Ray lives on the island of Oahu. He's always been a softy for First Generation Camaros and he's always loved drag racing. Oahu had a dragstrip once, but like a lot of its counterparts in the States, it was inevitably plowed under by "progress" and a developer's deep pockets. Hilo Dragstrip is still happening as are Kauai and Maui Raceway Parks, but if you're on Oahu, they might as well be in Illinois. Ferrying a car from one volcanic deposit to the next requires more time and money than most island racers care to invest.
Ray and his pal Tim Correa finished this car in February '06 and had the good fortune of running it at his home track, knowing that it would be the last time. Ray made four passes on his untried combination, producing an 11.45 at 119. No time to inhale that heady aroma. No time to tune the motor. Then, the playground was gone, kaput. So there was Ray, slicked-out '67 RS/SS rumbling at the curb. All dressed up with no place to ransack. What's a motorhead to do?
Turn inward and channel that energy into something he could enjoy whenever the mood struck. What a concept! Drive it on the street and want for nothing. His '67, therefore, has all those creature comforts necessary for a Pro-Touring street machine and is backed up by some serious engine.
"I purchased this car in 2003. It's a true RS/SS item, complete with Protect-O-Plate. I wanted a street car with good performance and modern accessories, so I added four-wheel disc brakes, air conditioning, power windows, door locks, antenna, trunk release, keyless entry, and a five-speed transmission," says Ray.
He drove the SS around for a few months as it was, you know, until the newness wore off. He's a big cruise fan, yeah, belongs to the Hawaiian Islands Camaros and the Paradise Cruisers. When he could tolerate tooling someone else's car no longer, he tore into the core to make his signature. Let's look at what he and Tim did in the order of completion.
Though straight and sound, Ray excised the body of 40 years of wear and tear and brought all the lines back to their original crispness. He did the metal work, while friend Leroy Perreira, in Kapolei, prepped the skin and applied the PPG Tuxedo Black.
Then Ray began to gather the guts of the engine.
"I wanted a lightweight small-block with a big displacement for my Pro-Touring street car. Had to run on 92 octane and be able to idle in traffic with the A/C on and handle the power steering as well."
He couldn't deny a Dart Little M cylinder case that would yield 434 ci from a 4.155-inch bore and a 4.0-inch stroke. Machine work was performed at Snyder's in Waipahu. They clearanced the bottom of the block to handle the stroke and internally balanced a rotating assembly composed of an Eagle 4340 forging, Eagle H-beams, and JE flat-top 10.7:1 pistons. The Harold "UD Harold" Brookshire-designed 8620 billet solid roller camshaft (0.580-inch lift, 254 degrees duration at 0.050) was cut by Lunati and Ray linked it to the crankshaft with steel billet double-roller timing gear. He sealed the block with a Milodon high-volume oil pump and companion oil pan.
On top, it's a combination of ready-to-use AFR 220cc cylinder head assemblies installed straight out of the box with T&D Machine shaft-mounted roller rocker arms and pushrods. An Edelbrock Victor Jr covers the valley area and sports a BG Mighty Demon carb and ACCEL 14-inch air cleaner. It gets its charge from a sumped tank with an umbilical running to the electric fuel pump. A Digital 6 MSD box works with a Pro Billet distributor and 18 degrees of initial timing, and Hedman headers void the killer gas through a 3-inch exhaust system and Flowmaster muffs. The motor runs bitchin' and looks sly and evil, residing in a subdued but elegantly finished bedroom, brushed and matte-finish aluminum castings accentuated by spikes of billet, color, and light.
Scant island real estate makes a double-overdrive transmission superfluous. Ray put his money on a Tremec TKO 600 five-speed, fronted by a Centerforce pressure plate assembly. A McLeod shifter sprouts from the console. Torque travels via a custom driveshaft augmented by 1350 U-joints and the original 12-bolt rear sports Moser axles, 4.10 gears, an Eaton limited-slip differential, and an LPW cover/girdle.
Having grunt is one thing, but managing it judiciously is the province of a carefully and properly prepared chassis. As a Pro-Touring example, the thing has to handle and brake commensurate with engine output, so Ray looked to Detroit Speed & Engineering for the body mounts and Competition Engineering for the subframe connectors and Slide-A-Link traction bars (he installed the bars only for the drag race session to quell violent wheelhop; they have since been removed). Composure on the street falls to the Hotchkis 2-inch lowering coils and de-arched leaf springs paired with stock shocks, factory anti-sway bars, and the stock steering box. In the crystal ball, Ray sees a suspension make-over centered on coil/over shocks, DSE rear drop springs and a rear anti-sway bar.
We applaud Raymond the Conqueror for his use of modest 17-inch rollers; someplace else, they could easily have been 18 and 20 overkill. American Racing Hopsters reside, 17x7 and 17x9.5, holding Nitto 235/45 and 275/40 555s. At 3,750 lbs, the Camaro is no feather, but those PBR/C5-hybrid 13-inch brakes up front and the PBR 12-inch duo in back aptly demonstrate the concept of burning off energy.
Ray made a good score with the original factory deluxe interior package, and the RPOs included Strato-Ease headrests (AS2), console (D55), and folding rear seat (A67). He stashed a big Auto Meter tach behind the Billet Specialties GTX01 steering wheel and gathered a rack of Auto Meter ancillary gauges for a quick and accurate read. When things aren't zooming past the driver's window typhoon-like, Ray tips back a little in the seat and butters his head with a Pioneer MP3 player pumping through Alpine speakers. Get hot on the island? Yeah, brah. For dat we got a Vintage Air SureFit HVAC system.
This F-body is no doubt sharp and very provocative in its all-black attire. So much so that it copped First Place (American Sports Car) at the Fourth Annual Pearl Harbor Auto Show in June of '06. And then, it's suddenly Oscar night: "I want to thank family and friends who have helped me complete my project. Special thanks to Tim who has been helping me with this from day one."
In the spot on the tech sheet for "estimated cost to build" Ray was remiss. He left it blank. He says his SS is finished, but he knows that isn't true. This is a righteous form. It's got the straight numbers. At once, it vibes vintage and contemporary, but it could be more so with his inevitable suspension layout. We think Ray really is happy with the way his car just the way it is.
|BY THE NUMBERS |
Raymond Baguio • Ewa Beach, HI
’67 Chevy Camaro RS/SS • Total cost to build: approx. $38,000
Best quarter-mile ET: 11.45/119
|Type: || |
350 Chevy small-block bored
and stroked to 434 ci (4.155 bore x 4.0 stroke)
|Block: || |
Dart Little M
|Compression Ratio: || |
|Oiling: || |
Stock with Milodon oil pan
|Rotating Assembly: || |
Eagle 4340 forged crank and rods,
JE forged flat-top pistons
|Cylinder Heads: || |
Airflow Research 220
|Camshaft: || |
Harold Brookshire street roller
(254/254 @ .050, .580in lift)
|Valvetrain: || |
AFR valves (2.08/1.60), T&D 1.5:1 rockers & pushrods
|Induction: || |
Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake,
Barry Grant 825-cfm Mighty Demon
|Built By: || |
|Transmission: || |
Tremec TKO 600 five-speed,
Centerforce Dual-Friction clutch, McLeod shifter
|Rear Axle: || |
GM 12-bolt rear end, Moser axles,
4.10:1 gears, Eaton posi
|Front Suspension: || |
Hotchkis 2in drop springs, stock sway bar
|Rear Suspension: || |
de-arched stock leafs, stock shocks,
stock sway bar
|Brakes: || |
PBR 13in C5 discs, front; PBR 12in C4 discs, rear
|WHEELS & TIRES |
|Wheels: || |
ARE 17x7 Hopsters (4in backspace),
front; ARE 17x9.5 Hopsters (5.5in backspace), rear
|Tires: || |
235/45R17 Nitto 555 Extreme,
front; 275/40R17 Nitto 555 Extreme, rear