When the '67 Camaro first hit the SCCA racing scene, there were serious deficiencies in several areas. One of which was the brake system. Even though GM was not “officially” fielding a race team, there was a lot of development going on behind the scenes thanks to Vince Piggins, Bill Howell, Roger Penske, Mark Donohue, and TRACO Engineering.
In 1967, Chevrolet began the development of performance brakes for the Camaro. Corvette four-piston brake calipers were adapted to work on the front and offered them for Z/28s as RPO J56 for $105.35. According the Camaro White Book by Mike Antonick, only 205 of these front brake options were ordered in 1967. The front rotors were 1-inch thick and 11.75 inches in diameter. The calipers are easily identified as J56 because of the two pins holding the pads in place. This system utilized HD metallic rear brake shoes to increase rear braking.
There were no HD brake options available when ordering a '68 Camaro. The four-wheel disc brake option RPO JL8 was listed in the '68 Camaro factory assembly manual, but was only available over the counter at Chevrolet dealerships as heavy-duty service equipment.
By the time the '69 Camaro was introduced, the JL8 HD brake system was fully developed. The RPO JL8 could be selected when ordering a '69 Camaro for an additional $500.30 when ordering an SS or Z/28. If you were ordering any other Camaro model, the JL8 cost was $623.50. The front and rear rotors were 1.25 inches thick and 11.75 inches in diameter. The JL8 wasn't just the four-wheel disc brakes, it also included a special rear axle that contained a 22-plate (instead of the regular 18-plate) differential carrier.
Even though this option was only ordered for 206 Camaros, the modified versions of these parts were also available over the counter at Chevrolet dealerships as heavy-duty service equipment. There's no production data available for how many of these HD parts were produced, but they were most likely being purchased for use in Trans-Am and other road racing events.
Bob Jones was nice enough to show us his original JL8-equipped '69 Z/28. Special thanks to Brian Henderson of Super Car Workshop. You can see all the JL8 parts or buy them at JL8brakes.com.
Interior Trim Removal
If you are restoring the interior on your Camaro, Eastwood's three-piece Door Panel and Trim Removal Set makes panel removal easy. Retail price is just $37.99 (PN 52296). Go to eastwood.com/cp214 or call them at 800.343.9353, source code CP214 for more information.