1973 Camaro Understated Overdone
Paul Alderman wanted a killer Camaro, but he didn't want to start from scratch or deal with unknown issues. The man was ready to have fun, not restore. We can relate; repairs are always the more expensive and least fun part of a build. So Paul set out to find a solid, rust-free car that already had excellent paint. He found the perfect '73 with a stunning sheen of Cortez Silver and was able to strike a deal for the car minus the drivetrain. From there, Alderman removed and sold another $4,000 worth of parts, ending up with a perfect painted shell for under $12,000.

That worked out ideally, since Alderman's plan was to ship the Camaro to Detroit Speed and Engineering for a complete chassis and drivetrain upgrade. Not only did DSE receive the perfect starting point for a project, but doing the work beforehand and removing what he didn't want saved Alderman a lot of money in labor that he reinvested in good parts. Now that's smart.

Other than a beautiful set of Forgeline wheels, those good parts are hidden for the most part-which was another one of Paul's goals: "I have coined a phrase that I think fits this car. It would be, 'overdone in an understated way.' " We like that concept; keep your class and have your speed, too.

The only downside was that the Camaro was delivered to the SEMA show in Las Vegas just prior to the OUSCI. Of course, that also resulted in an invitation to the event, so we'd say it balanced out. Competing in the OUSCI proved to be difficult, especially with zero seat time in the car or on the Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch track. Alderman couldn't have been more pleased with the outcome, however. "The car turned out to be a real purebred on the track. Now, its driver needs to bring himself to the level of the car's capabilities."

By The Numbers
'73 Camaro
Paul Alderman/DSE; Mooresville, NC
Overall Finishing Position: 36 out of 55

ENGINE
Type: 416ci GM LS3
Block: GM
Oiling: stock GM
Rotating assembly: Callies crank and H-beam rods with 11.2:1 Mahle pistons
Cylinder heads: Mast Motorsports CNC LS3/L92
Camshaft: Mast VVT custom hydraulic
Valvetrain: Mast 2.04-inch intake and 1.57-inch exhaust valves, nitrided beehive springs
Induction: LS3 car intake
Exhaust: custom DSE headers with 3-inch pipes and Borla mufflers
Fuel system: Mast Black Label fuel rails with GM pressure regulator, Walbro GSS340 pump in a DSE tank
Ignition: Mast M-90 ECM, GM coils, MSD wires
Cooling: Be Cool aluminum radiator and EMP dual electric fans
Output: 606 hp, per Mast specs
Built by: Mast Motorsports
DRIVETRAIN
Transmission: Tremec TKO 600 with Centerforce clutch
Rearend: DSE 9-inch with Detroit TrueTrac diff and 3.89 gears
CHASSIS
Front suspension: DSE hydroformed subframe and tubular control arms, DSE double-adjustable coilovers with remote canisters and 450 lb/in springs, splined DSE sway bar
Rear suspension: DSE QuadraLink four-link with DSE double-adjustable coilovers with remote Canisters, 250 lb/in springs
Brakes: 14-inch Baer rotors with 6S six-pistons calipers
WHEELS & TIRES
Wheels: 18x10 and 18x12 Forgeline ZX3 with 6.4-inch backspacing front, 5.4 inches rear
Tires: 275/35R18 and 335/30R18 BFGoodrich

Where To Get It!
Want to see the full breakdown of the competition results?
Or maybe figure where you can qualify for next year?
Go to www.OptimaInvitational.com and click on the "Official Results" link.