Top Camaros of 2012 - Best Of The Best

The Editors and Readers Choose the Top Camaros of 2012

Camp 1302 13 O Top Camaros Of 2012 1969 Camaro RS 1/23

Issue: July 2012
Car: 1969 Camaro RS Convertible
Owner: Mark Lengal
Photos: Josh Mishler

Camp 1302 14 O Top Camaros Of 2012 1969 Camaro RS Convertible 2/23

Car builds can get pushed back for many reasons, and the time devoted can go well over even the most conservative time estimates. But what may not be accounted for is a major change in direction. Initially, Mark Lengal had his mind made up to take his swap meet classic down the road to building a big-block clone. Well, that all changed while he was scouring the Internet for parts and stumbled onto lateral-g.net. He was amazed at what he saw within the Pro Touring scene and couldn’t believe the number of suppliers already dedicated to the movement. Instantly, the big-block stuff went up for sale and he repositioned the build in favor of a super clean Pro Touring ride. The car features a slightly juiced up LS1, with the majority of the build focused around the cushy interior and a flawless exterior that looks slightly less familiar than what he’d become accustomed to, already. Not only did Mark succeed in building an insanely nice ’69 Pro Touring convertible, but it’s also like none we’ve seen.

Your feedback and the fact that this is one gorgeous Camaro makes us proud to include it in our Best of issue.

Camp 1302 15 O Top Camaros Of 2012 1970 3/23

Issue: October 2012
Car: 1970 Camaro
Owner: Bob Venne
Photos: Robert McGaffin

Camp 1302 16 O Top Camaros Of 2012 1970 Camaro 4/23

The Ringbrothers are notorious for building some of the most creative and functional muscle cars anyone has ever seen. There’s usually a buzz about what’s happening inside the confines of their Spring Green, Wisconsin, hot rod shop. And that was certainly the case when word got out as Bob Venne’s Pro Touring ’70 Camaro, dubbed Diverson, was going through its transformation from an everyday second-gen to what you see here. Every Ringbrothers build reflects their distinct style, and this sleek 650hp brawler is no exception. The Camaro’s obvious custom refinements speak out loud, while the subtle nuances remain unspoken until you make visual comparisons to a stock example. Even then, it’ll take a few walk-arounds to soak it all in. The car is engaging on the interior and just as stellar on the exterior.

Our Facebook followers gave it major props, and so do we. It more than deserves to be in our Best of issue.

Camp 1302 18 O Top Camaros Of 2012 1969 SS 396 5/23

Issue: October 2012
Car: 1969 SS 396 Camaro
Owner: Mac and Shelly Bernd
Photos: Stephen Kim

Camp 1302 17 O Top Camaros Of 2012 1969 SS 396 Camaro 6/23

Mac Bernd has been building hot rods for more years than he may care to admit, but this Camaro is a first for him on two accounts. One is that it’s a super rare matching-numbers SS396 ’69 Camaro with some highly unusual options; the second is that it’s an absolute concourse-quality restoration built for the national show car circuit. Mac’s known for and takes pride in building cars that he and his wife, Shelly, drive, so the fact that this immaculate ’69 has been judged as “Legend Status” by some of the top Camaro authorities in the country has taken Mac into unfamiliar territory: preserving a little muscle car history.

Many have enjoyed seeing this car in person at one of the many shows Mac has attended in 2012, and because we are on board with preserving a little history ourselves, we had to throw out the “welcome mat” and include this immaculate restoration in our Best of issue.

Camp 1302 19 O Top Camaros Of 2012 1987 7/23

Issue: December 2012
Car: 1987 IROC-Z Camaro
Owner: Laura Wilson
Photos: Matthew Jones

Camp 1302 20 O Top Camaros Of 2012 1987 Camaro 8/23

It’s not often we come across third-gens in the condition of Laura Wilson’s, so when she emailed us a couple photos and asked if we would be interested in doing a feature article on her ’87, we jumped at the chance. One cool thing is that the car has a split personality. For example, the car rolls on 18-inch wheels and low-profile rubber for street driving, but for dragstrip action Laura bolts on the 15-inch Race Star rollers wrapped in Mickey Thompson Sportsman rubber on all four corners. As you can see here, our preference was to shoot the car in drag trim. Under the hood, her hubby, Todd, made sure the car had plenty of beans, so the beefed-up 350 is accompanied by a NOS 150 shot. Laura is plenty happy with the power the car makes, but she’s a stickler on keeping this ride looking good. Todd painted the car himself, and his attention to detail shows throughout the build. It’s this kind of effort that not only gets Laura plenty of looks going down the road, but it has also gotten her a trunk load of car show awards.

We’re excited to award her a spot in our Best of list.

Camp 1302 21 O Top Camaros Of 2012 2010 SS 9/23

Issue: December 2012
Car: 2010 SS Camaro
Owner: Clay Lawson
Photos: Robert McGaffin

Camp 1302 22 O Top Camaros Of 2012 2010 SS Camaro 10/23

Clay Lawson had originally ordered a fully loaded ’11 Camaro SS convertible that he was planning to upgrade with enough grunt to get into the low 10s. Unfortunately, a few mishaps at the factory postponed delivery and after a few weeks of getting the runaround about where the car actually was, Clay decided to cancel the order and go with a slightly damaged ’10 coupe and pour all the go-fast goodies into this car. He had the crew at LME in Houston, Texas, bump the LSX up to 7.4 L and bolt on a Kenne Bell supercharger. With the boost cranked up to 12 psi, he was on his way – quickly. The resulting effort offered Clay 800-plus hp and 850 lb-ft of torque. Baer 6S calipers and 15-inch rotors hide behind a set of polished CCW SP16A wheels wrapped in Nitto NTO5 rubber, while Pedders adjustable shocks and 1-inch drop springs improve handling.

Horsepower alone didn’t get Clay’s fifth-gen on our Best of list, but the attractive custom exterior along with the sanitary engine bay and interior helped it right along.

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