1969 Camaro SS Convertible - Dropping The Top

What An Airline Pilot Dreams About ...

Ro McGonegal Dec 1, 2010 0 Comment(s)
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The 430 sucks life through a K&N element and expels it through ceramic-coated Lemons headers built to clear the DSE sub-frame. Primary pipes are 17/8-inch, ending at 3-inch collectors and the system continues with a stainless exhaust, X-pipe, and Magnaflow stainless steel mufflers. Output estimates are 600 hp at 6,500 rpm and 595 lb-ft of torque at 4,800 rpm.

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For the hijinx that Matt had in mind, he could do with nothing less than a double-overdrive clutch box. The Tremec T56 takes torque through a Textralia OZ700 pressure plate and disc and sweeps it down a Dynotech aluminum drive shaft to the fabricated 9-inch that DSE prepped with a Detroit Truetrack differential, 3.70:1 gears, and 31-spline axles.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the Chambersburg posse was leaning hard on the F-body's DSE-sourced chassis and suspension. All of the obsolete went right into the round file, while Jason, Dan, Joe, and Ron Huber (dad) descended like vultures on the bones. They hooked the front of the car to the rear with sub-frame connectors. They applied a complete DSE hydro-formed clip (stub, tubular control arms, DSE custom Koni coilovers, and rack steering) and put up the 13-inch Baer GT brakes. The aft dimensions of the chassis were usurped by mini-tubs and a Quadra-Link assembly, you know, four-link, coilover Konis, etc. G-Force finished up with 12-inch Baer GT discs. The DSE front member is configured to accept at least a 275/35ZR18 tire (Michelin Pilot Sport 2) on a 10-inch wide rim (Budnik Lateral). The mini-tubs easily swallow bulbous 335/30 PS2s on12-inch-wide hoops and make the whole thing look like a natural occurrence.

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Just as his cockpit in the Aerobus 320, the one in his Camaro is understated and quietly to the point. Nothing there that isn't needed. But when Matt and Aimee Jo hit the road, it's just for fun, so they expect a little bit of warmth and a lot of accommodation. Bodies are cupped by Recaro Specialist M buckets. Helman's Interior in Chambersburg did up the rear seat to match the black vinyl on the Recaros and then stitched up a new cloth convertible roof. Door panels, rear panels, package tray, headliner, and carpeting are from the repro bin. Mat whacks a Pro 5.0 shifter, hawks the Auto Meter Ultra-Lite gauges in the custom dash insert, and palms that slick Budnik Sport steering wheel. Creature comforts installed by the G-Force team include the Vintage Air HVAC system and a Pioneer head unit with CD, MP3 and iPod capability, Blaupunkt speakers front and rear, and a nasty ol' Omega sub-woofer.

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As for the body work and finishing, we have only this: BMW Estoril Blue. Don't know who did this work but it looks outstanding and Matt laments: "They [G-Force] built the whole car minus the paint. I was trying to save money. It was a big mistake not painting the car while it was apart."

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The car wasn't finished or de-bugged in time for the '07 Run Through the Hills event but Matt took it to Tennessee anyway. At the very least he had the time of his life. "Over the next year, we worked out some bugs and I got a good tune on it by East Coast Supercharging in Cream Ridge, New Jersey. My wife and I went back to RTTH and had an awesome time." With his coveted cruise control, Matt says that the 600hp 430 managed a solid 25 mpg at 70 mph on the trip back to Virginia. "The car is beyond my abilities as a driver, but I'm getting smoother and quicker and maybe one day I'll be able to do the car justice."

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