There's a quick-growing movement...
There's a quick-growing movement in super high-performance cars: turbochargers. This Precision GT-47 turbo is the centerpiece of serious power in Rob's Camaro. He's running the turbine in conjunction with an HKS GT2 wastegate and air-to-air intercooler, although plans already call for stepping up to a larger turbo and an air-to-water intercooler.
While this powerplant might be off the beaten path, the rest of the drivetrain is much more mainstream. A TH400 transmission was fitted with a transbrake and a 9.5-inch torque converter for 4,800-rpm WOT launches. The rear differential was fabricated by Zimmerman Motorsports. It is narrowed two inches on each end and accepts a 9-inch Ford center section with 3.40:1 gears. Interestingly, Rob kept the leaf-spring rear suspension. He said that if guys can run 7s on leaf springs, he can make them work on this car. A set of CalTracs traction bars and attention to the front suspension gets the car to hook on the track.
The front suspension received quite a bit of care. If you haven't noticed by now, Rob likes things to look good and perform well. "Appearance, lightweight, and performance is what I look for in parts. If I can get two or three in one component, I'll usually buy the part," Rob says. So when he pitched the inner fenderwells to shave some pounds, he realized that the stock, stamped upper control arms looked like hell, and were right there on either side of all of his custom fabrication work. A set of Global West tubular arms was just what the style doctor ordered. Rob modified the stock Camaro spindles to accept Z06 Corvette disc brakes, and used Calvert racing shocks with Moroso Trick coil springs to make the front suspension transfer weight to the rear when the car launches.
The interior continues the tasteful combination of form and function, and also shows the progression from high schooler to a more mature and refined student. Early on in Rob's ownership of the car, he realized that going lightweight was the cheapest way to go faster, so the factory dash, seats, and just about everything else that could be unbolted or cut out of the interior was pitched. When the car came back together in its current form, he wanted to put a factory dash back in the car, and restore a bit of the inside street character of the car. Of course, a full dash wouldn't fit with the rollcage, and putting it back to stock just wasn't going to happen. Rob found a place that had done a mold for fiberglass dashboards for second-generation Camaros. They didn't sell any of them because the finish on them wasn't very good, but he talked them into sending him a couple. He had Scott's Speed & Custom smooth and paint it. Although he originally wanted more of a factory look, he says that the factory-inspired, but still race-custom look turned out to be even better than he thought it would. Next, he realized that the battalion of Auto Meter gauges that had lived in the previous aluminum-panel dash wouldn't fit in the new one. So he opted for a RacePak multi-page UDX display. Four different pages show all of the info he wants to keep tabs on with user-set warning lights. Definitely one of the more unique pieces in the interior, Rob gets a lot of comments on his choice of instrumentation. An AMS1000 turbo control unit also sits in the dash where the original gauges would have been. Rob installed Kirkey racing seats, laid down custom carpeting, and crafted door panels to make this racer look and feel a bit more sophisticated.
Along the way, the Camaro was painted silver with blue racing stripes. Rob also added a one-of-a-kind carbon-fiber RS nose and Harwood cowl-induction hood. The rear of the car sports a custom parachute mount built by Zimmerman Motorsports, while the rest of the body and trim work is original décor.
Rob is pretty happy with the car, but he still has a few more modifications in mind. "The car was pretty successful with a small turbo and air-to-air intercooler," he says "It made about 1,200 hp. Now I want to make 2,000." So Rob's in the process of upgrading to a 106mm turbo and is working with Deeds Performance on a whole new intercoolering system. Not to mention, he grenaded the rearend since the car was photographed and is thinking about changing transmissions too.