What have you done in the last 48 hours? Change an ink cartridge? Catch a sinus infection? Struggle with how you enjoyed the last Harry Potter movie more than your kids did? In the grand scheme of things, 48 hours isn’t much time to do anything substantial, but don’t tell that to the guys at RideTech. Over a span of three 16-hour work days last May, they built an entire car. Not just any car, but a sweet 1967 Chevy Camaro that packs a 560hp LS3 small-block, a Muncie stick, a cutting-edge RideTech suspension, six-piston Baer clamps, and even A/C. While the final product is by no means the greatest Pro Touring first-gen Camaro in existence, its performance puts to shame cars that take 48 months, or 48 years, to build.
We know it sounds completely bogus, but this build actually happened, and the aptly named 48 Hour Camaro is real. RideTech documented the entire build process live at www.48HourCamaro.com, and if that’s not proof enough, you’ll be seeing a lot more of this car in person at national autocross and road racing events. Lame manufactured drama aside, the beef most hot rodders have with those hackneyed build-a-car-in-a-week reality TV shows is that you rarely see these machines in action. Each episode usually concludes with the motor firing up, someone rapping the throttle in Park for dramatic effect, and a bunch of grown men crying like babies, probably from the rich exhaust fumes resulting from an untuned carb. Even if your heart strings were tied to a cargo boat hauling cheap Chinese merchandise to American shores, the staged dramatics wouldn’t be tugging at them.
As a refreshing break from the norm, RideTech wanted to build a real performance vehicle capable of engaging in real hot rodding activities. And if you know anything about RideTech’s past projects, you’re well aware that these guys beat the snot out of all their cars. “The day after we finished up the Camaro, we drove it 200 miles to the Goodguys Show in Nashville, raced it all weekend in the autocross, finished Second Place in the Vendor class, and drove it back home without any issues. We’ve put a solid 12,000 miles on the car in the first two months, and burned through four sets of tires,” says Bret Voelkel of RideTech.
Although it’s been established that the 48 Hour Camaro is a genuine g-Machine, why would anyone voluntarily subject themselves to such torture? As it turns out, the project wasn’t so much a publicity stunt—but in the true hot rodding spirit—a means of tackling a challenge full-bore just to see if it could be done. “A group of aftermarket reps and I were standing around the Holley LS Fest last year marveling over the quality and variety of bolt-on parts that are available these days for muscle cars,” Bret says. “So many of the parts are model-specific that someone can build an entire car without any welding or fabrication skills. The idea for this project came together from there, and I figured that with enough planning, you could build an entire car in 48 hours. This project wasn’t about seeing how fast it could be done. It was to show how easy it is to build a car with modern bolt-on parts.”