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Camaro Performers Readers' Rides

Apr 30, 2013
Camp 1304 01 O Camaro Performers Readers Rides 1994 2/7


Back in 1993, Anthony Pesci's pops bought a brand-new '94 Z28 off the dealer's lot and drove it home through the snow. But, after that initial foul-weather drive, the Camaro led a pampered life rarely even seeing raindrops. "In 2008, my father called me from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and asked if I wanted the car. I went down and got it since he didn't drive it any longer due to being busy with his '64 Impala," recalled Anthony. The Camaro currently has a scant 43,000 miles on the clock and still runs the original LT1 along with a six-speed trans. Anthony has upped the performance with 1.6 rockers, underdrive pulleys, bigger throttle body, cold-air intake, and some better programming. He's also upgraded the looks with some hockey stripes and Vette-style wheels. As for Anthony's love of Camaros, he told us, "I have been hooked on Camaros since I saw pictures of my father's '68 Z/28 that he purchased after he came home from the Army. It was LeMans Blue with a 302 and a four-speed. He drag raced it for two years with great success. That car is the reason I love Camaros and now own two, the other being a '69 that I'm currently restoring."

Camp 1304 02 O Camaro Performers Readers Rides Z28 3/7


Many of us toil for years to build the Camaro of our dreams, but Chad Dorhout is a man with little patience. In just over a year he's managed to transform his '71 from stock to stellar. Most impressive is that aside from paint, he's done all the work himself in his garage. The second-gen has the dash from a fourth-gen, and almost every aspect of the '71 has been modified. Under the hood is an LS1, which is backed up by a Tremec T56 transmission. The suspension was upgraded along with the steering system with DSE components, and C6 Z06 brakes were bolted inside the blacked-out Z06 wheels. To accommodate the wide 325 rear tires, Chad grafted in a set of DSE mini-tubs while DSE subframe connectors keep chassis flex to a minimum. "My goal was to have a car that looked and performed—as close as possible—to the Detroit Speed second-gen, but on a budget. Restoring old cars is new to me since I've always been an import guy. The short build time was even crazier since I have a wife and three kids. She's been super supportive of me being in the garage every night during the build," recalled Chad.

Camp 1304 03 O Camaro Performers Readers Rides 1971 4/7

All we can say is you have a sweet Camaro, and welcome to the domestic side of the car hobby!


Two years ago, Joe Leal bought this '10 SS Camaro with no real plans to do anything more than a few bolt-ons. Well, that all changed after one week of ownership when he joined a Camaro forum and began chatting with other gearheads. "It wasn't long until I got the itch to get started with an exhaust and a cold-air intake. But, like so many have experienced after the basic upgrades, I wanted more. I started talking to the guys on the forum about cam swaps and even adding a blower. I thought maybe I would just throw a blower on a stock bottom end, but many on the forum suggested that if I were to go blower, I had better build the bottom end. Initially, that wasn't all that appealing to me. It seemed too extreme, so we decided to do a naturally aspirated 427 LS3. We ordered all the parts, but the wrong stuff was shipped causing a huge delay. Frustrated, I decided that maybe a blower was in my future and I finally pulled the trigger on a 2.9L Whipple. That's when things started getting interesting," recalled Joe. The more he researched, the more extreme the project got. New valves, twin fuel pumps, a 10-rib pulley system. The list just grew and grew. Finally, he hit the dyno only to run out of fuel at 5,000 rpm. Seems that the E85 he was running FUBAR'd their calculations, so more work was done before heading back to the dyno. This happened several times before Joe was rewarded with a pull of 811 rwhp and 805 lb-ft of twist! The joy lasted until a spun bearing killed the thrill. But Joe took the opportunity to bump the displacement up to 418 cubes. This time he went a bit more conservative on the tune and the new combo makes a reliable 786 ponies to the rear tires on pump gas! So much for keeping it simple!

Camp 1304 04 O Camaro Performers Readers Rides 2010 Ss Camaro 5/7


Marilyn Reimer and her husband, Gary, bought this '69 back in 2005 as a project car and spent the next six years making it stunning. Under the first-gen is an Art Morrison chassis with all the handling bells and whistles and big Wilwood binders. Powering the '69 is a monstrous 555-inch Merlin II-based big-block mill with Trick Flow heads and an Edelbrock Pro-flow fuel injection system. The rest of the driveline consists of a TH400 trans with a 3,500-stall converter and a Ford 9-inch with Moser axles. The Orange Metallic Pearl Camaro, which the couple named Sassy, debuted in March of 2012, and since then has been racking up show wins across Canada, which earned them a trip to the 2012 SEMA show.

Camp 1304 05 O Camaro Performers Readers Rides 1969 Camaro 6/7

Itch Scratcher

Once you get the itch to own a Camaro it never really goes away; a little life lesson that became very evident to Steve Schuette. "I've been a Camaro lover for over 38 years and owned a couple in the mid-'70s. But for the usual reasons (wife, house, kids) I had to stop messing with cars, but the desire never went away. In 2001, at the age of 47, I bought a crème-puff '74 with a 350 small-block. My friend and I hopped it up, but eventually it started spending more time in the garage. It seemed like the desire was leaving me, so I sold it. A couple of months later I found myself wanting another Camaro. The itch was back, big time! Now, I never liked third-gens, but I found a cool black and silver '89 IROC with a 5.7L engine and a red interior. I had to have it! The Camaro runs great, and after giving it some TLC, it looks great, too. The car is mostly original and I plan on keeping it that way. Basically, I'm just happy to be back in a Camaro!"

Camp 1304 06 O Camaro Performers Readers Rides 1989 IROC 7/7

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