1987 IROC Camaro
Rad Roc

This story starts with Dave Martin's uncle's '75 Camaro drag car that made it to the pages of Popular Hot Rodding back in 1988. Dave fell in love with the car, but at 12 years old, he couldn't have one of his own just yet. He spent his summers and weekends mowing lawns and working construction until he had enough to buy a car. After checking out the magazines for a couple years, Dave realized he really dug the third-generation Camaros. He found a couple junkers to work on for under $3,000, but his father just wouldn't let him buy one. His protests turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because he found a red '87 IROC with 120,000 on the clock for free. That was a deal worth waiting for. Because he didn't have a license, his dad helped him out and drove it home for him. Of course nothing in life is free, and the alternator froze and the belt flew off the motor on the way home. Because it would still be a couple years before Dave could drive it, he started fixing it up. He repainted the roof where clearcoat was cracking, installed new tires, gave the rig a tune up, and of course, replaced the frozen alternator. Once he got his driver's license, he drove the car to his high school and managed to throw a main bearing while doing a burnout for his friends in the parking lot. This shelved the Camaro for a while as he scraped together enough money for a new long-block from GMPP.

After that repair job, he drove it to and from four years of college classes that put plenty of miles on the thing. Once he graduated, he started rebuilding the car as he wanted-a super clean street car customized just to his liking. He didn't want to subject it to the snow and commuting harshness anymore. Dave is definitely a hands-on, do-it-yourself guy, but he knew some things would be better left to the experts. He committed the Camaro to three months at Potter's Auto Body for paint after he prepped it himself. There it got a fresh coat of red and some custom stripes.

The first couple of shows he took it to brought a lot of praise and a couple trophies for the work he and his father put into the car. His favorite praise is when people would say, "That's the cleanest third-gen I've ever seen," which he heard a lot. It wasn't long though before his fun with the car was put on hold due to a bad front brake caliper, but Dave saw this an excuse to upgrade. He found a guy on thridgen.org who built brackets to mount C4 Corvette brakes to. Problem solved. Next on the list is a tubular suspension and one day a big rat motor to replace the tuned-port small-block.

By The Numbers

1987 IROC-Z Camaro
Dave Martin, 25 • New Providence, NJ
310 hp, 360 lb-ft torque
Type: 350ci small-block Chevy
Block: GMPP HO cast-iron four-bolt main
Oiling: Fram filter, Kendall oil
Rotating assembly: cast pistons
Cylinder heads: Vortec iron
with 64cc chambers,
9.1:1 compression
Camshaft: GMPP flat tappet,
212/222 degrees duration,
.435/.460-inch lift
Valvetrain: 1.5:1 stamped rockers
Induction: original TPI setup
with a sheetmetal cold airbox
hidden inside front grille,
K&N filters
Ignition ACCEL distributor cap
and plug wires, ACDelco plugs
Cooling: new radiator, water pump,
and thermostat, electric fans
Exhaust: custom Dyno Don's 1 5/8-inch
ceramic-coated mid-length headers,
3-inch Y-pipe, Hooker cat-back
with MagnaFlow catalytic converter
Transmission/shifter: 700R-4, B&M shift kit,
Megashifter, and 2,800-rpm converter
Rear axle: original 10-bolt housing,
Richmond 3.73 gears,
and a MAC-reinforced 10-bolt cover
with stud girdle bolts

Front suspension: 2-inch drop spindles,
upgraded steering brace,
Moog springs,
Tokico Illumina five-way adjustable struts,
S&W subframe kit
Rear suspension: Moog IROC
replacement springs with 3/4 coil cut off,
Tokico Illumina five-way adjustable shocks,
and S&W Race Cars adjustable torque arm
Brakes: 13-inch Corvette C4 front;
rebuilt drums rear, stainless lines
Wheels: Eagle Alloy 16x8
two-piece wheels
Tires: BFGoodrich,
245/50R16, front; 255/50R16, rear