Welcome to the Camaro page.

It recently hit us that the full specs and story behind the build of this car have never found their way onto the main site (you can see the original page that is admittedly not very informative or current here), so here we go with righting that wrong.

We went to the Optima Search for the Ultimate Street Car and had a blast!
Read about our experience this this two part recap:

Since this page will be pretty long, heres a quick table of contents to get around with:

Power Tour 2003The Starting PointWhere this all Started

The story of this car starts with a 63 Chevy truck. How does that work, exactly? The truck was the first massive undertaking, beginning way back in 1998 in the dark back room of the shop. Long story short, after a 4 year frame-off rebuild, 2 Power Tours, and a few car shows, we got kind of bored. Which left two options sitting before us: make the truck fast (which we would eventually get back around to), or start another project. Enter the blue pile Camaro..

Resting Place

Stay Classy!The Victim

The car, a base model blue on blue 1979 Camaro 305 automatic, had been sitting in a shop for around 10 years when we picked it up in July 2005. It had been driven until the time it was parked by the owner’s ex-wife, and he had refused to sell it to several dirt racers who just wanted to, in his words, “cut it up.” Snickering to ourselves, we told him of our plans (sort of..) and loaded it up for the trip home.

Sitting inside over the years had kept it virtually rust free – a welcome revelation after fighting rust gremlins for literally years on the truck.

On to the Work

Tear downIMG_1634Tear down started as soon as we got home, and the brainstorming began. We knew we wanted something that would be quick, but in what way? Coming from a drag racing background, the most logical choice would have been simple: 6-point roll cage, Caltracs, slicks, and a severe weight reduction plan.

…Nobody’s ever accused us of being logical, though. Thanks to an increasing interest in autocross and road racing, we decided that building half a car (drag only), just wasn’t an option. We wanted to build a car that was competent, if not perfect, for everything – drag racingautocrossspeed runs, and some road course time. This presented several requirements right off the bat:

  • It must be simple – every piece must earn it’s keep, be easy to access, and easy to adjust
  • It must be tuneable – if we’re going to realistically drag race one weekend and autocross the next, a tuneable, adaptable suspension is a must
  • It has to be streetable  – one of the primary goals for this car was to compete at Hot Rod’s Drag Week. And besides, if a drag-only car is half a car, a trailer-only car is no car in this scenario

So, with a few ground rules laid out, we began research. With both budget, and the basic ideas of making a drag car work in mind, the search began for a solution that could do it all, and be simple enough that we could tune it.

from HotRod.comHatching the Plan

About the time we were plotting our course, a new issue of Hot Rod Magazine arrived with a 69 Camaro on the cover doing the unthinkable – drifting. At this time, in Hot Rod at least, the G-machine craze was still a bit under wraps. We instantly pored over the article, soaking up every detail of the setup we could get, and scouring the web for more.

The car utilized a truck arm setup similar to those run in NASCAR (and to the truck already sitting in the shop), which looked simple enough. Utilizing coilovers and including a range of adjustment on various pieces seemed tuneable enough. After some searching we found that the raw parts for the setup were cheap enough. We’d also seen plenty of trucks with this setup hooking hard at the drag strip. So it was settled.

Armed only with tight pockets, determination, a bit of inspiration from the sideways green and blue monster, and pictures of a few other truck arm installs on cars (none on a second gen), we decided that the rear of the car would match the rear of the truck (what could possibly go wrong?). This decision sealed the fate of our next 2 years in the shop. What sounded like a great idea turned into an amazing, often overwhelming amount of work doing what we came to lovingly refer to as ‘stuffing 38 pounds of potatoes into a 5 pound sack.’

It was then time to get to work. See how the proceedings went starting on the individual pages: Chassis, Body/Paint. (more to be added as time permits)



  • Solid aluminum subframe bushings
  • Weld in Competition Engineering SFCs
  • 12 Point Cage – 1 3/4″ ERW
  • Moroso Solid Engine Mounts
  • Subframe seems welded
  • Rear framerails welded to body
  • Fabricated Sheet Metal Wheel Tubs
  • Floorpan clearanced front and rear for trailing arms

Rear Suspension

  • Stock Car Products Nascar Truck Trailing Arms
  • Mono Ball Bushings, Custom Coilover Mounts
  • 200 lb QA1 Coilover 12-way Adjustables
  • Fabricated Panhard Bar/Shock Crossmember and Mounts
  • Speedway 11″ Disc Brake Setup
  • Swaybar may be added if necessary

Front Suspension

  • SPC Adjustable Rod End UCAs
  • Stock UCA mounts removed, custom geometry
  • Reinforced Stock Lower Arms
  • Wilwood 12″ Rotors w/Alum Hubs
  • Wilwood 6-piston Calipers
  • QA1 Bolt-In 12-way Adjustable Coilovers/650 lb springs
  • Suspension Techniques 1 1/4″ Sway Bar (customized for adjustability)


  • Chrysler Salsa Red
  • Harwood Bolt-on 3″ Cowl Fiberglass Hood
  • All trim and emblems removed/filled
  • Impact bars removed from doors
  • Passenger side front floorboard replaced (rust)
  • Fabricated 3/4″ Square tube front bumper support
  • Rear Bumper lightened/Receiver Hitch installed

Wheels & Tires


  • Cragar Soft 8 – 17×8 / 4 1/2″ BS front, 17×9 / 5″ BS rear
  • Sumitomo HTR Z – 245/45 front, 275/40 rear

Drag Race:

  • Summit Fast-Fives – 15×4 front, 15×10 rear
  • 225/65 fronts, M/T ET Drag 28×11.5 rear

Autocross/Road Race:

  • 18×11 XXR 531s front and rear
  • 315/30 Falken Azenis RT615K

  • 377 Cubic Inch (destroked 400) Small Block Chevrolet
  • Built by Acme Performance Engines
  • Scat 9000 Series Lightweight Crank
  • Renegade CNC Ported Heads
  • Mahle lightweight pistons
  • H-Beam Rods
  • 12:1+ compression
  • Lunati Solid Roller Camshaft
  • Steel Roller Rockers w/ Stud Girdles
  • MSD Digital 6+/MSD with adj. Timing Retard
  • MSD Pro-Billet Distributor
  • Professional Products Hurricane Intake
  • QuickFuel 850
  • Hooker 1 5/8″ Super Comp Headers
  • Northern Aluminum Radiator & Fan Shroud
  • Flex-A-Lite Black Magic Extreme Electric Fan


  • Pypes 2.5″ X-pipe clearanced for crossmember
  • Magnaflow 4″ mufflers with turndowns in front of axle

Drag Race:

  • Pypes 3″ X-Pipe/Oval Exit Low Profile SpinTechs
  • 3″ Schoenfeld IMCA mufflers at header, turnouts



  • Tremec TKO600 Extreme by American Powertrain
  • Lakewood Bellhousing
  • Fidanza 13 lb. Aluminum Flywheel
  • Centerforce DFX Clutch
  • 9″ Ford Rear, 3.70 gears with torsen limited slip

Drag Race:

  • Turbo 350 built by Pro-Bilt Transmissions
  • B&M Shift Kit
  • 8″ Torque Converter (originally set up for a BBC w/ transbrake)
  • 9 Inch Ford rear end
  • Strange aluminum housing
  • Daytona pinion support
  • Lightweight spool/Lightened 5.83 gears


  • Aluminum Sheet Dash
  • Racepak UDX Street Dash  Autometer Shift Lite
  • Kirkey 45.1 cage padding
  • Moroso Switch Panel
  • APC Race Seats
  • Grant pro stock steering wheel w/ disconnect
  • Wilwood racing pedals with reversed master cylinders under dash
  • reservoirs accessed through passenger side cowl panel
  • RCI 3″ 5-point harnesses
  • Lowe’s Attic insulation
  • Lowe’s black Indoor/Outdoor carpet

Pics & Video



The crowning achievement of Drag Week 2009 – 10.998 at 124 in Muncie, IN

Hitting the road course during the Optima Search for the Ultimate Street Car at Texas Motor Speedway

Check out more on our YouTube channel.