1969 Chevy Camaro - Fitting Tribute

Fred Martinez's Sunoco-Themed '69 Gives More Than A Nod To Its Famous Cousin.

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Back in '69, the real Sunoco warrior had a hopped-up 302 underhood, but this time power comes from a LS2 GM Performance Parts crate engine. Affordable, reliable, and lightweight were the reasons behind the engine choice, and the 400-plus horsepower would be sufficient for smile-inducing romps around town. For the rest of the driveline, G-Force assembled a rock-solid T-56 six-speed and a 12-bolt posi.

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When it came time for the suspension, the crew knew that it would be easy to blow the entire budget in this area, so they stepped back and went with what they needed rather than what they wanted. The stock subframe is still there, but now it's fitted out with Detroit Speed Inc. tubular control arms and Koni shocks. To help nail that race car vibe, they dropped in some DSE mini-tubs, and to save cash they stuck with leaf springs. After all, they seemed to be fine back in the '60s when Donahue was kickin' butt. For maximum stopping performance, they bolted on Wilwood binders and rolling stock consists of Boze Alloy 18x8 and 18x12 High-Octane wheels wrapped in Michelin PS2 rubber. Jason knows the wheels can make the car, so a little splurging in this area paid off big time.

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The rest is as simple as it is cool. The interior is stock GM except for the Momo steering wheel, Momo seats, and Auto Meter Sport Comp II gauges nestled in a DSE dash. Like the race car, there's no audio system, but in a nod to practicality there is a Vintage Air system.

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The most striking aspect of the Camaro, however, is the exterior. G-Force's Brad Decker and Jayme Rhone tag-teamed the bodywork until the '69 was laser straight. Brad then laid down the proper Penske Sonoco hue of blue paint and Jayme nailed the graphics from the rendering; again, not an exact copy of the '60s icon, but close enough to get the point across.

The best part is that, unlike some tribute cars that idle their way though existence, this one is beat on just like the original. And while Fred's tribute '69 has seen some track time, it's managed to pull off a feat that the real Sunoco Camaro never could-cruising around town and down the highway. In some ways that makes it just a tad bit cooler in our book.

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