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May 2010 Readers' Rides

Screaming Yellow Camaro
Like most of you, Brian Finch, of Mt. Juliette, Tennessee, has a 9-to-5 job that doesn't have anything to do with his love of all things automotive. Yet even with a family and all the tasks that are part of living in the real world, he still finds time to turn out some pretty badass cars. When we first met him he was rocking a black primered '66 'Vette around the autocross course. Later on he showed up to a track event in a '67 Mustang that was nice enough to win any car show, but capable of hanging it out on any piece of sanctioned tarmac. Turns out that Brian is breaking into the car-building business and built the 'Stang to show what he's capable of. That led to his current ride, a 1971 Chevy Camaro. Brian has had the car since 1991. It was already in pretty decent shape with a supercharged big-block under the hood, but he wanted this car to carve corners with the best of them.

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During a six-week build, the blown big-block was ditched in favor of a svelte worked-over LS3 crate engine backed up by a T56 Tremec six-speed trans. To further reduce weight he also bolted on some Anvil carbon-fiber body panels. When it came to the suspension he played it smart and emulated the underpinnings of Detroit Speed's second-gen rocket. A hydroformed front subframe and Quadra-Link rear system keeps his tires properly planted on the road while C6 Z06 'Vette brakes provide plenty of stopping power. We've gone up against Brian's Camaro at events and, trust us, his stuff works. To see more of his car and the other projects he's turning out, visit

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Early Start
Matt Loscheider of Lino Lakes, Minnesota, has had his '91 Z28 since he was 14 years old. As he tells us, "I had to get a job at Hardee's making minimum wage to make the payments on a car I couldn't even drive. Those two years without a license were spent washing, waxing, and detailing the car inside and out." In the 10 years since buying his Camaro, Matt has almost completely rebuilt it. It started with a simple exhaust system and then to a full heads and cam swap. Recently, Matt upgraded the transmission to a T56 six-speed and worked over the suspension with parts from Eibach, KYB, and UMI. While the Camaro gets tucked away during the brutal Minnesota winters, he makes up for it with lots of street time in the summer. "All of the work was done in my garage with the help of some great friends!" Matt said. "With all the roadblocks, stumbles, and frustrations, I had enough support to provide me with all the knowledge, assistance, and motivation to make it the car it is today. I can't thank them enough!" Good friends and a cool car-what more could you want?

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Fear Factor
What has a 540 ProCharged big-block, makes 1,040 hp on pump gas, runs 9s at the track, and can be found cruising the boulevards of Darien, Illinois? The answer is Pete Petruzzelli's wicked '67 Camaro. The black-on-black-on-bad Camaro rides on a four-link rear suspension with a beefed up 9-inch Ford rear to handle the torque output from the big-cubed big-block. "The interior is stock with the exception of a rollcage," said Pete. The compliments I get the most are on the paintjob. I've spent many hours blocking this car to make it perfect and I'm glad I did. The emblems on the fenders are airbrushed on to look original. The car is just a blast to drive and we have appropriately named it 'Pampers' because everyone who takes a ride in it usually ends up leaving a little something in their pants."

We'll just take you word for it on that one, Pete.

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Every once in a while we get a letter that is just good as-is. Such was the case with this one from Kevin Wing.

As Kevin writes: "Growing up working in my father's body and fabrication shop, I always wanted a hot rod. With playing sports all through high school and college, I was never able to carry a job outside the shop. I was always working on other people's stuff to make money. The third-gen Camaro was always the car I dreamed of having, but living in Central New York, it wasn't practical to have a Camaro as a daily driver.

"Well, after moving to North Carolina and working in Roush Yates engine shop for over five years, I decided it was finally time to find something for myself. My brother had a '92 Barney Purple-colored RS 25th anniversary Camaro. It was thrashed so I swapped him my beater truck for it, pulled it into my garage, and began tearing it apart. I started scrounging up parts and pieces, but had to put my project on hold for a couple of years due to seven-day work weeks. After finally moving from the engine shop to the race shop where I'm a fabricator, I finally found time to work on my car. I dug up a block and had my buddies in the engine shop build me a 450hp 383 small-bock. I used all Spohn Performance suspension parts to improve the handling and rebuilt the stock rearend with a posi and 3.73 gears. I did all the bodywork myself, and with the help of my father, we sprayed it at his shop. I assembled it in my garage by bringing painted parts home one by one due to the cramped garage space."

With the rest of the car looking and running great Kevin onlyhad to tackle the tired interior.

Last February he hit the road and has put over 1,000 miles on his dream car. He still has a lot to do, but as Kevin told us, "Rome wasn't built in a day."

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