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February 2012 Readers' Rides

Big Plans

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Douglas Dinwiddie was 17 years old when he found an ’89 IROC languishing on a farm. It was the culmination of an 18-month search, so when Douglas found it, the cash came out and the Camaro was soon his. Over the last three years he’s been working on it with his dad, and the biggest task so far was stripping the car down to a bare shell and doing a complete rebuild. “I really only just got started, and I have thousands of dollars in performance parts that I still plan on buying and installing, but it’s a pretty clean little IROC. Considering what it looked like when I bought the car, it’s pretty miraculous,” recalled Douglas. We think it looks pretty good so far and can’t wait to check it out when those big plans become reality.

Two Gens

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What do you do if you’re a Camaro fan but love two generations the same? Well, if you’re Greg Garwood it’s simple–you buy both. To help scratch his third-gen itch he picked up a sweet, Van Nuys-built, ’89 IROC-Z from the original owner. Being garage-kept with only 62,000 miles on the clock, it’s a real survivor car. Under the hood is an L98 5.7L mated to a 700-R4. Options include J65 rear disc brakes, T-tops, and gauge package with 145-mph speedo.

Its stablemate is Greg’s ’68 RS/SS. Powered by a 350 small-block backed up by a four-speed trans, this first-gen is pretty much bone stock–just the way Greg wanted.

We think his toughest challenge is trying to figure out which of his classic Camaros to jump in when he opens the garage.

Pro Badass

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Cool cars typically have great stories about how they came to be. As Buddy Buser told us, “I was 15 when I found this Camaro at a guy named Russell Hood’s house. He’s probably had his hands on about 50 percent of the cars in this area. It was an original Z28 with a small-block 355 and a 10-bolt rearend. It didn’t make much in terms of power, but the body was in decent shape. The trunk was rusted out, but given the plans I had for it, that didn’t matter. I had the car back-halved and tossed a 482ci big-block in it to drive to high school. That summer, the Camaro went 10.601 at 123 mph and that still wasn’t fast enough for me. Two weeks later the only thing left was the body. It took four years to do the car and I had nothing but fun building it.”

The current engine is a 498ci big-block with Canfield aluminum heads and an Indy intake manifold topped with a 10-71 Littlefield blower with a mechanically injected Enderle “bird catcher” hat. Backing it up is a Promod Glide trans feeding back to a Dana 60 rear with Moser 35-spline axles and 4.56 gears. Buddy and his dad did most of the ’cage work, which is mild steel and certified for 7.50s or slower. The rear runs a ladder bar arrangement with QA1 adjustable shocks. Up front, there are tubular Pinto control arms and Wilwood four-piston brakes.

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We just dig that this Pro Street Camaro actually sees the dragstrip.

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