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December 2012 Chevy High Performance Garage

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First ’12 ZL1 to exceed 200!

Editor-in-Chief David Freiburger from our sister publication Hot Rod magazine had the ride of a lifetime in the Lingenfelter Performance Engineering–modified ’12 ZL1 Camaro. On Apr. 30, 2012, at the Continental Tire Proving Grounds in Uvalde, Texas, Freiburger made several attempts to conquer the 200-mph zone. At the end of the day the final number registered at 202.67 mph!

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What did you do over the Weekend?

Ralph Scarabaggio: Nostalgia drags at Englishtown! Old-school super stockers, front engine dragsters, and nitro cars!

Writings on the Wall

Facebook Fans Speak Out


What should we do with the 750hp 496ci big-block?

Johny Berzett:
What I would like you to do next with it is install it into my ’70 Chevelle.

Eddie Kempf-Schwarze:
Come install it in my ’75 Nova.

Bryan Goff:
Install new heads on it with bigger exhaust valves and lighten the valvetrain.

Zachary Rowland:
Or you could put it in my ’85 Chevy truck.

Scott Borge:
I’d like you to put it in a crate and ship it to my address.

Cory J. Davis:
Dish the pistons and twin turbos into a blow-through carb.

John Perry:
It will run on pump gas! Drop it in a ’68-69 Chevelle and run it at the strip and give us the numbers! Don’t lower the compression at all!

What Drives You?

At 16, like most of us, I got my first car. Probably the most unattractive and biggest hunk-of-junk car, a ’91 Buick Skylark, it was gorgeous (and by gorgeous I mean incredibly ugly) but it was a car. While it was reliable it often needed work, and the rule was that my dad was more than happy to work on my car, but I had to be there to learn. At the time, this wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do.

A few years of this and one day my dad pulls into the garage with an ’81 Camaro with a 350ci small-block. That’s when my passion began. Before that it wasn’t my thing. Cars were for transportation. After that Camaro rolled up in the garage it all changed. Though it’s not the biggest engine, and she’s far from perfect, getting in that car just changed it all.

From there I began working on the car with him. We would do general maintenance and there was a lot of work to be done underhood. Eventually we handled the bodywork in the garage, where we also gave her a new paintjob; it’s been love ever since.

Before then, I wanted to be a music journalist, but then I had to change it to automotive. I started reading as much as I could and bought myself my own little Camaro; she’s not much but she’s pretty damn great for a college girl. Even if it’s just finding little things to do, every spare moment I have I spend playing around with her.

It always makes me chuckle at how annoying it used to be to go out and work on my car; now though, I love getting greasy and working with my hands, and that feeling of success you get when you get your new clutch in or put the first spray of fresh paint on your hood, or heading out to a cruise night to talk shop with good people and good cars.

Amanda Del Buono
Via email


We’re looking to build a 11.5:1 compression 501ci with an RHS block and their latest line of LS7 cylinder heads. Should we go with a solid roller for max power or go with a more street-friendly hydraulic roller camshaft?

Solid roller: 41
Hydraulic roller: 17

Letter Of The Month

Swapping Stories

Great story! I have a similar one. My father and I built a ’63 Nova when I was in high school. Bought the six-cylinder, Powerglide post car when I was 16. Literally put my blood, sweat, tears, and every penny I had into the car. We put in a 350, Muncie M21, 10-bolt with 3.73s, installed disc brakes in the front, swapped the aqua blue interior for nice black interior, did insane amounts of bodywork, and painted the car “gloss” black. I put gloss in quotes because the bodywork had to be perfect, which it was, until ... well since I was a high school student on a budget, I bought a cheap foreign-made disc brake setup for the car. The first night I had the car out, I was cruising along when the lug bolts sheered off, the front wheel flew off, and the car went out of control into a tree. Thank God my girlfriend at the time and I walked away without a scratch. Brand-new bumper and front fenders were destroyed, big scratch down the quarter-panel on the passenger side, 2-inch cowl handmade hood ripped apart and damaged the cowl ... I was upset.  

Anyway, prom was in a week and all I wanted to do was to drive the car. So the day after the accident, I phoned up some companies to get a new bumper and fenders, ran down to the local shop to get more paint, and whatever else I needed. Even though I wanted to spray the car again myself I didn’t have the time so I prepped the fenders and hood and a family friend, who is a very talented bodyman sprayed them and sanded them for me. My dad and I fixed the cowl and sprayed that, and purchased American-made disc brakes. The car was back together on prom day, but I still managed to blow a rocker arm about an hour before pictures; so it was back in the garage for a quick operation. Long story short, I made it to prom—a little greasy, smelling like gas, and had one angry date.

Somehow I was able to get my car back together and looking good in a week’s time. Similar to your story there were many long nights; I don’t think I would have managed to stay up as long as I did to do anything else except get my car back together. Keep cruising!

Brendan Mallon
Via email



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