Some of our more veteran readers might recognize the name of John Barkley. John was a well-known and very successful Junior Stock racer back in the day, and has been working for Super Chevy's parent company for almost 25 years. Back in 1992, he came by a well-worn but running and complete '72 Camaro to build as a father and son project with his boy, Greg.
"We bought the Camaro as a clean running car for $1,400. It was sitting in a lot in Chino, California, with a For Sale sign. For the next year (I didn't get my license till I was 16) my dad and I took the whole car apart and rebuilt most everything. My dad's original goal was to build it to be equal or better than a third-gen IROC-Z. We were doing Pro Touring before there was Pro Touring," Greg explains.
The Camaro saw extensive duty cruising for about 15 years, with two long hauls on Power Tour, and other track-oriented events. At the beginning of 2012, the car's suspension and brakes were showing their age. So, it was time for an update. Since Greg didn't want to change the factory subframe, he went to Classic Performance Products (CPP) and threw its line of bolt-on suspension upgrades at the F-body.
Stock '70-'81 Camaros boast great suspension geometry, testified by how many aftermarket companies base their front suspensions of the second-gen F-body foundation. Improving upon the factory geometry, CPP's upper and lower tubular control arms provide further caster/camber improvements, along with sturdier construction and less flex than the factory control arms. This translates to a more stable and consistent suspension that can handle heavy G cornering and sudden load shifts as a car maneuvers through a given course.
Combined with the new control arms are CPP 1-inch drop springs and CPP-tuned Bilstein shocks. The stock sway bar was pitched for a CPP 1-3/8 diameter unit with billet mounting brackets. Baer 13-inch rotors and six-piston calipers hang from CPP 2-inch drop spindles, actuated by a special CPP master cylinder. Finishing things off are CPP's steering upgrades, including CPP's 500 series 14:1 ratio steering box and billet tie rod sleeves. In the back are Eaton 2-inch drop leaf springs relocated inside the stock spring perches, CPP 1-inch rear sway bar, Bilstein shocks with CPP spec'd valving, and CalTrac traction bars.
Motivation is courtesy a built 383 backed by a TCI 700-R4 trans with 2,500 stall converter, sending power to a factory 12-bolt rear with 3.73 gears and Eaton Positraction. The Camaro rolls on Weld RTS wheels wrapped in Nitto NT05 rubber.