Every major segment of the build of this car resulted in stepping back and admiring the quality of parts that were going in. The incredibly high-quality sheetmetal that was arriving from Classic Industries was the first indicator. Every body panel, without exception, that arrived from Classic Industries was outstanding, with ingenious packaging to boot. Watching Jelinek and crew perform the metalwork on the California shell was Chicago craftsmanship at its finest. The installation of the Detroit Speed & Engineering subframe and DSE rear four-link with up to the minute Baer brakes made us all realize that this car would in fact be a serious performance ride with outstanding handling and braking characteristics. The entire execution of the build just seemed very, very right.
As the car progressed, this sense of rightness prevailed. The custom Heroes Red color mixed by Jelinek is blinding, but still red, and the stinger hood definitely works on this car. Honestly, my quiet questioning surrounded the flag mural. I love the American flag, and detest those who dishonor it, but let's be honest, flag murals on a car can be, shall we say, borderline dicey. But this Route 66 Motorsports flag mural on the side stripe is nothing short of perfection. Again, rightness triumphed.
But it was when I first heard the motor in this car that I became convinced that this Project American Heroes Camaro was a bonafide, top-tier, street machine. Yes, LS engines are cool, but street versions in our old cars are usually left relatively stock. From this big-block lover's perspective, they often have all the excitement of a Volvo station wagon. Maybe I don't get out enough, but our Turn Key Engine Supply motor is the first LS-series street engine I've heard that sounds nasty. Its raucous and rowdy exhaust note is definitely evidence of something more than stock under that stinger hood. And in case you've just joined us, that Turn Key Engine Supply LS7 427 motor dyno'd at 562 horsepower. That should be enough to exit the Barrett-Jackson auction compound with reliability, authority, and the Vintage Air running. Power like that is very, very right.
Exceeding all expectations, this Project American Heroes Camaro is one that should have a number of your readers heading down to West Palm Beach, Florida, for the Barrett-Jackson in April, 2009. This Chevy has heroism and chutzpah in an awesome wrapper. Like the efforts of our military men and women all over the world, we can proudly say that rightness has won out, and this Camaro is worth owning and enjoying for a very long time.
Let the bidding begin!