Back in the late ’60s, when the new muscle cars hit the showroom floors, the crafty hot rodders would do whatever it took to put themselves ahead of the curve in the style and performance arena. Fast-forward about 40 years and you’ll notice not a whole lot has changed. There’s tons of guys like Rick Andrade who instantly felt the need to upgrade his ’10 Camaro with killer looks and a whole lot more horsepower, just days after purchasing it. Needless to say, Rick’s new pride and joy spent very little time in stock trim.
Like many who have gotten into GM’s latest SS darling, Rick reminisces back to his high school days when he owned a pretty mean first-gen. “I had this ’68 SS 396 that was fast for the time,” tells Rick. “It was a total rust bucket, but I didn’t care. I had some really great times in that car. My new Camaro reminds me a lot of that old big-block car, only this one is quite a bit faster.”
To say Rick takes the horsepower and speed of his newest hot rod seriously would be a slight understatement. Back in October 2010, Rick and his modded up ’10 claimed top spot in the Camaro Performers magazine Duel in the Desert event held at Firebird Raceway in Chandler, Arizona. The event featured two performance competitions: drag racing and autocross. Bonus points were awarded to the competitors who joined in on the cruise from California to Arizona, with an additional five points up for grabs in the show ‘n’ shine portion. Rick took First Place in the drag racing competition with a 12.44 e.t. at 120.51 mph, and Third spot in the autocross. “I know the car has more in it,” said Rick. “But I had to soft launch on the drag strip because the car still has stock axles. There’s just no way they’ll hold up on a prepped drag strip.”
It was still good enough to accumulate enough points to take home top honors and major bragging rights.
“Winning the Duel in the Desert event was huge for me,” said Rick. “I knew my car had enough horsepower to do well in the drag race, and with the Hotchkis Suspension components dialed in, the car was just awesome in the autocross.”
Rick takes every opportunity he can to get the car out on a road course or autocross, so the Duel in the Desert wasn’t his first rodeo.
Rick: “I took the car out to California Speedway in Fontana last year at the Hurst track day event and had the quickest lap time of the day. Since then I’ve upgraded the suspension with even more handling goodies, so I can’t wait to get it out on a road course again.”
Although the performance accolades are a rewarding aspect to the hobby, Rick was quick to make a point about all the new friendships he’s developed from attending fifth-gen cruises and Camaro5 events. He also mentions meeting his current gal, Kristina, as a major highlight since buying the car. Apparently dudes with Camaros can still pull in the chicks.
Chris Johnson and Rick handled the installation of the Magnacharger TVS 2300 on top of the GM LS3 mill and wisely installed an ADM twin fuel pump to ensure the 72-lb injectors get plenty of fuel. Rick pulls no punches when it comes to staying “one up” on the competition, so he had Kevin McMillian of McMillian Speed and Fabrication plumb in a Snow Performance Methanol Injection system to accommodate the 10.8 lbs of supercharged boost. With undisclosed cam specs, Rick does let on that lift and duration rely on a COMP stick. With a “conservative tune,” Rick’s ’10 manages a stout 648 hp and 597 lb-ft of torque to the tires — a bit more than most who’ve enlisted in the late-model muscle car wars.