Hitting the local scene in a '69 Chevy Biscayne is a dream come true for most car guys. Think about it: You and your sweetheart are cruising the local Dairy Queen on a Friday night. You got the windows down and the tunes are rockin'. Your big-ass cam is thumping and the Flowmasters are sounding tight. The big ride means business and the wicked stance confirms the fact. On the streets, no one challenges, as its reputation precedes it. Everyone knows you have the baddest street machine in town ... everyone but that pesky kid in a Hugger Orange '70 Camaro. You knew his car was fast but, in a blink of an eye, he passes you as if you were sitting still. You weren't.
That's all it took for Greg Halliwill to trade off the big Chevy. "I'm a sore loser," confesses Greg. "So about a year later, I went out and bought this 1972 Chevy Camaro. There was no way that punk-ass kid was going to beat me like that again."
When Greg purchased the car it was totally done. But the engine, although it looked great, could only squeeze out about 300 ponies. Not exactly what he had in mind and not nearly enough juice to handle that kid in the '70. Needless to say, Greg had his own ideas of how to build a hot rod-for speed with Pro Touring style. Piece of cake ... but not so fast. Greg spent the next four years tweaking, punching, fabricating, adding, subtracting, and cutting this second-gen to his specs.
Although speed and agility were high priority, the car had to look every bit as fast as it would run. Stem to stern, Greg managed to bolt up every billet piece offered by Marquez Design. Fog lamps, door jamb vents, striker, hood stops, taillights, they're all here. So with the car sporting some fine jewelry, Greg was thinking a 406 small-block capable of 650 hp was the next piece to the puzzle. He hooked up with a local engine builder to handle the muscle, a friend of a friend deal, but the dude's lack of effort and slow work ethics led Greg to pull back on the engine build. "After giving the guy half the money to get started, a lot of time went by with not much going on with the engine," recalls Greg. "Then he got pissed when I asked for my money back. So with a set of JE Pistons and Dart Heads under my arms, I headed over to Kirt Cheney at Cheney Engines in Hastings, Michigan." With Cheney at the helm, it wasn't long before Greg finally had his hands on a 12.5:1 compression bullet capable of sucking down race fuel quicker than a Skid Row bum swills an eight-dollar bottle of Ezra Brooks.
With a 4.155-inch bore and 3.75-inch stroke, Cheney loaded the gun with a custom Eagle crankshaft and Comp Cams solid roller with an intake and exhaust lift of 6.30, but kept the duration under wraps. An Aeromotive (in-tank) electric fuel pump provides a FAST single plane intake and FAST XFI fuel injectors with the perfect draw. A Melling high-volume oil pump mixes crude, nestled in a Moroso 6-quart pan. After all was said and done, a newly-born small-block rated at 642 hp at 6000 rpm and 605 lb-ft of torque at 5,100 rpm was resting comfortably between the 'rails. Those are the kind of numbers that helped Greg forget about the first engine builder go-round.
Greg loaded the engine bay with plenty of bling, starting with a complete March pulley system including a 160-amp alternator. Granatelli brushed-aluminum valve covers join the mix, combined with an All Star Performance air cleaner housing that houses the K&N filter element. Ringbrothers hood hinges ice the cake and a CVR billet vacuum pump compliment the ensemble. A Be Cool four-row aluminum radiator sits up front while an Edelbrock water pump keeps the engine quenched. Hooker 17/8-inch Super Comp headers were bathed in Jet Hot's sterling silver coating. A Flowmaster 3-inch X-pipe winds underneath and exits into a set of Flowmaster 40 series deadeners.