1969 Chevy Camaro Z28 - Making His Bones

When Jim "Bones" Bassett Lit Up The Tires Of His Supercharged '69 Camaro, He Ended Up With A Little More Than He Bargained For With The Local Police.

Isaac Mion Aug 1, 2010 0 Comment(s)

There were even more high-end go fast parts that Jim basically just had to piece together. But before that point, he got the paint sorted out, changing it from red to blue with basically the same graphic display. The stripes are playing loud and clear on this Camaro's body.

Completing the majority of the project ended up being pretty straightforward for a man with Bassett's experience. He did mention that fitting the supercharger presented its problems. "The blower clears the hood by 1/4-inch," he said.

Bassett's skills as a fabricator got put to the test as he had to relocate the master cylinder from the firewall to the floor and fit the alternator and vacuum pump along with that ginormous supercharger. An easy route would be to fit a hood with a big nasty cowl, but that would have been too easy. Instead, Bassett with lots of careful measuring, created all of the bracketry that holds all these performance parts in all these odd places and allows for it all to sit and function under a fairly unnoticeable 2 1/4-inch cowl hood.

The rest of the body retains mostly stock trim to achieve a little bit of subtlety. This is a trait that is quickly negated by the massive Mickey Thompson 20x16 HR1s with the rear fenders stretched over them. The Mickey Thompson Sportsman SR 26x8x18s up front look like bicycle tires as they and the Wilwood 11-inch front brakes with polished calipers struggle to hold down the force generated by the torque being squeezed through the Mike's TH400 tranny.

Topping the 400-inch short-block are Dart Pro-1 215cc heads that were ported and assembled by McKenzie Cylinder heads. A 0.625-inch lift solid roller Comp Cam works the 2.08/1.60 Manley valves. For induction, there's an Edelbrock Super Victor manifold modified to accept fuel injection by Bones, a 90mm Accufab throttle body and Bones Fab custom elbow, and a FAST electronic fuel injection system. An Aeromotive pump, regulator and filter keeps the petrol flowing and an MSD ignition system lights it all off. A four-inch front-mount intercooler ensures the incoming charge from the blower isn't too hot to handle.

We first ran into Bones two years ago at our Super Chevy Show in Fontana, California. We were dazzled by the car's threatening looks and even more impressed when it won the Super Chevy Magazine True Street Challenge, with a three-run average of 11.489. The owner knows there's a lot more in it, but the last time he went to the track he wasn't allowed to run due to what was dubbed an "illegal helmet."

Which brings us to the aforementioned burnout, or burnouts as the case may have been. You see, Bassett did not one but two brake-stands for us that day. It should be mentioned that this was a Saturday in the empty parking lot of a powerplant, as you can see from the background in the pictures. The adjacent office building had three or four cars so we weren't exactly waking up any sleeping babies. Nonetheless someone got annoyed or they just heard us all the way at the police station because about three minutes after the second burnout a county cop rolled up and shut down the shoot.

Or so they thought. As you can see from the pictures, your brave little snapper continued to shoot Bassett as he "took one for the team." The cop called two cars for back up, but ended up being quite cool about the whole thing and giving Jim a slap on the wrist.

But don't take our word for it. Go see this tarmac-chomping muscle car in action at: http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=60069404

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