If you're on the road this summer to some of the year's hottest events, like the plethora of Super Chevy shows, the drive-til-you-drop Power Tour, and others, keep an eye out for Super Chevy's Road Tour Camaro.
It's a classic looking Second-Generation F-car with contemporary performance baked in. A who's who list of top manufacturers has contributed to the project, from the Hotchkis and PST suspension parts to the ididit steering column. Vintage Air, Trim Parts, Stainless Steel Brakes, Rock Valley, Auto Meter, Lokar, and Headman Hedders are just few of the other participants, too.
Goodmark, the maker of steel restoration and performance parts-like fenders and cowl hoods-is instrumental in the project. They're spearheading the car's construction at Dale Etheredge Auto and Performance, in Covington, Georgia.
Goodmark is no stranger to building a g-machine-style resto-mod-their gorgeous black '70 Chevelle was a hit with enthusiasts, so they decided to complement it by re-scraping their knuckles on another Super Chevy magazine project car.
And while those Georgians assembling the body and suspension may speak with a Southern drawl, the Camaro's engine builders have a distinctly New Yawk accent. They're from World Products in Ronkonkoma, Long Island. They agreed to build one of their insidiously torquey Motown 454 mega-inch small-blocks for the Camaro.
Of course, we wanted to be different-you know, cutting edge. Instead of the typical four-barrel carburetor atop the big-inch Mouse, we wanted a fuel injection system to do the atomizing.
So, you can throw in a nasally Michigan accent (they pronounce "milk" like "melk" up there), too, because that's where the guys from FAST (Fuel Air and Spark Technology) have their tech shop. They agreed to convert the carb'ed Motown motor to a throttle-body-style electronic fuel injection system run by one of FAST's stand-alone, speed-density-type controllers.
The cross-pollination of the FAST injection system and controller with one of World Products' large-displacement small-blocks is a first as far as we know (and as far as FAST or World Products know). World Products sells a crate version of the 454 engine that's rated at around 580 hp and 590 ft-lb of torque with a street-friendly hydraulic camshaft.
Street-friendly definitely is the name of the game for this engine, as the Camaro will see extensive drive time. And while World Products developed the 454 with street cruising in mind, we're taking a few extra steps to make sure its power band manners and idle quality are bulletproof for our F-body's unique exhibition duties.
The FAST injection system will help in that department, but we also decided to try a different camshaft than the one normally specified for the Motown 454 crate engine. It'll be an experiment, to be sure, but that's how you learn what works and what doesn't.
In this first of two-parts look at the engine's build-up and dyno testing, we delve into the short-block assembly. Next month, we'll drop on the heads, take an in-depth look at converting the carburetion system to the FAST fuel injection and let the chips fall where they may on World's brand-new DTS dyno-and with any luck, the chips won't include literal pieces of our experimental engine combination.
Bulked-Up Small-BlockYou can't extract 454 ci of displacement from a small-block Chevy without a lot of material to support those size-XXL holes in cylinder banks.
Forgoing the use of genuine GM small-blocks, World Products has been casting their own version for a couple of years. Besides not having to rely on the supply of core blocks, World Products was able to design a small-block with more meat.