1978 Chevrolet Camaro RS - Hand-Me-Down

Modern power and suspension made its way into Mike Winkel’s ’78 RS

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With the zillions of wheel choices on the market today, Mike settled on the twin five-spoke design of the Foose Monterey rollers (18x10 front, 18x12 rear) while Baer twin-piston Track Kit binders grip onto the 12-inch rotors on all four corners.

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The aforementioned wheels are wrapped in BFGoodrich G Force rubber. The 275/35-18 wreaks little havoc up front, but shoehorning a 335/30-18 out back required Jeff to dip into his fabrication skills and whittle up a set of mini-tubs. The plentiful rubber is a tried-and-true theme that offers today’s g-Machines an extended tire patch solely designed to “one-up” the competition—in looks and road-handling agility.

Setting the interior tone, a major portion of the crusted stock garments were tossed in favor of a slew of totally custom Heartland stitchings. From the one-off aluminum trim pieces and upholstery, to the carpet and dash covering, Heartland worked their magic to bring forward a simple scene coupled with a performance-based theme. A Detroit Speed Inc. rollbar ensures safety and additional chassis stability, while the Auto Meter ES gauges rest inside the Covan classic carbon-fiber dashpanel. Keeping in tune with modern functionality and classic style, a Vintage Air A/C system blows frosty to keep a comfy climate in the business quarters.

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The 1978 UM-2 option (AM/FM 8-track player) made way for a Pioneer CD player powered by a Vibe Audio amp. Jeff massaged in Vibe Audio 6x5 speakers into the doors and nestled a duo of 6x9s in the rear package tray.

“Besides the cowl-induction hood, all the sheetmetal is original,” reports Jeff. “Even the grille, bumpers, and roll pan are stock. It was garage-kept during the winters, so we did very little rust repair.”

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With the body freshly rolled off the rotisserie, Jeff doused the exterior in PPG two-stage black, including the trim pieces (headlight and turn signal buckets and window trim), to keep the sinister rhythm in check. The mirror-like finish was accented with fresh windows from Vintage Glass.

Yep, America has obviously changed quite a bit since 1978, and so has Mike Winkel’s Camaro. It’s got tons more horsepower, gets better gas mileage, looks a helluva lot better, and it’s way more fun to drive. Now, if we could focus on getting the price of gas back down to $0.63 a gallon; that would really be something.




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