Best Camaros Of The Year

The Camaro Performers magazine staff picks their favorites of 2011

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Owner: Matt and Steve Alcala
Car: 1969 Camaro
Issue: October 2011
Photographer: Robert McGaffin

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Looking at Matt and Steve Alcala’s immaculate ’69, one would certainly take notice of the sano fit and finish, custom body mods, and major attention to detail that makes this Camaro one of the finest examples of Pro Touring royalty. The gang at Best of Show Coach Works in Escondido, California, performed their bodywork magic on the vintage ride and were looking at the 2009 SEMA Show to showcase their interpretation of high-end street muscle. With all the top-shelf amenities on board including Detroit Speed suspension components, Forgeline wheels, and Z06 brakes, the LS2-powered road warrior was ready to take on the industry’s largest stage. Unfortunately, texting was more important to a certain gal in a Saturn than stopping for a red light. Needless to say, the Camaro received excessive damage, in turn, putting their SEMA plans on hold for one more year. The Alcala’s dream car would need a second round with the Best of Show crew. Well worth the wait, the car received a GM Design award at the 2010 SEMA show.

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With accolades in hand, Matt exercises the car’s agility and puts those hefty performance suspension parts to the test on the autocross and road course every chance he gets.

Owner: Mike Bighley
Car: 1988 Camaro
Issue: January 2011
Photographer: Eric McClellan

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When Mike Bighley was just 15-years old, all he could think about was having a cool Camaro he could cruise in. Mike scratched and saved for this here ’88, cruised it for a little while before his need for more horsepower became a dominant factor. The car went through various engine combinations over the years; each one more powerful than the last until it finally ended up with this turbocharged 404ci behemoth that Mike claims makes over 1,100 hp and about 1,050 lb-ft of peak torque.

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Certainly the big horsepower and the fact that it runs consistent 8.50’s in the quarter-mile contribute to this killer third-gen making our Best of list. Add in the incredible paint and bodywork, and you have one of the coolest ’88 drag Camaros we’ve seen in a very long time.

Owner: Francis Johns
Car: 2010 Camaro
Issue: February 2011
Photographer: Nick Licata

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From the get-go, quite a few fifth-gen Camaro guys have done everything they could to make their car quicker and faster. And knowing the car’s hefty weight would be a major factor in getting from point A to point B as quickly as earlier-generation Camaros, it still didn’t deter Francis Johns from bolting go-fast goodies on his Camaro. To him, the styling of the new Camaro was too irresistible. A drag racer at heart, Francis started racing the car in stock trim and reeling in 13-second timeslips. As money permitted, various bolt-on speed parts, and even a supercharger made their way under the hood, in turn, bringing down his quarter-mile times. Before long, Francis was cruising around town in a custom-painted fifth-gen with 10-second timeslips stuffed in the center console. To feed his appetite for speed, and to stay on top of the latest parts available for the new Camaro, Francis opened FJ Performance in Export, Pennsylvania. Now he’s got a legit reason for testing parts on his supercharged Camaro. It’s also a good reason why his car made our Best of the Best list.

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