Homebuilt CamaroWhen your dad wrenches on classic cars, it's natural to get interested in the hobby-but Anthony Rose went a bit off track. "I shared his interest," says Anthony, "but somehow I found myself on sport bikes for a 12-year run. That is, until I saw the first article on 'The Mule' in Popular Hot Rodding, and I was instantly hooked on the Pro-Touring style. Mark Stielow quickly became my favorite builder, and still is. I love his functional yet clean build style." Anthony sold his brand-new Yamaha bike, and started researching sites like Pro-touring.com and Lateral-g.net for the best roller he could find for his project. He eventually found a clean '68 Camaro and got to work. That was five years ago, and progress continues on the car when family and work obligations allow. Anthony does all the work himself in his garage, and-thanks to his understanding wife, Jennifer-spends many late nights working over parts.
The Camaro is powered by a '96 LT1 with 8.5:1 compression, and has a forged rotating assembly to hold up the pressure from the ProCharger P1SC intercooled supercharger. A modified ACCEL intake and Holley Commander 950 EFI will feed air and fuel, while 1 7/8-inch Stainless Works headers will help the mill breathe. In addition, an ATS T56 six-speed will send the twist to the wheels, and the suspension is a mix of Art Morrison, DSE, and Hotchkis.
Once all the fabrication is done on the mini-tubbed ride, Anthony will blow the car apart again in preparation for paint and bodywork. Once the car is done, the plan is to hit the track, tear up the streets around his hometown of Hillsboro, Oregon, and just enjoy the ride with his family. His 2-year-old son, Bryce, is already showing interest in hot rods. Now, if only Anthony can keep him away from motorcycles.
Recaptured DreamIt's hard to figure out guys like Russ Stover. He's not captivated by Camaros, Mustangs, 'Cudas, or any of the other usual suspects. His trigger is pulled by Comets. Yep, Mercury Comets-of the 1964 variety, to be precise. When he was 16, Russ bought a '64 for a paltry $75, and drove the wheels off of it. But he had other dreams, too. Russ told PHR, "One morning, I woke up and went out to the garage to see my blown big-block Comet, only to be crushed by the cold reality that my blown big-block was just a dream. A dream that had cruelly tricked my mind. I never forgot the image of the Comet just before I opened the garage door to find my '64 Mercury Comet 202 post car with a pathetic 170ci six-cylinder." Still, he worked on the Comet and slowly got it to a better state. His passion for the car led him to work for a drag race team, and that made him want to stuff a big-block in it even more. Just one problem: no cash. Russ relates, "The racing gig ended when I began to get a clue that I should get a real job so I could have a nice car. Off to college I went, and the parents demanded I get rid of the rusting heap in their sideyard. Eventually it found its way to the crusher."
Fast forward to 1997. Russ still had the dream of the blown Comet, but now he had a few bucks to make it happen. He tried to find a car, but couldn't come across a solid candidate that was already partially restored. Then, on a trip to check out a local convertible version, he found the perfect car languishing in the weeds. It had the interior and trim, but no drivetrain; Russ could have cared less about the engine, though, since he had other ideas. After plunking down $1,100, Russ was once again a '64 Comet owner.
The body has now been stripped of trim and channeled, and the top was chopped down 1 1/2 inches and stretched 5 1/2 inches. The front fenders have been extended slightly to match the body lines, and just about every panel got the custom touch. Bodywork included frenched bumpers and shaved door handles, and the list of body mods is a long one.
The engine plan was chiseled in stone back when Russ was 16, starting with a 632ci Merlin big-block Chevy engine with a 14-71 BDS blower to scoot the Comet along. Filled with the best parts around, the goal is for the fuel-injected mill to put out far more than 1,000 hp, and still be totally streetable. Backing up this powerplant will be a fully prepped 4L80E trans, and a braced 9-inch rearend with 4.30 gears. The interior plan is to stay retro-cool, but give it all the modern touches, including A/C, power windows, and a thumping audio system.
Currently, the ride is getting a body massage in preparation for paint at Best of Show Coachworks in San Marcos, California. The engine is ready to drop in, and Russ can't wait to fire the ignition and finally live the dream he's had since his teenage years.
Russ' Seven Commandments for Building His Comet*Thou shalt not use any fiberglass parts*Thou shalt not have any fake windows, including Lexan*Thou shalt not use airbags to ride low*Thou shalt not use nitrous, but instead rely only on displacement and supercharging*Thou shalt not run race gas or octane boosters*Thou shalt not tow finished vehicle in or on a trailer*Thou shalt not build a car without sufficient braking power
Budget BuiltAside from our resident '76 Camaro (project g/28), late-Second Gen Camaros just don't seem to get enough love. Nonetheless, they are great platforms for a hot rod project, and they can be bought for loose change. This '78 Camaro is owned by Kevin Boyd of Forney, Texas, and was his first car in high school. Over a year ago, he took his trusty ride off the road, and started slowly collecting parts for a rebuild. As the father of three girls, it's the perfect way to escape the estrogen and spend some "man time" wrenching on the Camaro. His four goals for the Camaro are: increase the handling, make it stop quicker, make it faster, and do it all as cheaply as possible. So far, he's in for less than $6,500, including the cost of the car.
The F-body runs a GM 290hp crate motor with an Edelbrock intake and a worked Quadrajet carb. To help the Camaro better carve up the corners, Kevin added SpeedTech upper control arms, PST bushings, Moog coils, KYB gas shocks, and a Hellwig 1 5/16-inch front sway bar to the front suspension. In the rear are Hotchkiss 1.5-inch leaf springs with a Global West Del-A-Lum shackle kit; the rollers are 17x9 DeZenyo wheels wrapped in Falken Ziex rubber. We think Kevin is well on his way to having a killer car on a real-guy budget.