Feature Of The Month
By his own admission, Steve Broscoe isn't really a road-race kind of guy, but he digs classic musclecars that are all-around performers. He knew he wanted a ride that would be nice to drive on the street, and more than capable of smacking the snot out of any random Viper or Lambo he might come across. His vision was a mix of drag, road race, and street that would be more "Pro" and less "Touring." Like many gearheads, Steve's idea of what he wanted was way beyond his wrenching abilities. Enter Campbell Auto Restoration. Steve saw one of CAR's trick subframes at an event, and after talking with some of the guys who work there, he knew they had the skills to turn his brainchild into a petrol-swilling, asphalt-melting ride. Next up was finding a suitable starting point. Steve told PHR, "I was on my way to work and saw a '69 Camaro sitting on the side of the street with a 'For Sale' sign in the window. I stopped to check out the car, but there wasn't any contact info. Then, an old woman sitting on a bus bench asked me if I was interested in the car. I said 'yes, but there's no phone number.' Turns out she was the owner, and had bought the car back in 1969. We made a deal, and just like that, I was a Camaro owner." The Hugger Orange Camaro, complete with its column-shifted 307 and standard interior, was then shipped to CAR to begin its transformation.
One of the main requests Steve made to the CAR crew was that the ride stay as cosmetically close to a '69 Camaro as possible-so no crazy body mods would cut into the Chevy's iconic style. Bodywork at CAR stayed focused on fixing rust, making the sheetmetal laser-straight, and ensuring that the gaps were as consistent as a politician's lies. CAR shaved the side markers and wipers, but other than that, it's just the way the General designed it. According to Kevin Long at CAR, "The only place we were able to make a change to the look of the car was the two-tone paint job. The black paint helps make the cowl hood look smaller." There's even a really fine green pinstripe separating the two colors.
If the body of the Camaro is considered mostly stock, then the drivetrain and suspension are the polar opposite. The easiest way to get the 38-year-old Camaro to handle like a new car was to ditch the old technology and start from scratch. CAR built a custom chassis under the floors, and bolted on its removable front subframe. The front sub features Ohlin coilover shocks riding inside Eibach springs, power rack-and-pinion steering, and fully adjustable upper and lower control arms. There's also a jungle-gym- looking labyrinth of bracing that keeps all the geometry rock-steady. In the rear, CAR welded in a three-link system complete with a Watts link and matching Ohlin coilovers. Lastly, it tied the chassis together with a full rollcage. Since stopping is as important as speed, CAR upped the braking on the Camaro with huge six-piston monoblock calipers and 13.5-inch rotors on all four corners. The rollers enveloping the brakes are Kinesis K-5s (17x10.5-inch in front, and massive 18x13-inch in the rear), and helping the Camaro stick to the tarmac are Hoosier R-compound competition tires.
The end result is a cool musclecar that has been completely updated, and still has its classic style. Most importantly, it's fun to drive, and is more than capable of smacking around the vast majority of exotics on the street. It's part Pro-Touring, part Pro-Street, and all Pro-Badass!
When it came time to choose the mill for the '69, Steve was adamant about what he wanted. "Steve was never a road-race guy, which is why there's a 572 big-block in the car versus a big-inch small-block, or even an LSX-type of engine," says Kevin. "Steve had to have the big-inch grunt with that little juice on top, just to jump out in front at the push of a button." The 572 short-block was built by Shafiroff, filled with forged internals, and topped with Brodix heads and matching intake with a Holley 1050 Dominator. "We had to mill the Brodix intake down a bit, so that the assembly would fit under the 4-inch cowl hood," explains Kevin. The exhaust is unique because it uses four Dynomax race mufflers and four 2.5-inch tailpipes. When a little extra grunt is needed, the NOS fogger system is only the push of a button away. The nitrous system even has its own dedicated fuel tank, filled with 104-octane racing gas-a combination guaranteed to permanently affix a smile to any gearhead's face. Backing up this big-cubed engine is a suitably strong five-speed manual trans built by G-Force, which passes the torque back to a Winters full-floating housing with an aluminum Moser center section.
The interior treatment performed by CAR is an exercise in comfort and functionality. Black Recaro seats cradle the driver and passenger, while Autometer Ultra-lite gauges nestled in a Detroit Speed dash keep track of the engine's vitals. To keep the '69 pointed in the right direction, there's a Momo Trek-R wheel, and if things go wrong there's a Safecraft Halon fire extinguisher and a full rollcage. For comfort, there's Vintage Air-but you won't have any luck finding a stereo system. Given the sweet sounds emanating from under the hood, it seemed like an insult to put one in.
The real question is, "Does he drive it?", and the answer is "yes." Steve brought the big-block Camaro down to our test venue at California Speedway in Fontana, California, so that we could beat on it for some testing. Our first metric was to send the F-body though the cones. The nose-heavy big-block managed a respectable 47.7 mph through the 420-foot slalom. Then it was time to hit the skidpad. Our 200-foot donut is run clockwise and counterclockwise, and then the two best times are averaged to get the final number. In this case, the Camaro hit .87g. Again, the extra weight of the 572 up front caused the Camaro to push. CAR plans to play with the suspension settings and sway bar choice to counteract this; but know that even in the best situation, tuning a big-block's suspension takes time on the track. Next up was the 60-0 braking test, where the 3,800-plus pound (with driver) Camaro came to a halt after only 129 feet. Lastly, we went to the dragstrip, where the big-block could really shine. With tons of wheelspin, the Camaro easily ran an 11 on its first pass, with an 11.70 trapping at 125.58 mph. After a few more runs to get a feel for the car, Steve managed an 11.55 at 128.05, without touching the nitrous. We would love to see this car make a pass with real drag tires.
From the Winters 9-inch rearend to the Watts link, the underside is an engineering tour de
The interior is simple and functional. Upper bars swing out for easy entry, or can be remo