'69 Camaro
NASA Rocket
A.J. Meade started his motor-driven hobby on two wheels, riding motocross bikes until he was 16 years old. That's when his focus shifted to the four-wheeled kind. He was immediately drawn to Camaros, and started with a few third-gens. He really wanted a car he could participate in NASA (National Auto Sport Association) road racing events and autocross events, so he sold the third-gen he had at the time. A.J. had been working as an ASE-certified master tech at the local Chevy dealer, so when he had the opportunity to pick up an '01 Corvette Z06, he snatched it up. This reinforced his love of running on racetracks, and for the GM LS-series engine.

In March of 2010, A.J. sold the Corvette to buy the first-gen Camaro he always wanted. He planned to build the Camaro with the intention to drive it harder and faster than the Vette. He bought a donor '01 Camaro for its drivetrain and interior pieces. This was a great package to work with because it just plain worked right off the bat and anything he needed he could buy at any GM dealership. The car itself wasn't as trouble-free, however. Nearly all of the sheetmetal was unusable. The roof and inner structure was sound, but A.J. replaced everything else to be sure he started with a clean, rust-free car. To make the Camaro handle even better, he mounted the engine almost 7 inches rearward to aid in better weight distribution for the track. Everything he could replace with aluminum or carbon fiber, he has. The original plan didn't include that much metalwork, but things change! A.J. hopes to get the car buttoned up by the summer of 2011.

1969 CAMARO
A.J. Meade, 27 • Reynoldsburg, OH
400 rear-wheel horsepower
ENGINE
Type: '01 GM LS1
Block: aluminum
Oiling: factory
Rotating assembly: factory
Cylinder heads: aluminum
Camshaft: mild aftermarket hydraulic roller
Valvetrain: COMP pushrods and adjustable rockers
Induction: LS6 intake
Ignition: GM coil-on-plug
Cooling: Jegs double-pass radiator
Exhaust: tri-Y stainless headers, 3-inch stainless exhaust, and Borla mufflers
Fasteners: Grade 8 and stainless
DRIVETRAIN
Transmission/shifter: '01 T56 six-speed, Pro 5.0 shifter
Driveshaft: Inland Empire
Rear axle: Ford 9-inch
CHASSIS
Front suspension: Speed Tech full subframe, ATS tall spindles, DSE subframe connectors
Rear suspension: Lateral Dynamics three-link, QA1 coilovers
Brakes: six- and four-piston calipers with ABS and traction control, Tilton floor-mounted pedals
BODY/PAINT
Body: AMD sheetmetal, aluminum front clip and trunk lid, smoothed firewall, Anvil carbon/glass wheelwells
Paint: Electron Blue
WHEELS/TIRES
Wheels: 18x10 and 18x12 Forgeline WC3R satin center, polished lip
Tires: 295/35R18 and 335/30R18 BFG KDW

'72 Bug
Dare to Differ
Often the motivation to build a project comes from your peers. That's why Ray Hale went public with his Bug build on the popular forum at Pro-Touring.com. The thread, now titled "Satan's Lady Bug," extends 40 pages with over 11,000 hits. The support and suggestions from his friends on the forum helped guide him in building what just might be the sweetest Bug ever built.

It started 13 years ago when Ray bought the car. It had a Pro Street look with big tires in the back, and a dropped solid front axle in the front. The four-wheel drum brakes and leaf springs were going to interfere with his plans to road race the thing. "My original intent was to upgrade the car with independent front suspension, but I decided I was really tired of my car's Pro Street look, and the associated poor handling characteristics of these cars. I have followed the Pro Touring movement for a while now but never made the mental leap of converting my car to this genre," Ray says. When he realized he could make this car even more fun than keeping it a straight-line runner, he had a lot of parts he couldn't use anymore, but in his words, "It's just money, right?"

Ray has managed to cram an all-aluminum 632ci big-block Chevy in what was the trunk compartment. With 900 hp in a lightweight body and road-race-ready suspension, this car will be hard to beat. Traction may be a problem but that's why he's chosen 13-inch-wide rear wheels and Hoosier R6 rubber to keep it under control.

BY THE NUMBERS
1972 VW SUPER BEETLE
Ray Hale, 50 • Lafayette, LA
900 hp at 6,500 rpm
ENGINE
Type: 632ci big-block Chevy
Block: Dart Big M aluminum
Oiling: Titan Billet pump, Milodon road-race 8-quart pan, Canton 3-quart Accusump system
Rotating assembly: Eagle 4340 forged crank, H-beam rods
Cylinder heads: AFR 335cc CNC-ported aluminum
Camshaft: COMP solid-roller, .714-inch lift
Valvetrain: 2.30-/1.88-inch valves, Jesel Sportsman 1.7 shaft rockers
Induction: Hogan Racing EFI manifold, MSD injectors, Accufab 1,700-cfm throttle body, Big Stuff 3 ECU module
Ignition: MSD Billet distributor, crank trigger, Digital 7, and coil
Cooling: Rod Davis radiator, dual-electric fans, Meziere billet water pump
Fuel system: Aeromotive A1000 pump, 22-gallon Fuel Safe cell
Exhaust: stainless headers, 2.25-inch primaries, 4-inch collectors, 4-inch oval exhaust tubing, SpinTech mufflers
Fasteners: ARP
DRIVETRAIN
Transmission/shifter: Monster Transmission TH400, Gear Vendors unit, Mastershift Paddleshifter
Driveshaft: Inland Empire 4-inch driveshaft (only 13 inches long)
Rear axle: Chassisworks Fab-9 housing
CHASSIS
Front suspension: Art Morrison crossmember, lower arms, Pro spindles, Joe's Racing upper arms, Sweet Manufacturing rack-and-pinion, KRC Racing PS pump, 1.625-inch sway bar, Penske adjustable coilovers
Rear suspension: Chassisworks canted four-bar, Penske adjustable coilovers
Brakes: Wilwood 14- and 13-inch rotors, six- and four-piston calipers, dual master pedal assembly
WHEELS/TIRES
Wheels: Forgeline GA3R for the street, C6 Z06 for race, 18x12 and 19x13
Tires: Michelin PS2 for the street, Hoosier R6 for race; 335/30R18 and 345/30R19

'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
ENGINE
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
DRIVETRAIN
Transmission/shifter: GM 4L60E, floor shifter
Driveshaft: 1320 yokes
Rear axle: factory Z28, limited-slip differential, 3.23 gears
CHASSIS
Front suspension: polyurethane bushings, KYB shocks
Rear suspension: rebuilt, KYB shocks
Brakes: LS1 four-wheel disc
BODY/PAINT
Body: painted by father and son
Paint: Dark Claret Metallic with original Z28 stripe package from Phoenix Graphix
WHEELS/TIRES
Wheels: original Z28 wheels powdercoated black
Tire: 245/60R15 BFG Radial T/A

  • «
  • |
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
  • |
  • View Full Article