The 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 is peerless in the realm of American muscle. The 505hp beast took down the Shelby GT500 and the Boss 302 Laguna Seca by a considerable margin during testing on GM’s “Lutz-ring,” and its Nürburgring times are the stuff of lore – leaving Porsches and Lamborghinis in its dust. But the question that befell our friends at Super Chevy was how the Z/28 faired against one of the finest examples of pro touring Chevys – built versus bought.
Enter Brian Finch. His ’71 Camaro calls the American Street Car Series home, and trounces a factory LS7 with 660 horsepower and 605 lb-ft of torque, courtesy of Kurt Urban Performance. A Viper-spec T56 6-speed manual transmission, Baer 6-piston brakes, JRI remote reservoir coilovers, and Detroit Speed’s full catalogue of suspension goodies have helped him take on some of the best at the Optima Ultimate Street Car Challenge and the TV series “R U Faster Than a Redneck.” Perhaps Finch’s most admirable quality is not just how well his car performs, but that he built it himself and drives it everywhere – including three hours from Tennessee to Barber Motorsports Park (Birmingham, AL), where Chevrolet had delivered a shiny new Z/28.
On the surface it is a battle between a team of OE engineers with unlimited resources, and an IT professional that is handy with a wrench. But, of course, Finch doesn’t have to worry about emissions, safety, or any other constraints that an OEM might. In the end what you have is a modern Camaro with larger brakes, R-compound tires, more downforce, more weight, and independent rear suspension. And in the other corner you have a vintage Camaro with more power, street tires, less weight, and a 4-link solid axle setup.