Letter of the MonthTop Gun
I got my May 2014 issue of Camaro Performers magazine in the mail yesterday and hauled it off to work. I threw it in my helmet bag, as I often do in case I have some down time in the jet—and lo’ and behold, what do I see on the cover? TOP GUN! I fly with those guys! Great dudes. American heroes, every one of them.
p.s. Great mag. Keep up the good work. Oh, and not to worry; I don’t read it while I’m actually flying.
I’ll Take One for the Team
I recently received my Road & Track and Hot Rod magazines; both had tests on the new Z/28 Camaro. Now, I’m assuming shortly Camaro Performers will be next in line for a test session with the best Camaro to date. So, I’m offering my services if you need someone to autocross, road test, or drag race the Z/28. I’m your man. Heck, I’ll even come out and detail it!
Keep up the great work.
We commend you for your willingness to go great lengths in taking one for the team. You are on “the list” should a ’14 Z/28 show up at our office. Just remember to bring a bucket, sponge, and some micro-fiber towels.
I saw the May 2014 issue’s Firing Back section regarding third-gens being “Trash or Treasure.” Some said they are not worth the money; just junk and don’t look good anyway. Given that, I’d like to voice my opinion on the subject.
I think it would be hard for any person building a car to really say that they actually got all of the money out of their cars that they put in. Most decent street cars cost somewhere between $10-40K, and the super high-end magazine cars can cost between $50-100K.
Now, for the gearhead like me who doesn’t have a lot of disposable income, I think the third-gen is the car to go after. They are very inexpensive and the cost to restore one would be just as much as restoring a first-gen (probably even less). When I say restore, I’m referring to shiny new paint and nice interior.
Then comes the performance stuff. We all should agree that the third-gen handles much better than a stock first-gen. Given that, I wouldn’t need to buy an aftermarket front and rear clip to have it keep up with other cars on the road today, whereas in a first- or second-gen, you do. By doing an engine, trans, brakes, and rear axle swap with a clean third-gen, you could have a real badass street car.
With the general consensus being that all third-gens are slow, my answer to that is, if you can’t make a car fast with today’s aftermarket products, then you probably need to find another hobby!
I want a ’69 camaro, too, but I could build a very nice third-gen for $10K – the same price it would cost for a rusted-out ’69 roller!
And seriously, does everyone really think third-gens don’t look good?
We recently posted a photo on our Facebook page featuring Tim Adams’ fourth-gen Camaro being worked on by having the engine removed from the bottom of the car while the body was being held up by an engine hoist. Many of our Facebook followers thought this was irresponsible and downright dangerous, while others came to the rescue insisting everyone relax, as this is the easiest way to remove an engine from a fourth-gen. As is usually the case with our Facebook page, there were plenty of colorful comments that we thought would be fun to share with our magazine readers. We even had some guys share photos of their car in the same pose.
Arnold Kidla: What’s the big deal??? It’s not like he raised it and dropped the motor. I’m sure he just raised the body after removing all bolts, nuts, etc., and just rolled the engine out.
Think outside the garage.
Gary J. Morgan: when ya can’t raise the bridge, ya gotta lower the water.
Jose Francisco Sanchez: Loose nut behind the wheel.
Andy Norton: These people are the real deal, not the millionaires who have it all done and brag about having a cool car. Bravo to the backyard mechanic!!
James Sink: Nothing to see here, just doing a tune-up.
Danny Danovo Rudd: The average redneck at work.
Charlie Miller: I swapped three motors in the same fashion. Who needs a lift?
More From Facebook
We like stirring things up a little, so again using our Facebook page, we asked the question: Is it cooler to run 9.0 e.t.’s in a manual car or go 8.0 e.t.’s in a Camaro equipped with an automatic?
With approximately 140 responses, this one seemed to be split down the middle. Here are just a few.
Zach Turnmeyer: 9.0 grabbing gears
Flip Lsx: 8s. Winning is more satisfying than bitching about losing to an auto car.
Matthew Lantz: Goin 9.0s bustin knuckles
Todd Shaffer: Real drivers use manual!
Chevy Mann: Automatic. Everytime
David Knoles: Manual transmission for road course. Automatic transmission for drag racing.
Techdeth Head: I build automatics, so duh!
Patrick Garcia: 9 with stick...actually have to know how to drive!
Joshua O’Brien: 8.0 of course.
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