1968 Chevy Camaro RS/SS - Bonus Baby

This owner-built, Rat-powered ’68 RS/SS can handle anything

John Nelson Jun 1, 2011 0 Comment(s)
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The interior is clean and functional, starting with a factory-style carpet and headliner from National Parts Depot, along with custom door panels set off by Lokar door handles, pulls, and window cranks. Corbeau TRS buckets in basic black wear are outfitted with Morris Classic Concepts three-point seat belt conversion to keep the pilot secure in his seat during more exuberant outings. The stock dash features a Covan’s dash panel full of Auto Meter Ultra-Lite gauges, a full stereo system topped with a Custom Autosound “Secretaudio SST” head unit playing through JVC speakers and subwoofers, and a Vintage Air A/C setup with its accompanying control panel. It’s all topped with a Flaming River steering wheel, and another set of Rick's custom creations running up the middle of the car: a Delrin shift knob to limit heat transfer, the faux knobs on the stereo control panel, and the console, which started out as an aluminum casting Rick turned up at the foundry. This isn’t in chronological order, of course; we are, after all, talking about an almost decade-long transformation.

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“The reason it took me eight years to build it was that I relied on yearly bonuses for capital. So once a year I ordered the expensive parts,” Rick explained to us. Which leads us to what we all really want to know about. As an avid participant on www.pro-touring.com and a dedicated adherent to its ethos, the first thing the cash was dropped on were the brakes: Wilwood six-piston pots up front, one-piston in the back, with 13-inch rotors all the way around and a matching master cylinder. On the heels of that came the running gear: Bonspeed Delta wheels, 17x8.5 inches up front and 18x11 inches in back, wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport gummies, 245/45Z17 and extra-wide 335/30ZR18, respectively. His path set, Rick made way for the fat back rubber by employing his fabrication skills to install a set of DSE mini-tubs himself. “I did it before they had a kit,” he recalls. “I used photos on their website for reference.” Rick went farther than that, crating the rear upper shock mounts from 303 billet steel. He added DSE leaf springs with a 3-inch drop, along with 1-inch custom lowering blocks for a deep 4-inch drop, and damped the work with QA1 adjustable shocks. The rear suspension is tied to the front with a set of DSE subframe connectors, where Rick has refined his formula to include Global West lower control arms, along with 2-inch drop Heidt’s spindles and Specialty Performance Company (SPC) adjustable upper control arms to allow for ideal camber settings. A Lee Power Steering (Sun Valley, California) quick-ratio box handles directional duties, while QA1 adjustable shocks and complementary springs completed the suspension package.

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