to say, building this car in the short amount of time we had almost killed us," Seth confessed. "But all the attention we got at SEMA made it well worth the extra work. In fact, it's been a huge boost to our business on the motorcycle side as well. I can't thank Transtar Autobody Technologies enough for not only helping on the project, but convincing us to do the build in the first place.
"There have been quite a few people asking me if I would do it all again; all I can say is stop by the Transtar booth at the '10 SEMA show to find out."