427 LS7 Camaro - The Jade Grenade

Ro McGonegal Jul 1, 2011 0 Comment(s)
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The rim and tire combination is Pro Touring standard: Rushforth Super Spoke modulars, 18x10 (6.125-inch b/s) and 18x12 (5.5-inch b/s), support the usual Michelin Pilot Sport 2 (275/35 and 335/30) tires. The largest brake rotor/caliper that will fit beneath an 18-inch wheel is 14-inches in diameter. Rather than trolling the aftermarket concessions, Mark and Brian settled on OE Corvette Z06 equipment featuring hopped-up 14-inch front rotors with six-piston calipers and 13.4-inch rears with four-piston friction-makers.

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As for the power source, the decision went to a mildly modified LS7 for reasons of budget and easily sourced components from any Chevrolet dealer should something untoward happen on the road. All LS engines will take tremendous abuse and still keep ticking. They are excellent platforms for modification and respond well to even the most minimal changes. The LS7 is rated at a politically correct 505 hp but probably produces closer to 540. The OE 12- degree cylinder heads were swapped out for Trick Flow CNC 235 (2.20-inch titanium intakes; 1.61-inch exhausts) castings that were surfaced to produce a half-point more compression, now calculated at 11.5:1. The 427 originates with a dry sump oiling system but rather getting embroiled in the packing it would require, Brian blocked off the in-ports and used a Camaro oil pan and stock pump/pick-up. All other internals are stock, including the forged crankshaft and titanium connecting rods. The link between engine and drivetrain is a stock LS7 flywheel and clutch assembly. Brian and Mark have seen wheel horsepower at 585.

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A FAST modular composite intake manifold pulls through a Spectre Performance intake system to a 92mm throttle body. Fuel flow is maintained by an in-tank Walbro pump. Brian continued with the exhaust system. He inserted the Stainless Works 1 7/8-inch primary-pipe headers and built a mandrel-bent 3-inch stainless system joined with 3-inch, two-chamber Flowmasters. Brian considered the vaporizing hell-hot tarmac in August and opted for cooling power based on an Afco two-row aluminum core as his ally, that and the Vintage Air system. He also posted a Derale engine oil cooler in the airstream ahead of the cylinder block. A Wegner Automotive accessory drive collects the OE alternator, water and power steering pumps, and a Vintage Air Gen IV compressor.

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We turn to the man-pit and eyeball the interior. Though the 427 supplies all the aural input Mark needs, he backed it up it with a capable Sony head, amp, and subwoofer loitering in the trunk. The interior field is properly subtle (it’s a driver not a lounge lizard) and constructed for the ultimate in peripheral driving. See as far down the road as possible. Have controls that fall to hand even with the G-Force four-point webbing tightened nearly to the point of asphyxiation. That’s it for the serious part.

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Mark indulged in David Lewallen’s craft, a sweet amalgam of leather and subdued metal appointments. He recovered the Procar 1100 series front seats and stock bench seat, did a full-on carpet job, a custom leather headliner, and the slick and subtle door and rear panels. He mounted Classic Innovations front and rear glass flush to the surrounds. Lewallen also constructed the console/arm rest that becomes vital on a long jaunt. That stubby Keisler shifter is connected to a T56. Lewallen envisioned a flat, handmade panel for the Auto Meter carbon-fiber instruments and the Vintage Air ducts.

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After the four-month rampage, Brian gave his assessment: “Overall, I feel the car is a perfect blend of custom mods and subtle colors. The carbon-fiber panels from Anvil add to the overall effect but do not dominate it as with other colors. The no-chrome/blacked out look is something you will see with all the Finch builds so keep an eye on that.” We will.

I feel we hit our mark. I feel that with the right driver, this car has what it takes to win a ton more events.

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