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September 2011 Readers' Rides

Submit reader’s rides photos and information to camaroperformers@sorc.com

Sep 1, 2011

Euro Thrash

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Camaros are often considered an icon of American hot rodding, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t popular in other parts of the world as well. This ’99 export Z28 was originally delivered to Germany but later found its way to the Netherlands, and then to the garage of Matthijs Grit. Since picking up his little slice of Americana, Matthijs has logged over 40,000 kilometers on the car, and loving every one of them. “Although the car doesn’t look too flashy, it really turns heads and gets a lot of second looks wherever I show up with it. Most important to me is that I really like it! Last year, my buddy and I went to the Geneva Auto Show with the Camaro. It was a great trip, and on the way back we went through the snowy Jura mountains with the t-tops off. We’ve got the same trip planned for next March,” remarked Matthijs. He’s also managed to do a few mods to the car like swapping over to the 10-spoke SS wheels and adding a rear SS spoiler. Performance upgrades include Koni shocks and drop springs to help in the corners, while slotted rotors and EBC brake pads bring the Camaro down from speed. These parts are hard to get overseas, so when Matthijs vacations here in the States he always makes sure to include an extra empty suitcase to smuggle home a few more Camaro parts. Now that’s our kind of guy.

Goin’ Green

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Bill Shadowens, of Clinton Township, Michigan, may be 70 years young, but that hasn’t gotten in the way of his love of hot rods. His current love is this ’79 Camaro. It was assembled in Norwood, Ohio, in August of 1979 and sent to North Carolina where it roamed the streets until 1994 and finally found its way to Michigan. Bill picked up the F-body in 1999, which marked the end of it having to endure the snow and slush of winter driving. As for the unusual color, Bill told us, “the Code 40 Pastel Green paint is a rare factory color. General Motors cannot give me the exact number but estimates are that out of 84,877 Z28s built in 1979 only about 500 received this color.” The original 350 small-block has been punched out to 355 and filled with go-fast parts from Edelbrock, Summit, and COMP. Exhaust duties are handled by Dynomax coated headers, which feed into Flowmaster mufflers. Backing up the 355 is a TH350 trans with a shift kit, cooler, and a B&M stall converter. The rearend has been fitted with an Eaton posi and 3.90 gears. It all gels together to make for one fine ride that Bill and his wife often enjoy while cruising around.

Rehabed Racer

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Wayne Deslauriers loves a good project, so when his wife, Brenda, needed a new car it was the perfect opportunity. You see, Brenda had always wanted a ’67 Camaro and Wayne certainly wasn’t going to argue. As he told us. “We looked at a bunch of cars that were within our $4,500 budget but most were rusty projects. This one here was basically bought off the drag strip and is a mid to low 12-second car. It had a fresh 355 built to scream with Super Comp headers but had no front inner fenders, wiring, or interior. Out back there was a Chrysler 8.75-inch rearend with ladder bars, 4:11 gears, subframe connectors, and solid body bushings. Both doors had lightweight plastic instead of glass for windows, and there was an eight-point cage.” Wayne replaced the sheetmetal with GM parts, added real glass and ditched the cage. He also popped in a full interior along with fresh wiring from Painless. In 1999 his wife decided she wanted something a bit more practical for daily driving so the Camaro was put up for sale. Fortunately, it never sold. “A few years later, my son Taylor and I were at a local cruise night and he said, ‘You should fix up the Camaro and bring it here,’” remembers Wayne. “I thought that was a great idea, after all, that’s why it’s been stored in the garage. So in August 2004 I gave her a complete makeover.” Hotchkis 2-inch drop springs along with bigger sway bars fixed the stance and gave the Camaro improved handling while a disc brake conversion helped it stop better. He also dressed up the engine and used the body shop where he works for a fresh coat of color on the Camaro.

What started out as a good deed for the wife has turned into a cool cruiser for Wayne. We call that a win-win situation.

Back In The Game

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Bob and Barb Delia have always been into cars but like many of us they had to take a hiatus to fully concentrate on raising a family. As Bob related, “My wife and I go way back to high school. She has been my right-hand assistant and friend for 50 years and we’ve always shared a love for the car hobby. Back in the day we did the street drags in Chicago and hit the drag strip every Sunday. Racing and shows were a major part of our lives and I ran in modified C/Gas with a record-holding ’56 Chevy. Eventually, it all had to take a backseat to raising our three kids.” Four grandchildren later, Bob and Barb are rekindling their love of cars. They’ve built two street rods and a ’59 Impala called “So Big,” which was a Great Eight contender for the Ridler award at the Detroit Autorama. “When the 'Big Three' auto companies came out with their modern muscle cars, we needed to be a part of that. Of course, we chose to build a ’10 SS Camaro,” recalled Bob, whose nickname is the “Bow-Tie Guy.”

For more power, they topped the LS3 with a Magnuson TVS 2300 blower and added some Kooks long-tube headers along with a Roto Fab cold-air induction system. The combination is enough to churn out around 700 hp at 6 pounds of boost. The chassis was treated to parts from Hotchkis, Eibach, and Granatelli, and it rolls on a set of 20-inch three-piece one-off Foose wheels. The exterior received a custom hood and some paintwork while the Inferno Orange-trimmed interior welcomed a set of Auto Meter gauges and an MGW shift knob.

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• Submit high-resolution reader’s rides photos and information to camaroperformers@sorc.com



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