1972 Chevy Camaro
Brad Creamer, Bath, ME
Best E.T.: 11.06/122.02
After getting little respect in muscle car circles with his built '88 Camaro, Brad Creamer decided it was time to step back a decade. Problem was, in Maine, a car that only needs floors, rockers, and quarter-panel patches is considered "solid." So when Brad had the chance to score a '72 Camaro from the dry dusty state of Arizona, he couldn't have been more excited. Sure, it had fairly heavy body damage to the passenger side, but it was completely rust free.
The major sideswipe crunch caused the Camaro to darken Brad's garage for almost two years while he waited for a run of full quarters from Classic Industries, but in the meantime he was planning the replacement for the anemic 307. Beginning with a blown 454 pulled from a van, Brad had the block bored .060-over and all the machine and balance work finished at a local shop, and then set about assembling the short-block in his garage. Using a book by PHR tech contributor David Vizard, Brad also worked his own magic on a set of cast-iron oval-port heads, eventually achieving his goal of 300 cfm at .600 lift according to a Super Flow 300 flow bench. Not bad for a rookie.
Pairing those heads with 9.4:1 compression Speed Pro Pistons and a good COMP grind created a big-block with impressive pump gas-friendly power. Putting his newfound engine-building skills to use, Brad traded a build to cover most of his paint and bodywork costs, which helped the rest of the car come together more quickly over the next four years as funds were available.
That's a long time for a gearhead to be without a toy, but we think the result was worth the wait. With a modest $15K investment, Brad got a second-gen F-body that he can easily drive 100 miles to the track, air down the tires, and run 11.39 at 118.8 mph.