Not knowing the exact horsepower output of Dave's Camaro doesn't change the fact that it still puts out a ton of grunt. To keep it all glued to the pavement, Burman and company cut out the car's floor and slid a complete Art Morrison frame into place. Up front, it uses C6 Corvette hardware, and out back is a custom three-link suspension-similar in layout to a late-model Mustang-with an integral Watt's linkage. So given the ludicrous output of the 500ci LS small-block, does the suspension stand a chance in putting all those ponies to use? Burman that. At the Goodguys Street Machine of the Year competition last summer, Dave's Camaro laid down the fourth fastest lap on the autocross out of a field of 13 cars. "I didn't build this car to push it on and off a trailer. Whenever we take it out on the autocross, people can't believe it," he says.

Realistically, very few people will attempt to one-up a car like this Camaro simply because very few people have the resources to pull it off. However, bits and pieces of the car's design-whether it's the heat extractors, chin spoiler, fender flares, or decklid louvers-are elements that even a skilled DIYer can incorporate into his own build. So whether you like all of it, most of it, or just some of it, Dave's Camaro is one of those machines that just about everyone can gather some ideas from. And that's what trendsetting street machines are all about.

By The Numbers

1971 Chevy Camaro
Dave Leisinger Wall Lake, SD


Type: GM Gen IV small-block stroked to 500 ci
Block: Chevrolet Performance LSX-R tall-deck
Oiling: custom dry-sump
Rotating assembly: Lunati forged steel crankshaft, Carrillo rods, Wiseco pistons
Cylinder heads: Mast Motorsports Black Label LS7 aluminum castings
Camshaft: COMP Cams custom solid roller (specs classified)
Induction: ported FAST LSX-R intake manifold and throttle body
Fuel system: custom cell; Aeromotive pump and regulator
Ignition: stock GM coil packs, MSD plug wires
Exhaust: custom 1.875-inch headers, dual Flowmaster mufflers
Built by: Warren Johnson Enterprises


Transmission: Gearstar 4L85E automatic, Yank 11-inch converter, Hurst shifter
Rear axle: Morrison 9-inch rearend, 4.11:1 gears, Detroit Truetrac limited-slip differential


Front suspension: C6 Corvette aluminum control arms and spindles, Penske coilovers, ARB splined sway bar
Rear suspension: Morrison three-link system with custom Watt's link, Penske coilovers, ARB splined sway bar
Brakes: Baer 14-inch discs with 6-piston calipers, front and rear

Wheels & Tires

Wheels: Boze Lateral-G 18x8, front; 20x12, rear
Tires: Nitto 245/30R18, front; 335/30R20, rear

Roger Burman: Trendsetting Builder

Many of today's top Pro Touring builders started out as street rod shops, and Lakeside Rods and Rides ( is no exception. Owner Roger Burman figures that he's built 150 street rods over the years, so the transition into high-end muscle cars was a no-brainer. "I built a very nice vintage short-box pickup for a customer one time, who suggested venturing out into the muscle car market. I really enjoy building muscle cars, because unlike with street rods, people actually drive them hard," Roger explains. Naturally, he welcomes the challenge of slicing and dicing custom sheetmetal panels, so Dave Leisinger's Camaro was right up his ally. "When you get an opportunity to build a car like this, you want to modify everything. I tend to like more body mods than less, and making them functional is the icing on the cake. On Dave's Camaro, we angled the windshield back and raised the rear deck to reduce drag. Cooling vents in the quarter-panels, and a vent above the headlight, feed air to the brakes. There are also heat extractor vents behind each wheel. In addition to making the car look cool, all the body mods on the Camaro serve a functional purpose."