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1971 Chevy Camaro - A Mule for the Air

This Camaro Has a True Purpose

Tony Kelly Sep 1, 2006
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So you've got this really cool company, Air Ride Technologies, and it's important to keep up with the latest trend-musclecars. Camaros from the 1970s fit that description quite well, so when it was time to develop a system for the Second-Generation, the gang at Air Ride went looking for a nice "test mule" or "victim" car to use for awhile. OK, so you're out there reading this and you own a nice 1970s Camaro, and you're wishing Air Ride had invited you to donate your car for awhile, but think about it. Most Camaro owners don't want to give up their car for this project's extended amount of time. Solution-get your own "victim."

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This '71 already had nice straight panels, but just to make it better Precision Coachworks added the Rallye stripes, wet-sanded, and buffed the car. The interior was gutted so that the Dynamat sound deadener could be added, along with Vintage Air, Auto Meter gauges, an Eclipse CD, and Kicker speakers. When it all went back together, Cerullo Seats supplied a set of XR seats.

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Since the car was going to performance test the suspension, it needed some serious ponies, which came by way of Jasper Engines who supplied a 383ci small-block, pumping out 425 hp at 5,600 rpm and 448 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 rpm. The Bow-Tie features a forged steel crankshaft, an approximate 10.3:1 compression ratio, flat-top hypereutectic pistons, high-performance stainless steel valves, and more. The camshaft offers a rough idle with an operating range of 2,500-6,500 rpm. Outside it has all the "right stuff"-an MSD billet distributor and 6A box, 750 Holley, a Vintage Air Frontrunner, an Afco Racing radiator with Spal 16-inch fan, a Bowler Transmission 4L60e trans., 4.11:1 gears with an Eaton Posi, Drivetrain Specialties axles, a Wilwood four-wheel disc brake system, a Flaming River 12:1 power steering box and Cascade wheel, and Billet Specialties "Fastlane" wheels, 18x9.5 rears, and 18x8 fronts, with BFGoodrich 285/40ZR18 and 245/40ZR18 tires.

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As one would expect, the pice de resistance is the Air Ride suspension system. On the front are the StrongArm tubular control arms with double adjustable ShockWaves and MuscleBar swaybar. On the rear, the AirBar bolt-on four-link is installed, again with double-adjustable ShockWaves. The compressor system is the new RidePro e2 leveling system.

This car spends its life in a performance environment, all the while being babied and pampered so it continues to look this good. Maybe we shouldn't call it a "victim" after all.



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