Top 10 Camaros Of The Year - Best Of The Best

With Long Intense Staff Meetings And Input From Our Readers, We Bring You The Best Camaros Of 2010.

Car: 1967 Camaro
Owner: Dave Leisinger
Issue: April 2010
Photographer: Josh Mishler

Dave Leisinger has vivid memories of Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins running his '67 Super Stock Camaro at the 1968 Indy Nationals and AHRA Spring Nationals. With those visuals etched in his mind for over 30 years, Dave couldn't help but pay homage to that famous Camaro when he put together the idea of a G-machine complete with a Smeding Performance/Jenkins Competition 572ci package worthy of 850 hp. The Roadster Shop custom-bent and boxed the 2x3 framerails, then loaded it with DSE suspension goodies. Completed by Roger Burman and the team at Lakeside Rods and Rides in Rockwell City, Iowa, the Camaro's paint scheme is reminiscent of that record-holding Super Stocker from back in the day. The "Grumpy's Toy" and "Jenkins Competition" logos can be seen in just the right light viewed from just the right angle. Even though the car was built with show-winning details (and there are many of them), Dave humps it through the autocross with the best of 'em.

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The craftsmanship alone makes this an easy pick for our Best list, but the fact that Dave drives it like Grumpy would have back in the day makes it even cooler.

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Car: 2010 RS/SS Camaro
Owner: Dan Long
Issue: May 2010
Photographer: Robert McGaffin

With the latest incarnation of the Camaro finally hitting showrooms in 2009, it didn't take long for aftermarket companies to come up with upgraded suspension components, body kits, horsepower adders, and everything else to feed the appetite of the speed-hungry fifth-gen Camaro owners. The guys over at Unrestricted Motorsports in Phoenix, Arizona, were on top of the curve as they were knee deep into the body mods for the Pontiac G8. But when GM announced the demise of the Pontiac brand, Unrestricted began to focus their energy on the '10 Camaro. The car features their front fascia, side skirts, rear spoiler, Pfadt suspension components, and Forgeline ZX3P wheels. With inspiration drawn from the '63 Grand Sport Corvette, the paint scheme nicely fits this modern Camaro. Not only does the car look great; it was one of the top late-model Camaros at the 2009 Ultimate Street Car Challenge in Pahrump, Nevada.

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Car: 1969 RS Camaro
Owner: G-Force Design Concepts
Issue: June 2010
Photographer: Robert McGaffin

We spied this killer '69 at the 2008 SEMA show and wanted to feature it ever since. Finally able to work out the logistics for a photo shoot a little over a year later, the chore was well worth the wait. Jason Huber and his crew at G-Force Design Concepts build aggressive-looking cars that appear to have more attitude than should be allowed in one car. This '69 Camaro, aptly named "Devious," is the calling card for what comes out of their shop. It's loaded with tons of horsepower (850 at the crank) and some of the most serious suspension components out there (Art Morrison GT subframe, C6 Corvette spindles and A-arms up front, DSE QUADRALink out back). The gold HRE wheels, white paint, and euro-style body stripe add a somewhat "Tuner" feel to the car. The whole ensemble just culminates into one badass Camaro. We like that.

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Car: 1969 Camaro
Owner: Larry Trimmel
Issue: July 2010
Photographer: Josh Mishler

This Kenny Davis-built gem is another high-end Camaro we've had our eye on for quite some time. Unfortunately, something kept getting in the way of our quest to get the photo shoot done. Finally in late 2009, we cornered Kenny and penciled in a day to shoot the car. There are several factors that make this car special, but the all-aluminum Anniversary Edition 427 (no. 89) is the closest thing to a real deal ZL1. With all the porting and tweaks, it's conservatively rated at 510 hp. The Davis crew pulled out all the stops on this killer ride. One would have to exercise multiple takes of this car in order to soak up all the custom nuances. Show car? You bet, and a top-quality one at that. The Street Rodder magazine guys were especially digging this one.

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Car: 1999 Camaro
Owner: Mike Farley
Issue: June 2010
Photographer: Tommy Lee Byrd

Fourth-gen Camaros make sick drag cars. Their sleek body style and narrow nose just lend itself to top-end speed. Mike Dunlap calls I-40 Dragway in Crossville, Tennessee, his home track, where he gets in plenty of testing with his wicked nitrous-fed 434ci small-block combination. At a time when most guys are putting LS power in early Camaros, Mike went against the grain and did just the opposite with his fourth-gen. Mike takes care of the car and it shows from the detailed engine bay to the super-clean interior. Just don't look under the rear of the car. It launches so hard, the asphalt has met the rear valance on a number of occasions and contributed to some hefty scaring. It's a shame to abuse the gorgeous Hugger Orange pigment, but that's racing and it's what this car was built to do. With a best time of 5.561 in the eight-mile, we'd have to say this 3,250-pound rocket gets our nod as one of the Best of 2010.

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Car: 1967 Camaro
Owner: Karen Leisinger
Issue: December 2010
Photographs: Nick Licata

To say Karen Leisinger's '67 is unique would be a "slight understatement." But that's the only time you would use that term around this cross-pollinated first-gen/fifth-gen Camaro. It'll take more than a few second takes for even the most seasoned Camaro connoisseur to fully recognize its first-generation heritage. Karen calls the car Scar-a term not of negativity, but one that represents the cutting, hacking, and massaging that took place in order to get the '67 to accept the many '10 sheetmetal pieces. For some, this car might fall under the guise of "love it, or hate it," but the fact that it took home the prestigious Goodguys Street Machine of the Year back in July of 2010 speaks volumes about the craftsmanship that went into this car. Roger Burman and his talented team at Lakeside Rods and Rides know fabrication, and Karen's unique hot rod says so.

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Car: 1970 Camaro
Owner: Teddy Niotis
Issue: July 2010
Photographer: Robert McGaffin

Teddy Niotis' second-gen Camaro is one of those cars that carry a unique story behind the build. Going through some serious medical issues, Teddy needed something to keep his mind off his health, and building his dream car was the perfect vehicle to deliver the medicine. With a steady flow of good friends regularly stopping by to help Teddy with the build, his dreams of owning one of the cleanest Pro Touring second-gens soon became reality. The stance and handling come by a multitude of suspension companies. Global West (lower control arms) and Speed Tech (upper control arms) take care of business up front, while the combination of Hotchkis and QA1 handle the rear. The 383 stroker capped with a Magnacharger M112 supplies Teddy with enough steam to keep the drive exciting: somewhere to the tune of 540 hp. Yes, the car has an interesting story, but it's also a quality build with one hell of a demeanor, which makes it part of our Best of the Best list.

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