The first two years of the Camaro are in a category all their own. Why is that, you ask? In 1969, the body was given a subtle overhaul, making it appear larger and more muscular. The '69 edition may be the most sought-after and adored of all the Camaros, but '67 and '68 cars are downright fantastic, too. Especially when they have twin turbochargers under the hood, like our cover/feature car.
It seems that twin turbo setups are all the rage, and this car exemplifies everything that is great about forced induction. Before we started employing the help of giants to blow 30 psi of air into our engines, it would have been unheard of to make 800 rear wheel horsepower out of a streetable small-block on pump gas. You would have been deemed asylum-worthy to even speak of such things, and then follow it up with the ludicrous idea of getting 20 mpg in the process. Well, those days are over. Not only can that kind of power be made, but mechanical masterminds like Ray Borba can now make so much power that they have to detune 1,000-plus-horsepower beasts for streetability and safety.
This '68 Camaro, built by Ray and family, is powered by a 380ci small-block. It employs twin intercooled turbochargers capable of 28 psi, enough to supply ungodly amounts of torque upon request. Ray used Brodix Track 1 aluminum heads, a Crower roller cam, and a Comp Cams valvetrain. He wasn't sure which header system would work best with the turbo setup, so he created his own 1 3/4-inch headers and full exhaust system.
This monster's drivetrain begins with a Tremec T56 six-speed with a twin-disc McLeod clutch. Following behind is a 3-inch chrome-moly driveshaft and a 9-inch rear end with a Detroit Locker and 35-spline axles. Billet Specialties SLC62 wheels (18x8 front, 18x10 back) conceal giant Baer disc brakes and are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport tires (235/40ZR18 front, 295/35ZR18 back).
The thinwall tires fit nicely in the wheelwells and match the sit of the suspension provided by tubular control arms and QA1 coilover springs. Also up front is a modernized rack-and-pinion steering system from a late-body Camaro/Firebird. In the rear is a full four-link suspension with mini-tubs to encompass the large tires out back.
The 800hp engine is great and gives onlookers the chills, but brakes and tires keep passengers safe on long hauls to the northern mountains, and Ray was well aware of their importance. "No joke, you lose your breath as this car pulls faster and faster through each gear in its determination to reach its ultimate destination ... a speed the speedometer can't even register," said Ray.
The exterior is coated in Cyber Green Metallic paint done by Ray's brother Robert at Custom Concepts in Hughson, California. Keeping it all in the family, Ray and his bro both work out of the same building. Between Custom Concepts and Cool Tec auto restoration services, they performed just about every inch of work on this car, and it really is a beautiful example of their abilities.
Passengers in this rocket ship are treated to luxuries that few were accustomed to in the 1960s, including a Vintage Air Sure Fit air-conditioning unit, a full Pioneer stereo system, DVD monitor, Auto Meter carbon-fiber gauges, five-point racing harnesses, and a Billet Specialties steering wheel.
"The five-point harness belts are a definite necessity to keep you in your seat while you experience the g-forces each turn can bring with the speed. This car can go from 80 mph to 140 mph in the blink of an eye." We agree with Ray and love the way this car looks and feels. No corners were cut in this assembly, and for a car that started as a test seat for new engines, we sure are glad it transformed into a Bow Tie gem.