The Summer of Love, 1967. Vietnam, Super Bowl I, the first Apollo missions, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the Detroit and Newark riots, Jim Morrison and the Doors, and of course, the birth of the greatest accomplishment on four wheels: the Camaro.
Among the first 'maros was a Turbo-Thrift straight six, 327 and 350 Turbo-Fire V-8s, 396 Turbo-Jets, and a 540ci aluminum big-block. I'm serious-really-you just called General Motors and told them to give you the BALCO special and you, too, could live the dream. Was BALCO even around in '67? Whatever.
In reality, you couldn't get a 540 in an F-body and a base Camaro was exactly that-at the bottom of the food chain both cosmetically and mechanically. The available Rally Sport (RS) package provided you with some luxuries, such as a blacked-out grille, high-away headlights, plush interior, and revised taillights. The Super Sport (SS) package was more performance-oriented with a 350ci V-8 or available 396ci big-blocks rated at 325hp or 375hp, faux hood-mounted air intakes, and, of course, the bumble bee stripe.
Chevrolet knew there was an audience that just wasn't going to stand for having one or the other, and created the RS/SS Camaro that combined the best of both worlds, while retaining the Rally Sport badges.
With a build time of about 21/2 years, Lou Sedita spared no expense and started with a numbers-matching '67 RS/SS Camaro he purchased from a family friend. Said Lou, "I wasn't sure if I was ready to start cutting an original car like this, but once I saw my buddies building beautiful Pro Street cars, I gave in."
You see, Lou cruises with a group of guys we like to refer to as the Long Island Boys, who run some of the nicest Pro Street-style hot rods we have ever seen, such as Harold Caron's IROC that we featured last month. Though not officially a "gang" or even an organized club, these guys make huge horsepower capable of 8- and 9-second passes, and also stroll down Main Street.
While production line engineers around the world are breaking pencils trying to make 1-liter turbocharged snails that run on tomato juice or whatever, Lou made high compression in as big a motor as he could without having to notify the bomb squad.
The elephantine marvel for this particular beauty was built by Heads Up Racing in Bohemia, New York. It makes close to 13:1 compression, and produces 846 hp at 7,200 rpm at the flywheel naturally aspirated, and over 1,100 hp when hit with a 300-shot of nitrous.
The 540 cubic inches of exploding chambers (4.50-bore/4.25-stroke) are spun courtesy of a Callies steel crankshaft, Carillo connecting rods, and J.E. aluminum pistons. Dart Pro-1 cylinder heads and a Dart big-block intake manifold prepped with nitrous and fuel inlets sits up top and provides much needed airflow, especially with a full-roller valve train and custom Bullet Racing camshaft. Peering into the engine bay, it's hard to miss two solenoids and plumbing for the NOS ProShot nitrous wet fogger system capable of gains up to 500 hp at the flywheel.
The suspension is completely custom and even spent some time on the rotisserie getting prepped for greatness. Hell Bent Race Cars in Lacey, New Jersey, installed the entire suspension and did an immaculate job of metalworking. The entire front suspension was removed and replaced with a Chris Alston Chassisworks front clip, complete with tubular upper and lower control arms, power steering rack, and Wilwood 13-inch disc brakes.
The car was then given a full rollcage, and back-halved with chrome-moly tubing. Also out back, a FAB-9 rearend encases a set of Moser 40-spline gun-drilled axles, Wilwood brakes and a spool with a 4.30 gear assembled by Heads Up Racing.