1969 Chevrolet Camaro - Black Arts

Fine art broadens your mind and richens your soul; this composition will just plain scare the hell out of you

John Nelson Sep 1, 2011 0 Comment(s)
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Abrams’ new ride arrived coated in a rich coat of Sikkens Midnight Black that needed just a bit of touch up by NRE’s Scott Carpenter. Noteworthy efforts from the Nelson SuperCar Crew also came in fitting the aforementioned water-to-air intercooler system for the turbos, but they didn’t stop there. The extreme heat this twin-turbo, alien-headed beast puts out was also enough to necessitate a duo of Ron Davis radiators sporting three Spal fans. The Nelson guys even fit in a Vintage Air Front Runner A/C system to boot, because who wants to sweat at 250 mph? They also got a Detroit Speed Inc. Electric RS light system to fit behind the trick front fascia. The 2-inch cowl steel GM hood was outfitted with flush hood mounts from Eddie Motorsports, and trick AeroCatch flush hood latches. While they were at it, the SuperCar Crew also cut and sectioned both the front and rear bumpers for a slick, tight fit. Installing the Marquez taillights must have been a cakewalk.

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Abrams also did well with his Camaro’s suspension. Up front, the factory F-body subframe was upgraded with Detroit Speed Inc. tubular A-arms, 2-inch drop spindles and coilovers, for a total drop of 3 inches. Out back, the car came with a well-installed DSE mini-tub kit, custom subframe connectors, Calvert Racing split monoleaf springs with a 2-inch drop, CalTracs traction bar system (with NRE-installed solid eye bushings), and Calvert adjustable shocks handle the suspending duties with a 3-inch total drop. That rear setup supports a Ramjet rearend 9-inch differential, fitted with a spool and geared at a 2,000hp friendly 2.73:1 ratio, set at a -4 degree pinion angle as part of the overall attempt to just get this thing to hook. The original package was enhanced with custom-made black HRE wheels, 18x8.5 up front and wrapped in 225/40ZR18 Michelin Pilot Sports, while the business end consists of 18x12-inch hoops wrapped in a set of totally destroyed BFGoodrich drag radials, size 345/35ZR18. The totally thankless job of stopping this missile falls to Baer four-piston front brakes grabbing 13-inch rotors up front, with two-pot binders grasping 12-inch rotors out back. The system’s powered by an ABS electronic assist master cylinder, which conveniently also provides lots of under-hood real estate for the turbo headers.

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Of course, all of this is perfectly adequate for 600 hp. But 700 to 2,000 ponies? Not so much. But as many of us know, including Tom Nelson and Ben Abrams, building a car — or creating a piece of art, for that matter — is a process. Abrams sent the car to Nelson to make it a beast, and in this we proclaim unqualified success. But the creation goes on, as this out-of-anyone’s mind fast Camaro heads out for another round of mods, specifically a full tube chassis with cage, mondo brakes, and even a fire suppression system. About the progression, Ben says, “It’s my way of taking ownership, welcoming it to the collection.” So if the car does indeed carry forward the spirit of its creators, this one is burnout black and crazy scary fast — truly fine art, to be sure.

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“My most memorable experience was doing a smoky burnout at a 100 mph roll, then getting planted in the seat like Star Trek warp drive.” —Tom Nelson




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