Is it blasphemy to carve up a genuine numbers-matching RS/SS '67 Camaro? There are those who would wholeheartedly agree and sentence such a blasphemer to the deepest levels of automotive Hades. In automotive Hades, the condemned are forced to drive front-wheel drive cars built in former communist countries, with oversized loud mufflers, ill-fitting plastic body panels and neon light kits.
But before the puritanical believers condemn the actions of the owner/builder of this particular feature car to fire and brimstone (or death by stoning), take a look at the righteous ride born-again hard by Matt Roberts.
For Matt, life started out simple enough. Like many automotive enthusiasts, Matt came of age with his high school Camaro. Also like many of us, he sold his high school hot rod. Eventually time and conscience eroded Matt's soul. He began missing the F-body, so he set upon a knight's crusade to seek out another. It wasn't long before he met a man of the cloth (yes, a real-live preacher) who saved his soul and put an end to his quest. This preacher had put up for sale his former daily driver. Talk about repentance!
Matt scooped up this genuine '67 RS/SS that had been in storage for 17 years, complete with its small-block, Powerglide and 12-bolt Posi rearend. When a faithful Camaro family member inquired as to Matt's plans for the car, his response was: "I'm going to cut it up and slam it on the ground." The Camaro was immediately disassembled, and the collection of replacement upgrades began.
Matt was no stranger to the hammer and dolly; cutting up cars and rebuilding them is not an intimidating task for a skilled body technician. The ancient skin is first media blasted, and then the vehicle is put up on a rotisserie. With the help of his friend Ron Middleton, the cancer-riddled floors were replaced. During the cutting of the floor, the inner and outer wheel housings in the rear were also altered and tubbed to accommodate the large 20x9.5 wheels he had ordered for the rear.
The pavement-plowing stance was at the top of Matt's list, and an Air Ride Shockwave system was installed. A set of Superior 2-inch drop spindles and 12-inch brakes combined with Fatman tubular A-arms to drop this Camaro a total of 7 inches-till an earthworm couldn't crawl underneath it.
In the back, a set of Eaton 3-inch lowering springs further drop the Camaro. The 12-bolt Posi-traction rearend was also shortened by Matt and Ron; then they threw in a set of 3.73 gears and some CPP 10-inch rotors to round things off. After the underside of the Camaro was taken care of and was a roller, Matt and Ron finished the rest of the bodywork. If you noticed, they smoothed and filled the cowl vent in the front of the Camaro-it's such a subtle mod that it took a long time for us to even notice.
All this work was performed in Matt's home garage over the course of two years. The numbers-matching small-block was set to the side and a 1972 454 was located. The 454 was brought over to Allied Motors in Missouri, where it was bored .060 over, bringing the current displacement to 468 cubic inches. The OE crank was reused, as well as the rods and cast-iron heads. TRW pistons were selected, which brings the compression to a healthy 11:1. Allied used a Comp cam with .575 intake lift and 284 duration; the exhaust lift is .575 with a duration of 296. A Weiand intake and Demon 750-cfm carb top it off. The 454 remains relatively OEM except for the above-mentioned parts.
While this may look like a high-dollar car, it's anything but a budget breaker. The only thing that was farmed out was the engine and interior. The cockpit retains most of its original look, with a two-tone graphite and dark gray theme throughout. The final color of the car is Rauch Silver, and the Bumble Bee stripe is Dark Rauch Silver (these are Mercedes-Benz colors from the 1980s). The wheels on the car are from Center Line, and are called Galaxy; the fronts are 17x7s and the rears are whopping 20x9.5-inches. Goodyear Eagle F1 rubber keeps the Camaro glued to the pavement: 225/45R17 in front, and 245/35R20 out back.
This Camaro gets flogged, as Matt is not afraid to drive the car four hours each way to big car shows. Who needs a trailer when you have this?
Again, we ask ye true believers: Did this knave of an enthusiast blaspheme the holy grail of Camaro-dom by cutting up a numbers-matching RS/SS? Or does this creation leave the spirit of the Camaro intact? Does it reveal the soul of one who wears the Camaro cloth proudly? Let the debate begin!