The Foose '69 Camaro
If owning a Unique Performance-built musclecar requires an own- your- own- software-firm budget, then owning a Chip Foose-built vehicle requires an own-your-own-Microsoft budget. Aside from the cobbled together projects on Overhaulin', the average housewife knows Foose for, he's most well-known for his work in the street-rod arena, where he's won more Riddlers and America's Most Beautiful Roadster awards than he can count. Those kinds of cars take more than five years and millions of dollars to build, and needless to say, it's a rather low-volume business.
Nevertheless, Foose's growing popularity outside the traditional car scene and the ridiculous turnaround time portrayed on his TV show means demand for Foose-built street machines has gone way up. "Although I'm asked continually to produce limited quantities of stunning one-off vehicles that I have completed, our company is not set up for that type of production," says Foose. "Working with Unique Performance will allow me to create exciting new designs that can be built for a limited number of customers who value style, performance, and exclusivity."
The Camaro is the first in a series of musclecars the partnership will spawn. Says Foose, "We chose the '69 Camaro because many people believe it was the high mark for American musclecars. To create a fresh new look I added styling cues, such as a custom RS-style grille and hood, Jaguar door hangles, and smooth bumpers." Other exterior touches include a custom front valence, extended rocker panels, a big hood scoop, 18-inch Foose wheels, PIAA driving lights, and Foose badges. Each Camaro will be painted in DuPont Hugger Orange with a Pewter hood and decklid.
Following Unique's tradition of offering potent powerplants are three motors ranging from adequate to outta' control. A mild 350hp/350ci ZZ4 crate motor is standard, and the next step up is a 390hp 6.0L LS2. For torque junkies, there's an optional 620hp 572 big-block, which can be had with a Hogan's EFI intake manifold. Likewise, there's a fuel-injection option for the ZZ4, and a Magnuson supercharger is offered on the LS2 to bump up hp to 525. Feeding the mills are a standard 16-gallon or an optional 22-gallon Fuel Safe fuel cell, and they bark out dual 2.5-inch pipes through Spintech mufflers. All Foose Camaros will include stout drivelines consisting of a Tremec TKO five-speed trans, and a 3.25:1-geared Currie 9-inch rearend with a Detroit Truetrac diff.
Complementing the squatty stance are underpinnings that have received a full g-Machine makeover with the finest of parts. The front upper and lower tubular control arms, coilovers, and power-steering rack are all from Chris Alston Chassis Works. The rear suspension setup is similar to that used in the GT350SR, but adapted for F-body duty. The front and rear subframes are braced together to handle the extra loads. Baer 12-inch drilled and slotted rotors are at each corner, with two-piston PBR calipers in the front (a slight premium adds six-pistons) and single-piston units in the back. Getting the power down are 295/35R18 BFGs, and 245/40-18 rubber takes care of direction changes.Foose's handiwork permeates inside the cabin as well. The custom seats, lower console, and door panels are blacked out, nicely contrasting the billet shifter, LeCarra steering wheel, and silver Auto Meter gauges. There's a four-point rollbar just in case, and a five-point harness for swift road-course work. Should you feel like driving it to work, a Sony four-speaker stereo and A/C is standard, and should you decide to drive it across the country, the optional GPS navigation will plot your course while the DVD player will keep passengers entertained. There's even a power window option for an easier drive-thru experience.
Unique Performance has not yet determined exactly how many Foose Camaros will be built, but the number will be limited to a couple of hundred units, and production is already at full swing. The base price is $124,000, and Unique will build you a convertible for just $15,000 more. That's hardly cheap, but no one else is offering turnkey '69 Camaros, let alone turnkey Camaros designed by Chip Foose. Each car also gets a unique serial number for identification, ensuring exclusivity for the life of the car. The last time we checked, $124K won't even cover the tax on any other Foose-built creation.