Even though this car was primarily built in Bob's two-car home garage, he is quick to acknowledge those who helped him. Shayne Smeltzer, Willys Smith, and Tom McKenzie all spent weekends at Bob's place working on the Camaro. And Jason Rushforth penned the first rendering of the car. Bob and Jason bantered back and forth about many of the design details that make up the overall statement of the car. One area that combined many of their ideas was the nose of the car. Jason recommended recessing the grille and using a three-piece front bumper. Bob created a grille using CAD tools and had it cut using a water jet. He didn't want the nose to look like an RS, though, so he omitted the upper marker lights and integrated round foglights into the rectangular openings that would have housed standard parking and turn signal lights.
Since Bob has competed with cars in the past, he knew that he needed to outfit his machine with the right equipment...
Some time ago, Bob was incurably infected with the Pro Touring disease. He competed in the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational (OUSCI) with his previous F-body, Code Red, and he took measures with his current project to make sure it lived up to the "brute" in its name. In fact, immediately after the car debuted in the summer of 2012, Bob competed in our inaugural Muscle Car of the Year (MCOTY) competition at National Trail Raceway, a mere day after earning the Goodguys Muscle Machine of the Year award.
Since Bob has competed with cars in the past, he knew that he needed to outfit his machine with the right equipment to get the job done. He chose DSE suspension systems front and rear, using the company's Hydroformed subframe up front and its Quadralink kit in the rear. The front subframe is a bolt-in system that mounts tubular upper and lower control arms, C6 steering knuckles, DSE power rack-and-pinion steering, and a DSE splined sway bar into one seamless package. The Quadralink rear system completely replaces the leaf springs, using a tubular four-link setup with a Panhard bar. Bob used JRi coilovers-DSE's preferred unit-at all four corners. Bob also installed a pair of DSE wide wheeltubs in the rear to make room for massive 335/30ZR18 tires. Together, the front and rear DSE systems created a high-performance chassis that's as competent on the track as it is on the street.
The entire rear view of the Camaro is created by Bob’s fabrication handiwork. He formed a
Of course, suspension upgrades alone do not a Pro Touring car make. The DSE front spindles wear Baer 14-inch rotors and six-piston calipers, while the Moser 9-inch rear axle is outfitted with the relatively new Baer Tracker full-floating axle kit and 14-inch rotors with six-piston calipers. The Baer Tracker converts the rearend to a full-floating design to eliminate axleshaft deflection during hard cornering. This keeps the rotors from pushing the pistons into the calipers during high lateral loads, requiring you to pump the pedal to move the pads back into position.
Under the almost completely handbuilt hood lies a Mast Motorsports-built LS7 powerplant. The Mast-built 427 grunts out 650 hp with a reciprocating assembly made up of Callies and Mahle components that are built to take abuse without worry. The engine uses a Mast dual wide-band engine management system for calibration work. Bob had a Flex-a-lite aluminum radiator built to fit his custom core support, and added a Flex-a-lite dual electric fan setup that moves 4,600 cfm of air to keep the engine cool, even when Bob has the Vintage Air cranked up on hot Midwestern summer days. A Tremec T56 Magnum six-speed connects the power to the Moser axle.
Bob is an ordinary car guy with extraordinary vision and fabrication skills. This is the f
When it came to the interior, almost everything was pitched to make room for custom work. This is one part of the car that Bob didn't do himself, calling on RPM Hot Rods in Pittsburgh instead. They crafted a custom dashboard to house the Stack Motorsports multifunction display gauge cluster, Vintage Air controls, and ididit tilt steering column. The dash also holds a Stack tire pressure monitoring system to report air pressure and temperature, both critical factors on a road course. RPM also fabricated custom door panels and replaced the rear seat with panels to cover the widened wheeltubs and to hold a mix of Kenwood and Alpine stereo equipment. ProCar seats were modified and stitched up in gray and orange leather that was also generously laid over every surface in the interior except the floor. Even though RPM did most of the work in the interior, Bob's attention to detail still prevails. He powdercoated the center and spokes of the Lecarra steering wheel, and then had the rim wrapped with the same leather and orange stitching of the rest of the interior.
In addition to an artfully conceived and executed design, we dare say that there isn't a single component on Bob's Camaro that was taken out of the box and simply installed. We've uncovered only a couple dozen of the ultracool modifications that he has done to this Camaro. How many more differences can you find?
Bob is not a professional car builder, although he certainly possesses the ingenuity and capability it takes to be among the ...