When we saw how far along our ’73 Camaro project had come thanks to Bruce Monroe and Joe Walden at A&E Motorsports in Santa Fe Springs, California, our jaws dropped, eyes widened, and clutch foot twitched. Then, once we sat in the Corbeau seats and gripped the familiar Tremec shift knob and glared down the carbon hood, we envisioned ourselves weaving this screamer around orange cones, all white-knuckled and grinning. We distinctly remember delivering a boring, stock F-body and now it seems to have transformed into a killer corner carver that we can’t wait to pilot.
F73 has come a long way since we started the project a few years ago and the builders at A&E did a superb job in making our road-hugging vision become a reality. One of the first things on the agenda when we purchased the car back in 2009 was to install the more desirable split bumper front nose, but before the fascia could be installed, we contacted the cooling system experts at AutoRad for one of their ultimate radiator/support/fan setups. If you don’t mind paying good money on a truly trick part for your car, you need to check this setup out; it’s an all-aluminum, bolt-on radiator package that replaces your stock support and is equipped with dual, giant electric fans (see sidebar). Other OEM metal pieces were also replaced with lighter versions; Anvil Auto sent us their Power Bulge carbon-fiber hood and matching trunk lid as well. Eddie Motorsports supplied us with a very cool “F73” battery hold-down from a hunk of billet, and we’re also running their trick billet hood hinges as well.
A&E also completely rewired F73, because as most gearheads know, early ’70s wiring can be a nightmare when it comes time to install aftermarket electronics, like in our case, the digital Street Dash from Auto Meter. Instead of adapting the factory harness to incorporate new gadgetry, A&E opted for a new wiring kit from American Autowire, which is a clearly labeled and easily installed kit that covers even older cars with power windows, radio, foglight, hazards, and other accessories that need power. Installing the sound deadening Dynamat flooring, Detroit Speed’s wheeltubs and through-the-floor subframe connectors, and a Moser 9-inch rearend were other upgrades A&E handled over the last several months.
With CHP covering various road course and track meets like the American Street Car Series’ Run to the Coast event (americanstreetcarseries.com), it made sense to build a car that could annihilate the corners and come to a halt with spine-snapping speeds in competition, while still being a comfortable street car we could drive anywhere. By using a complete suspension system from Detroit Speed, including their cool QuadraLink rear suspension that swaps the leaf springs for a sturdier four-link setup, some fat BFGoodrich tires, and Baer binders, we want to show how an old muscle car can traverse like a new sports car. This project was largely inspired by Detroit Speed’s Kyle Tucker and Brian Finch’s cars—both of which are extremely competitive second-gens. With F73’s eventual power output from a blown LS3, combined with DSE’s stellar suspension system and wide rollers, it could be even faster than the brand-new Z06 Vette, at least, that’s the plan.
AutoRad’s Trick Radiator/Support Combo
One of our favorite parts of this project is the aluminum radiator support from AutoRad. Handcrafted in the United States, this complete kit comes with all you need to swap out your stock steel support for an aluminum one and the double-row, oven-brazed radiator can cool even the most radical engine combos. Options such as electric fans, A/C condenser, fan shroud, and incorporated transmission cooler are all items that can be added to the base package upon ordering. AutoRad has these available for ’55-57 Chevy, ’67-69 Camaro, ’62-67 Nova, ’68-72 Nova, ’70-73 Camaro, and ’65-72 Chevelle.
Eddie Motorsports out of Rancho Cucamonga, California, provided us with a couple really neat items that you have to check out. An “F73” logo-engraved battery hold-down was made for our project by EM, and we’re running their super-nice billet hood hinges as well. These are a much sturdier alternative to the ugly factory hinges and they’re even built with sealed bearings that ensure your hood opens smoothly every time.