Tom McConnell has been building this Camaro since the day he purchased it six years ago. He has immense pride in his ride, especially since last year he was among the 20 finalists in our photo contest. This made him a local celebrity of sorts in his hometown of Grovetown, Georgia. It's like shaking the hand of a celebrity; he hadn't washed his car since the photoshoot. That came to an end one Saturday morning when the Camaro ended up in a pile of dirt. Our inquiries were left unanswered as to how this happened; all he told us was that there was no damage to the car, just to his shorts. With this year's photo contest deadline approaching, he quickly detailed his Camaro and got some great shots. Next on his list of projects to tackle is an even more powerful big-block, with the displacement at 454 cubic inches. These days, 450 horsepower is kind of ho-hum for a big-block, so Tom is seeking something more powerful in his next motor.

1969 CAMARO SS
Car owner: Tom McConnell; Grovetown, GA
Photographer: Tom McConnell
Camera: Kodak C633
Photo location: Grovetown, GA
Engine: 396ci big-block Chevy
Cylinder heads: Edelbrock Performer RPM
Camshaft: COMP Cams Extreme energy 284
Intake: Edelbrock Performer RPM
Carb/induction: 750-cfm Speed Demon
Transmission: Muncie M-21 4-speed
Rearend model & gearing: GM 12-bolt, 3.73 gears,
  Eaton posi
Suspension/brakes: factory suspension,
  Wilwood brakes
Peak hp: 450 hp
Built by: owner
Years of ownership: 6 years
Total invested: $33,000

Usually, "complete '73 RS Camaro" and "$6,000" don't go in the same description, but somehow owner Britt Smart made it happen. He originally had a '74 Camaro he purchased from a junkyard to turn into a cheap bracket car. Unfortunately, he had to sell it when life threw him a curve ball. Back in 2000, he came across this '73 on Yahoo's classifieds. He was happy to see it was only a couple of miles away. Upon arrival to check it out, it was obvious the car had been vandalized and pillaged for parts. Luckily, Britt's pack-rat ways, and the funds from the '74 he had to sell, would give this car a huge jump toward completion. The rest of the parts he collected from junkyards, swap meets, Craigslist, and the occasional trash pile. The most money he spent in one place, aside from the original purchase, was $100 for the 10-bolt rear end he found on Craigslist. Body and paintwork was handed off to his neighbor and friend, who insisted Britt take it home between each coat of primer and basecoat for sanding. The project took 7 years to build, but after only spending $6,000, it was worth the wait.

1973 CAMARO RS
Car owner: Britt Smart; Puyallup, WA
Photographer: Britt Smart
Camera: Sony Cyber-Shot 7.2
Photo location: parking lot; Puyallup, WA
Engine: 355ci small-block Chevy
Cylinder heads: factory
Camshaft: COMP Cams 244D
Intake: Edelbrock Performer
Carb/induction: 750-cfm Edelbrock
Transmission: Turbo 350 with TCI Pro Super kit
Rearend model & gearing: GM 10-bolt,
  3.08 gears, posi
Suspension/brakes: factory
Body & paint: by neighbor, with leftover paint
Wheels: Weld Pro-Star, 15x3.5-inch and 15x8-inch
Tires: BFGoodrich
Built by: owner
Years of ownership: 8 years
Total invested: $6,000