The whirl and whine of a supercharged engine is like the rattles on an Arizona diamondback in that this sound is meant to warn passersby: "Don't mess with me." Of course, some will take the sound as a challenge. And when they do, most challengers will likely find themselves staring at a set of taillights heading over the horizon. They then might wonder: "What the heck just happened?"
Jeff Mortenson, of Classic Chevy 5-speed, built up a wild 1970 Camaro he dubbed the "Silver Bullet." After sending us some serious smoke signals about his build plans, we had to go and take a look for ourselves. We caught up with Classic Chevy when it was in the process of installing an ATI ProCharger and intercooler into the Camaro with a late-model LS6 motor. The plan was to install the blower without having to modify the stock hood, and then to install the intercooler without having to alter the front body panels or grille work. In other words: stock body appearance on the outside, and venom and fangs on the inside.
The engine was one of Turn Key Engine Supply's 410hp, 395-lb-ft LS1/LS6 motors. In order to handle the increased load of the ProCharger blower, the base motor was upgraded with lower compression heads, along with upgraded connecting rods, ARP bolts, double roller timing chain, heavy valve springs, and 42 lb/hr fuel injectors.
The best shot at getting all the parts to fit under the hood (blower unit, bracketry, intercooler tubing, etc.) was with a setup using late-model GTO accessories (alternator low on the passenger side; power steering high on the driver side). The kit that was purchased from ATI ProCharger was for a new GTO, which positioned the blower unit high on the driver side. A Vintage Air A/C compressor was positioned high on the passenger side because that was the only place it could be installed in the Camaro without having to cut the crossmember.
ProCharger also provided additional pieces of intercooler tubing-some straight pieces and some pre-bent pieces so that we could create our own intercooler tubing configuration to fit this car. Up to this point nobody else had installed a supercharged LS6 under the hood of a 1970 Camaro. We were kind of like Magellan circling the globe; we were in uncharted territory that required some on-the-spot thinking and fabrication. Of course, before we started out, we contacted ATI Procharger. Their staff worked tightly with us during the install process. Rather than sell us an entire kit where only one or two parts would be used, ATI worked at getting us the right pieces for the job.
Needless to say, the goal of fitting everything under the hood was achieved. There was a good amount of custom fabrication required (custom intercooler mounting brackets, custom bent tubing, custom spacers for the blower mounting bracket, and a custom crank pulley). The installation was performed by Best of Show Coachworks in San Marcos, California. The company specializes in complete restorations, fabrication of custom parts, and custom installation work. We knew we were in the right hands.