1969 Chevy Camaro - Throwin' Heat

Pro Skateboarder Josh Kalis' '69 DC Camaro Is, Quite Simply, An Awesome Ride.

John Nelson Apr 1, 2011 0 Comment(s)
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Josh Kalis is a professional skateboarder, good enough to make a living doing what he loves while managing to remain a "pure" street skater, the type you won't find on display in an arena. Put him in a city and he uses the urban landscape, whatever's available, as his space for ripping, skate-speak for "executing drastic and radical moves." Look him up on YouTube-we think you'll find this to be an apt description. Josh is also known as "goofy." It's not a character description; it refers to his riding stance, with his left foot back, near the tail of his board. But there's nothing whatsoever wrong with this kid's right foot. Second only to his passion for street skating is Kalis' zeal for extremely fast street cars, culminating in this radically shaped, brute twin-turbo LS-powered 1969 Chevy Camaro, built to be Kalis' "Ultimate Highway Driver." And whether you're speaking skater or gearhead, this 760 turbocharged rear-wheel-horsepowered baby is ready and able to put to the pavement, he said he's pulled it off.

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Throwin' Heat Although he grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Kalis' automotive lust centered on European-style GT cars: autobahn warriors with forced-induction engines, prominent fender flares and air dams, and big rear wings, where 150 mph is a quaint cruising velocity and top speeds approach 200 mph. He's owned two such rides, a supercharged BMW M5 and a twin-turbocharged Porsche 996; neither, however, could settle the "fastest car" issue in his favor, at least amongst his local scene and in his hometown club, South Side Street Cars. But Josh met a willing and skilled collaborator when he took the M5 to a dyno session at All Speed Performance in nearby Muskegon where he met Brian Moat. Game for the task, the ASP crew did something no one else had been able to do: get Josh to go domestic. "The guys at All Speed assured me that they could build a musclecar that would outperform my BMW and my Porsche, and I would look a lot cooler doing it," Josh recalls. Just like that, it was on.

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Starting with a '69 Camaro shop car and a rendering from Kris Horton that powerfully influenced the final shape of the car, the next nine months were a bit crazy. Taking in that body-it's '69 Camaro all the way, only more so, and that's exactly what Josh and Brian wanted. "Horton accentuates lines in his rendering," Josh recalls, and the team went with it. "We didn't want to lose any of line," he added, referring to the fender flares. "We just wanted to pull the line out, have the exact same line extended." But with Josh's affinity for German widebody cars, the flares were just the beginning, and the custom touches flowed: a front spoiler, turbo vents in the hood, the rear quarter vents, the R1 motorcycle fuel door on the rear quarter...and that rear diffuser arrangement with center exit exhaust, a setup that required cutting out the trunk floor and repositioning the fuel tank. Appropriately, all this bodywork is where Josh showed his dedication to the project. "He came in pretty much everyday, excited about the build," Moat recalls. "He'd do finish work; he was like an entry-level employee. We just told him if you ruin it, you can fix it." Long story short: although grinding and carving are common in the skateboarding world, Josh had never practiced their automotive counterparts before starting this build, so plenty of that "we can fix it" happened, especially when he decided to shave the drip rails. As your eyes tell you, though, it all worked out.

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