There is no one you will ever find with a bigger smile on his face when he is at the racetrack or cruising around town than Harold Caron. A man who calls Central Islip, New York, home, Harold sculpted this IROC from a stock '80s GM ponycar to high-powered street/strip warhead. His reason for purchasing the Camaro was quite simple. "In 1985, when NHRA Pro Stock introduced the IROC, I thought Lee Shepherd had the baddest hot rod ever! I instantly fell in love with it."
Team Super Chevy invited Harold down to our home track of Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey, for a strip flog, and he put together some nice passes. Harold had the wheels in the sky for more than 100 feet on most passes, leaving photographers running for cover. He ran the eight mile with consistent 6.20s at over 111 mph, making this '85 one of-if not the fastest-IROC we have taken down the strip.
It took him nine years to get it to the stage it's in now, but like any worthy project, the job is never complete. This car is like a child to him. Some people trade, sell, purchase, and barter automobiles day in and day out, but his IROC has seen the ups, downs, and in-the-middles of Harold's life; it's not a car you will ever see for sale.
Having purchased the Camaro in 1990 on his 18th birthday, Harold was happier than a fat kid locked in a candy store. Over the next few years, he installed the usual bolt-ons and had a blast being young and single at 110 mph. But after some time, he was ready for the next step: giant tires and forced induction. He and his buddies at Lizzard Racing, where he worked, began stripping the car. Unfortunately, that is where the story almost got cut short.
Finding himself strapped for cash, Harold had no choice but to sell his baby, so he visited "Uncle Tony" Arcuni, who was interested in the car for his son. Harold was devastated about selling the car, but really had no choice at this point in his life. Money was tight, and there was no way he would be able to continue the build. Knowing Harold would regret selling the car, Uncle Tony canceled the deal. For that, Harold remains grateful. In time, Harold switched jobs, found financial stability, and over the next nine years, he was able to turn an almost-sold stock Camaro into the monster we see here.
At the heart of the operation is a supercharged 352ci small-block, producing over 790hp, built by Richard "The Monster" Haubold of PCHS Racing Engines. The short-block consists of a steel GM block, filled with a Lunati crankshaft, Eagle rods, and JE thermo-coated dish pistons, creating a static compression ratio of 9.25:1
The valvetrain is complete with a PCHS/CamMotion solid roller camshaft (.686I/.667E), Crane roller lifters, and aluminum roller rockers. A set of AFR 227 aluminum cylinder heads flowing 300 cfm at .700-inch lift and a BoostDaddy intake manifold pull 9.5 psi of forced air, courtesy of a BDS Stage-2 blower. Fuel delivery consists of an Aeromotive electrical pump, (16) 30 lb/hr injectors, and a BDS sequential EFI system.
As for the suspension, the entire rear was back-halved with Jerry Bickle four-link bars and antiroll bar, all installed by Hellbent Racecars. He used QA1 double-adjustables all around, and Wilwood disc brakes. The entire front end was rebuilt with tubular A-arms, a motorplate and midplate, a P.A. Performance manual rack-and-pinion, and a chrome-moly K-member.
Backing that rubber band motor is a Select Performance TH400 with a 10-inch 5,000-stall converter, aluminum driveshaft, and Dana 60 spool. Perhaps the most unusual feature of this IROC is the three-lever Hurst Lightning Rod shifter. It's not too often that you see these style shifters, especially in rocket ships running the quarter-mile in a best of 9.57 at 137 mph. Harold was happy to give me a ride, and I must say, I felt like a 5-year-old, because it took more than a little self control to keep from pulling the levers.
Out back, placing the rubber on the road are 15x15 HoleShot bead-locked wheels and 22.5 DOT Hoosier tires. Here at Super Chevy, we put feature cars through their paces, specifically this one. While shooting, we had Harold make about 20 laps around Englishtown's road course. Now there's something you don't see every day: 22.5-inch tires, a giant blower, and skinny fronts taking a high bank with ease. Up front sit Weld Aluma Star wheels (15x3.5) encased in Mickey Thompson Sportsman tires.
On the inside, Harold wanted his Camaro to retain as much of the stock appeal as possible, so he kept with the OEM theme from the 1980s. Two-tone gray doors and side panels, and black factory carpets are original pieces that Anthony Muselli from Perfect Ten refurbished and retained, as well as a modified console.
Finishing up the people carrier are two black-vinyl JAZ Racing seats and Auto Meter Phantom gauges.