January 2011 Readers' Rides

Vintage Racer
If you're a frequent Camaro Performers magazine page-flipper, then you've no doubt figured out we dig Pro Touring Camaros. Since that whole build style sprung from the Trans Am racers of the late '60s and early '70s, then it's only natural real-deal racers of that era get our attention as well.

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Robert Clemens originally built this Camaro. Robert was a chassis and suspension engineer in GM's Corvette division, and he bought this RS '71 as part of GM's Employee Purchase Program. For a year it served Robert and his wife Carol as their family transport. Robert had been an active SCCA racer starting back in the mid '50s and, after about 5,000 miles of street duty, he and Carol decided to morph the Camaro into a full-on SCCA Trans Am race car.

Robert then teamed up with David Skibowski and started working nights and weekends for a solid year to complete the conversion. They installed the rollcage and added the GM steel fender flares and all of the appropriate safety equipment. Its first event was the '72 race at Watkins Glen, New York.

Despite the fact that this ride isn't a factory prepared race car, it has all the requisite bits. Most of this is due to Robert's insider knowledge of how those factory cars were built. The GM sourced flares are there, and the rollbar design looks copied from the factory cars. Robert also used his extensive knowledge of GM suspension design to gain advantages on the track.

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The car ran hard that season and was eventually sold to Roy Stamey, and then Gene Rutherforde who owned it up until 2006. Jeffrey Stout then acquired and restored it back to its racing glory. Currently the car is crewed and serviced by Craig Conley at Paradise Wheels in San Marcos, California, for Jeffrey who runs the Camaro at several of the vintage Trans Am races. It's nice to see that old race cars never really go away.

•Submit reader's rides photos and information to camaroperformers@sorc.com

Showroom Fresh
In the grand scheme of Camaros, 1996 wasn't all that long ago. Still, finding a '96 Z28 with only 11,500 miles on the clock is pretty rare. Larry Robbins of Dallas, Texas, poked around for a year before stumbling on this particular fourth-gen. It turns out that the Camaro was special ordered for a dealer in the Boston area and has every option offered with the exception of power seats. Larry plans on enjoying the car, but he's trying to keep the mileage down, since it's only going to be original once.

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Going Green
Kevin Roby of Chesapeake Beach, Maryland, picked up this second-gen back in 1999. According to Kevin, "When I bought the Camaro, it was a reddish brown color. I slowly started tearing the car down to refinish the interior and underhood areas. During this time, I found the complete build sheet which confirmed it was a true Z28." In 2003, Kevin decided to repaint the ride to its current hue of Electric Green. Sure, it's a '98 Mustang color, but who cares, given how great it looks. A year later, the Camaro suffered tragedy. "The engine blew and caught fire, but luckily we had an extinguisher. A buddy and I tore the engine down and refurbed the engine bay. Now the V-8 puts out about 333 hp with a 700R4 trans backing it up," said Kevin. The pair also refinished the entire chassis and freshened up the suspension. Kevin's wife Mitzi has fully supported his efforts to fix up the '79, so when she requested air conditioning, he jumped right on it. It also keeps the couple comfy on the many long cruises they enjoy taking

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Rebuilt Berlinetta
Seven years ago Matt Hutton's dad, Larry, gave him a great gift: a fixer-upper '82 Camaro. "I call it a B28 since it's a Berlinetta with all of the Z28 options," remarks Matt. Underhood, he's transplanted a vintage 327 V-8 that's been upgraded with an Edelbrock intake, MSD ignition, Headman headers, and a Flowmaster exhaust. Behind the small-block sits a 700R4 trans with a B&M 2,400 stall converter, while Eibach springs work with KYB shocks and struts to help the Camaro tame the curves. Recently the ride was massaged and repainted by Dave Maruna in a bright PPG white with gloss black hockey stripes. Dave also shaved the side emblems, door handles, and key cylinders. As Matt tells us, "I couldn't have done this without the help and understanding of my wife, Amy. My kids, Evelynn and Avery, love to go to all of the car shows with us and we always make it a family event."

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