Jeff Mortenson's Silver Bullet is like a fist to the face of conventional Camaro builds. First of all, it's not a '69. And from where we sit, the second-generation F-bodies have gotten less respect than Rodney Dangerfield-for far too long.
Jeff admits this 1970 RS Camaro was a pile (lime-green and primered) when he first acquired it. Looking past the primer patches and mud flaps, Jeff (the owner of Classic Chevy 5-Speed) saw what this car could really be. It did, however, take a few years to get there. To tell the truth, this is not the first time this Camaro has graced the pages of a Super Chevy publication. A little over a year ago, this '70 Camaro was featured in our sister publication, Camaro Performers magazine. It was far cry from its current radical build. When it came time for the second rebuild of this F-body, Jeff's only viable option was to take it past the typical bellybutton rebop.
Planning a trip into unknown territory can present unanticipated challenges for any builder. While Jeff is not the first person to transplant an LS engine into a second-generation Camaro, there is no 1-800 number on how it's done. That's where Best of Show Coachworks in San Marcos, California, comes into the picture. The crew at Best of Show listened to Jeff's ideas and turned them into reality. First came the fitment of the LS6 motor from Turnkey Engine, and then came the install of the ATI Procharger and intercooler. Now that was an install that, to our knowledge, had never been done before. (Refer to our last issue of Super Chevy for the ProCharger how-to article.)
While the body was receiving more attention than the Anna Nichole Smith autopsy, the suspension got a good working-over that makes it superior to its OEM setup. The front clip was blasted clean then repainted. After that it had nothing but the best suspension parts installed, including a Hotchkis TVS system-which lowers the Camaro 2 inches in the front and 1 1/2 inches in the back-specially valved Bilstein shocks at all corners, with Detroit Speed and Engineering upper and lower control arms, and Chris Alston's Chassisworks. Stainless Steel Brakes 14-inch rotors with four piston calipers were fitted at all corners, and Colorado Custom 18-inch Alcatraz wheels (18x8 in the front and 18x10 in the back) keep it rolling.
Inside the Silver Bullet you'll find more custom work. The leather power seats with lumbar support are from a 2002 Trans Am. The custom door panels were designed by Marquez Design, as were other parts of the vehicle's interior. Behind those door panels (and under the carpet) you'll find a full complement of Dynamat sound deadener. As you sit in the driver seat and grab hold of the new leather Lecarra steering wheel, you'll find a complete set of Auto Meter Ultralight gauges housed in a Covans carbon-fiber gauge bezel. The gauges feature a 160-mph speedometer, 10,000-rpm tachometer, as well as fuel, amp, oil pressure, and water temperature gauges. Looking down at the console, you'll find fuel pressure and boost gauges, along with the new dPic gauge from Auto Meter. For your favorite tunes you can slide your CD into the iPod-ready Alpine CD player with a full dose of speakers, amps, and subwoofers.
OK, so what did Best of Show Coach Works do during all this other construction? They filled in the front side marker lights, shaved and filled the emblems, and smoothed the firewall. They also filled the seam on the front valance of the Camaro. The complete PPG line was used on this Camaro, from the primer to the clear. The color chosen is Mercedes Silver with '69 Camaro-inspired hockey stick stripes down the side. Marquez Design also supplied the custom-designed taillights, and all bumpers were re-chromed.
Suffice it to say, Mortenson has a one of a kind, fist-fighting, knockout of a second-generation Camaro. The supercharged LS6 (estimated to make 530 at the flywheel) will leave a two-point-nothing-liter import driver wishing he hadn't spent all his money on stickers and loud mufflers. This old dog has some new tricks!
All we can say is that it's about time somebody did something different with these second-gen Camaros.