July 2012 Readers’ Rides

Jim Packard

1996 Z28 Camaro

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As the saying goes, “a family that enjoys F-bodies together, stays together.” We actually made that up, but that motto is working for Jim Packard and his family. Jim passed his ’94 Camaro to his oldest son as a project, and also bought a ’96 Trans Am for his wife on her 40th birthday. The car you see here is Jim’s latest project: a ’96 Z28. Far from stock, Jim just finished the build with a 398ci LT1 and added a plate nitrous system with a 250 shot. A Viper-spec T56 trans and Ram clutch and billet flywheel manage the additional power, and twin Walbro 255 fuel pumps keep the stout mill quenched. Suspension upgrades include a PAC Racing tubular K-member with tubular upper and lower control arms, Spohn tunnel-mount torque arm, and a coilover shock conversion on all four corners. Future plans call for an SFI cage, S60 rearend, wheelie bars, and a chute.

Now that should be one fun ride.

Alan Hamilton

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1985 IROC Z28

The third-gen crowd is a passionate bunch when it comes to their Camaro. Alan Hamilton has been working on this ’85 IROC since 2008. Not new to the world of third-generation Camaros (this is his third one), Alan performed what he calls “a near complete teardown” on the car to get it where it is now. For some added exterior flair, Alan bolted up a hood featuring Hawk’s Sunoco style as a baseline then custom-crafted it to meld in IROC-style louvers. For motivation, he dropped in an LS376 crate engine. Upgrades include a Texas Speed cam, ported PRC heads, Magnuson TVS 2300 supercharger, and Hawks stainless steel headers. Knowing the stock drivetrain wouldn’t stand a chance, he went with a built T56 trans and Moser 9-inch rearend. Alan’s reward: 566 hp and 489 lb-ft of torque on the chassis dyno. Alan’s Camaro gets quite a bit of attention on the message boards and on the street.

Bobby Roberts

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1971 RS Camaro

Sometimes it takes a little kick in the pants to get motivated enough to get a big project started. Robert Roberts stared at a sea container filled with boxes of random parts that one day would be his ’71 RS Camaro. Once he finally got cracking on the project he didn’t slow down. For the next two years Robert’s weeknights after work and weekends were spent assembling this awesome second-gen. The Renault Green F-body features a 454ci big-block and 700-R4 transmission.

“I’ve got about $20,000 in the car right now,” mentioned Robert. “But I’m still not done. But are they ever really done?”

Alex Didion

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1967 Camaro

Study hard and good things will happen. Just ask Alex Didion of St. Charles, Missouri. His father told him that if he could maintain good grades in high school, they could work together on a project car. Alex’s grades exceeded his father’s expectations, so he got the “green light” to locate a project car. After months of searching, Alex located this ’67. “I finally stumbled across this rust-free RS that was tucked away in the back of an old barn in Iowa,” states Alex. “The owner had replaced all the sheetmetal, so we had a solid base to start with.”

The father/son project was sprayed in PPG LeMans Blue with white stripes. A 383 stroker resides under the hood and a Tremec TKO 600 connected to a Ford 9-inch stuffed with 3.73 cogs and a posi unit puts the power to the pavement. A Heidts performance suspension ensures capable handling and 13-inch Wilwood disc brakes offer aggressive stopping power.

The project took just about a year and a half to complete, and Alex also mentioned that he maintained excellent grades throughout the whole process.


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