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October 2012 Readers' Rides

Modern Muscle

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The average Joe might think that the reason to buy a new muscle car is so that there’s “nothing that needs to be done,” but real gearheads know that’s not the case at all. Take Joe Tortola’s ’10 SS, for example. Off the showroom floor it was a pretty nice ride, replete with RS package, sunroof, and a six-speed manual trans. But stock is boring so Joe has spent the last couple of years upgrading his Camaro to one-of-a-kind status. The GM ground effects package was painted the way it should have been from the factory and various lighting around the car was upgraded with LED kits. Performance wise, the Camaro got some better suspension widgets from BMR along with an Eibach Pro-Kit-1. A complete American Racing exhaust system, including headers, gives off just the right rumble, and the LS3 is topped with a Magnacharger TVS2300 blower. Other mods like an MSD fuel pump booster and ZR1 MAP sensor swap are just icing on the proverbial cake and help the mill put 547 hp and 529 lb-ft to the rear rollers.

Red Rocket

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OK, we admit it. Given the high fun-factor of our ’01 Z28 Black Betty project car, we’re suckers for a clean fourth-gen like Jason McClure’s red ’00 Z. The LS1 under the hood was given a bumpstick upgrade in the form of a Texas Speed Torquer V2 cam and Dynatech 17/8-inch stepped long-tube headers helps the mill breathe. Other mods include a PTC 4000 converter, 4.10 gears, and AFCO shocks. At last year’s Holley LSFest Jason’s Z28 ran 12.40s and he can’t wait to see what she'll run this year.

Three- of-a Kind

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With a big-block ’67 RS, ’02 1SC “stripper” Z28, and ’82 Z28 in the garage, one could say Dave Hoppie is a Camaro junkie. His ’82 is coated in charcoal metallic and black two-tone paint and rolls on ROH ZS 17-inch wheels. Under the hood there’s a 388ci small-block good for 302 hp and 368 lb-ft of twist to the rear Falken tires. Backing up the engine is an ST10 four-speed with a 3.42 First gear, and the rearend was swapped for a real-deal 1LE piece from a ’91. Handling was also upgraded with the addition of Spohn tubular front LCAs, Eibach springs, bigger sway bars, Hotchkis tie-rod sleeves, and Koni shocks. For comfort, there are Corbeau CR1 seats, while safety was addressed with a five-point harness system. Now he just needs to send us some picks of his other two rides!


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Oscar Bengston was busy juggling a Marine Corps career and his love of Camaros, but finally managed to retire last December. “I thought I could get more done on the car, but I actually have to work all the time now!” said Oscar. From the pictures he sent us it looks like the ’68 has come a long way in the five years he’s been building it. As Oscar told us, “I’ve been a huge fan of the magazine, and the projects help me with ideas, as well as frustration when I see all the cool stuff. I love to get ideas from the high-end builds, but I really like to see cars of the average ‘Joe,’ so I can see how my car compares.” With a squirt of nitrous, the 383 stroker puts 570 hp to the tires – good enough for 10.6 e.t.’s in the quarter-mile. Other parts include Dynatech 1.75-inch headers, Turbo 350 trans with a 3,500-stall converter, quick-ratio steering box, Vintage Air A/C system, QA1 double-adjustable shocks, and 17-inch Cragar wheels. Oscar remarked, “The list keeps growing all the time, so stop showing me all the cool stuff you do! I’m doing this by myself with basic handtools in my small garage, so it’s not very easy. I’m considering putting a ProCharger on this thing. You would think I would be happy with 550 hp to the wheels!” Yeah, we seem to always want a bit more power, too.

You’re not alone!

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