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1970 Chevelle
Green Machine

A '70 Chevelle is probably not the first car you think of to take to the road course or autocross, but The Roadster Shop thought it would be just perfect. The Roadster Shop of Mundelein, Illinois, is well versed in the art of building custom cars. There is very little they haven't or can't do. They build full frames for pretty much anything from the 1930s through the mid 1970s, stock bodies for a handful of roadsters, and they also have a full-scale custom shop. Their 30,000-foot facility lends itself to building and showing off their accomplishments, the most recent being a Corvette that garnered the Goodguys Street Machine of the Year award for 2009.

This '70 Chevelle started its custom life as a solid front-axle gasser drag car which ultimately landed at a car show swap meet, which is where they found it. The body was in really excellent shape, but car show goers weren't biting because of its unique chassis style. Gassers usually used light bodies like early Novas and Falcons, not their heavyweight A-body cousins. The Roadster Shop was looking for a '68-72 Chevelle to use as a model to build a production chassis to complement their '64-67 chassis line. They brought the '70 home and started the build. It was going to be a simple resto-mod build after the frame was finished. They really wanted something to use as a test mule and to show off their products. They went wild and built the car in a short four-month period, just in time for the summer events. Their latest events were the annual Run Through The Hills and Optima Ultimate Street Car Challenge where it placed high in the ranks against some of the most expensive and remarkable cars of recent years.

BY THE NUMBERS
1970 CHEVELLE
Roadster Shop Test Car Mundelein, IL Skidpad .98g, 630 hp
ENGINE
Type: GM LS7 by Turn Key Engines
Exhaust: 3-inch custom exhaust
with Borla XR1 mufflers
DRIVETRAIN
Transmission/shifter: T-56 six-speed manual
by Bowler Transmission
Driveshaft: 3-inch aluminum
Rear axle: Ford 9-inch with 31-spline axles,
Strange nodular third member, 3.90 gears
CHASSIS
Front suspension: Roadster Shop Performance
Chevelle chassis, Penske D/A
remote reservoir coilovers
Brakes: Wilwood 14.25-inch rotors
and six-piston calipers
INTERIOR
Seats: Cobra seats by Upholstery Unlimited
Dashboard: aluminum dash
with Race Pak gauges
Stereo: Rockford Fosgate
and Pioneer components
Wiring: Ron Francis
Column: ididit
BODY/PAINT
Body: custom lower front spoiler,
fitted bumper,
custom heat extractor hoodscoop,
rocker moldings
Paint: Porshe GT3 green
with matte black stripes
WHEELS/TIRES
Wheels: Forgeline ZX3 wheels:
18x10 and 19x12
Tires: Michelin Pilot Sport PS2:
295/30R18, 325/30R19

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
ENGINE
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
DRIVETRAIN
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

CHASSIS
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/TIRES
Wheels: Eagle Alloy 16x8
two-piece wheels
Tires: BFGoodrich,
245/50R16, front; 255/50R16, rear

1972 Camaro
Re-Red

It wasn't peer pressure or bad influence, but just the effects of being surrounded by muscle cars growing up that set Greg Bates of Lima, Ohio, on owning a muscle car of his own. His family wasn't into cars, not in the way he and his friends were. They saw them as a way to get to work or to the store, and that's it. Greg had to rely on his friends to expose him to the hobby. They took him along to the dragstrip where he would watch his buddies make passes. His first car wasn't quite race worthy. It was a rusted-out '64 Ford Falcon whose floor was just about to fall through from the harsh winters. He did what he needed to keep it running, but nothing more.

As Greg's senior year approached, he started searching for a real car to bring to the car shows and dragstrips. He found this '72, only three years old at the time, with decent paint, and a V-8 that would surely charm his friends. The next year though, the engine took its last revolution and seized due to a bad bearing. He got a new engine from a '70 Impala with a four-bolt main, and built it up to keep it looking close to the original. Now he regrets not keeping the original motor and fixing it up, but in 1976, no one was thinking about keeping second-generation Camaros with matching numbers. The first day out with the new motor he got hit by a truck that ran a red light. He saw this as a great opportunity to fix up the quarter-panels that were rusty, and repaint the whole car.

Since then there hasn't been too much Greg needed to do the Camaro. It runs smoothly, and looks just as it did the day it was repainted in '78. He always keeps it garaged between the dozen local car shows each summer he takes it to. Every year he goes to Mid-Ohio racetrack to watch the cars drive the circuit and dreams of being out there with his Camaro one day.

By The Numbers

1972 Camaro
Greg Bates, 51 • Lima, OH
ENGINE
Type: 350ci small-block Chevy
Block: four-bolt main
Cylinder heads: 2.02 fuelie iron
Camshaft: Crane
Valvetrain: factory rockers, pushrods,
Cloyes double-roller chain
Induction: Edelbrock performer
intake and carburetor
Ignition: Crane FireBall
Cooling: HD radiator
Fuel system: stainless hardline
Exhaust: Hedman Tork-Step headers,
21/4-inch exhaust, Thrush Turbo mufflers
Fasteners: ARP
DRIVETRAIN
Transmission/shifter: TH350, B&M shift kit,
TCI Breakaway
converter and flexplate
Driveshaft: factory
Rear axle: GM 10-bolt, Yukon axles,
3.73:1 gears, Eaton posi
CHASSIS
Front suspension: Monroe shocks
Rear suspension: Monroe Max-Air shocks,
multi-leaf springs
Brakes: Raybestos rotors,
calipers, and pads, drums rear
WHEELS/TIRES
Wheels: Appliance 14-inch aluminum
Tires: BFGoodrich Radial T/A,
195/60R14 and 245/60R14

Mothers Picture Perfect Award
This is the place to show off your pride and joy to the rest of mankind, so we figure those readers who took the time to capture a really cool shot of their hot rod should get a little bonus. Mothers agreed, and decided to come to the party with some freebies for the best picture submitted to PHR.

Each month, the editors at PHR will sift through the images and pick the one with the best composition, lighting, and overall quality. The winner will get a cool assortment of Mothers products to keep his or her ride looking nice and shiny. Mail us a photograph or, if you're a modern guy, email us a digital image. Remember that digital images need to be 300 dpi, and the bigger the image, the larger it can run. Also, be sure to include info on the car, along with your name and address. Good luck!

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