'80 Camaro
In The Family
Brian Miller wrote to us with the story of his and his dad's project Z28. "When I was younger, my dad would always refer to his '80 Z with a smile on his face. He would tell my little brother and I how much he loved that car and the adventures he and my uncle had in it. From time to time, he would even break out the old photo album and show us the few pictures he had of it from his wedding night. He eventually had to part with it when I was born because it wasn't the best family vehicle." Brian swore to himself he would buy a car just like his dad's as soon as he could and surprise him with it. That day came when he spotted a primered '80 Camaro for sale. Brian brought it home while his dad was out of town and immediately painted it the dark brown metallic his dad's car was. When it was back together a couple days later, he parked it backward in his dad's driveway awaiting his return home. When his dad saw it for the first time, Brian didn't get the response he was expecting. It took a good five minutes to realize that this car was for him, not just the car of a friend.

The paintjob was a rush to surprise his dad, but the rest they would do together. Brian was gifted a 5.3L LS motor from a Tahoe as payment for some work he did on another car. The father-and-son team cleaned and rebuilt the new-age small-block with some aftermarket parts to spice things up. With the engine out, they cut and smoothed the firewall and painted it to match the car.

Next on the list is to give the interior the overhaul the body and engine have gotten. To make the car more fun to drive in the hot Arizona sun, they decided that installing a Vintage Air A/C system was a must. The biggest task will be swapping the late second-gen dash for an earlier model and fitting that with Auto Meter gauges.

By The Numbers

1980 CAMARO Z28
Bruce and Brian Miller, 57 and 24
Peoria, AZ • 375 hp
Type: 5.3L LS-series LM7
Block: '04 Tahoe
Oiling: LS6 ported and blueprinted pump, factory F-body pan
Rotating assembly: Speed-Pro pistons
Cylinder heads: LQ4/LQ9 heads milled .030 inch
Camshaft: '02 LS6
Valvetrain: custom pushrods, LQ4 lifters, LS6 "yellow" springs
Induction: LS6 intake and throttle body, K&N filter
Ignition: LS1 coils and wires
Cooling: LS1 water pump and radiator
Exhaust: Edelbrock LS swap headers, 2.5-inch H-pipe, Flowmaster mufflers
Fasteners: ARP
Transmission/shifter: GM 4L60E, floor shifter
Driveshaft: 1320 yokes
Rear axle: factory Z28, limited-slip differential, 3.23 gears
Front suspension: polyurethane bushings, KYB shocks
Rear suspension: rebuilt, KYB shocks
Brakes: LS1 four-wheel disc
Body: painted by father and son
Paint: Dark Claret Metallic with original Z28 stripe package from Phoenix Graphix
Wheels: original Z28 wheels powdercoated black
Tire: 245/60R15 BFG Radial T/A