Chevy enthusiast Bill Ogle has the type of car collection any Bow-Tie fan would be jealous of. In addition to owning a number of rare '60s and '70s GM musclecars (like a '71 Baldwin-Motion Phase III 454 Camaro and a '69 Dick Harrell COPO 427 Camaro) he also owns the very first Callaway C-12 Corvette-Reeves Callaway's '97 "development car." Like we said, it's a collection worth dropping your jaw and drooling over. But every once in a while, Bill likes to let it all hang out without risking the safety of one his prized museum pieces. That's where this tricked-out '73 Camaro comes in. Believe it or not, it all started with a gutted-out RS body that Bill bought 12 years ago for a whopping $500. The body sat in storage until 1994, when Bill purchased the remains of a totaled, 2000-mile '93 Z28, complete with LT1 engine. He decided that it would be cool to build a hybrid daily driver-a sort of "resto-rod" that could burn up the quarter-mile, yet negotiate even the most hazardous of winding roads at speed. You know, the best of both worlds!
So Bill dusted the off the '73 and delivered it and the remains of the '93 to Wade's Rod & Custom, in Wylie, Texas. Once there the '73 was relieved of its floorpan and interior sheetmetal, and the remaining shell was mated to a Pro Motion Race Cars tube chassis, complete with 12-point rollcage. The Camaro's new framework (which resembles that of an IMSA GT-2 race car,) features the Z28's 3.73:1-geared 10-bolt rearend, which now utilizes modified Hotchkis trailing arms, a custom Panhard bar, Aldan coilover shocks, and an Addco heavy-duty rear anti-sway bar. Baer disc brakes (with 13-inch slotted rotors) cap it off. The front suspension also includes many of the parts from the '93 car, including the steering box, master cylinder, brake booster, and modified front spindles. Eibach springs and 13-inch Brembo/Callaway discs complete the package.
In the process of mating the '73 sheetmetal to its new framework, the crew at Wade's installed parts of the '93 Camaro firewall, which already had the requisite accommodations for the LT1. While they were at it, they also installed the Z28's dash, wiring harness, floor pedals, and anti-lock brake equipment. While all of that was going on, Bill shipped the LT1 to Callaway Cars (Old Lyme, Connecticut) to "have the engine put on steroids." Callaway Chief Engineer Mike Zoner and company updated the LT1 with a Callies forged stroker crank, Carillo rods, Arias forged 10.5:1 pistons, a Callaway-grind Comp Cams camshaft, and a set of Air Flow Research heads. An 8-quart Hamburger oil pan sealed off the bottom end, while the top end was buttoned up with a CNC-ported Callaway LT1 induction system sporting a 58mm throttle body and a custom airbox (built at Wade's) with K&N filters. Callaway headers and a Borla exhaust system were added to expel the spent gases. All told, this puppy sends 505 screaming horses (with 454 ft-lbs of torque) through a Centerforce clutch and a Borg-Warner T56 six-speed. The final link in the drivetrain is a DynoTech composite driveshaft.
The crew at Wade's made sure the Camaro would make a visual statement by whipping the sheetmetal into shape and painting it in a one-off, pearl red metallic hue. A set of 17x9.5- and 17x11-inch Colorado Custom "Keystone" wheels (skinned with 275/40ZR17 and 315/35ZR17 BFGoodrich Comp T/As) completed the look. On the inside, the '93 Z28 dash was outfitted with an Alpine stereo linked to a plethora of woofers, tweeters, and midrange speakers. You'll also note that the Z28's factory air conditioning came along for the ride. A set of '94 Trans Am seats was incorporated into the interior as well. Once in place, everything (including the trunk and the special '73/'93 door panels) was lavishly stitched in beige soft leather trim by Cook's Auto Trim, (Murphy, Texas). Since completion, Bill has driven his resto-rodded RS all over the country, including an extended trip along the East Coast. This show winner is fast, reliable, and, more than anything, fun to drive. "It's my favorite car," Bill says. And considering the company it keeps in Bill's garage, that's saying a lot!