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Real Street Eliminator XV Coverage

Six readers brutalize their cars for magazine glory.

Photography by CC Bonobos,

Fourth Place
Frank Scopelliti '68 ChevyCamaro

"This car started as a C4 Corvette rear suspension." So said FrankScopelliti when asked about the origins of the '68 Camaro. "I had atwo-wheel-drive '72 Blazer that was lowered and turned into a sort ofstreet roadster truck, but I wanted to build a car that would reallyperform. I actually wanted an early Mustang, but I had so much Chevystuff I went looking for a Camaro."

Although the Corvette IRS was the impetus for the project, it's easy tooverlook. The rear wheels tuck into the wheelwells perfectly without theuse of radical offsets and without displaying any weird camber angles.It's indicative of the planning and effort that Frank--a mechanicalengineer--put into the project. During the rear conversion, Frank alsoadded frame connectors and says the car now rides far better than astock leaf-sprung first-gen, a statement that seemed to bear truth onthe ride-and-drive. In fact, the only real glitch in the Camaro's streetperformance was an intermittent engine miss, the result of an electricalgremlin Frank has yet to exorcise, though not for lack of trying.

Overall, the Camaro represents a solid RSE car: It does everythingfairly well, yet no one area of proficiency is so pumped up that itdetracts from another. Outfitting first-gen Camaros with trick hardwarein the name of Pro Touring is currently a hot topic, but the finalproduct of these efforts often has a more impressive tech sheet thantrack record. Frank's Camaro proved it could offer both.


Car: '68 Chevy Camaro

Owner: Frank Scopelliti, White Plains, NY

Engine: Chevy 350 stroked to 383 ci by American Speed in Modine,Illinois, using Speed-Pro pistons to make 9.5:1

Heads: AFR 195cc with CNC porting and 2.02/1.60-inch valves

Induction: Edelbrock Pro-Flo EFI system using Edelbrocksingle-plane intake, 1,000-cfm throttle-body, and 36-lb/hr injectorsmanaged by a Holley Commander 950 system

Camshaft: Comp Cams hydraulic roller with 235/244 degreesduration at 0.050 and 0.580/0.590 inch lift

Exhaust: 15/8-inch primaries feeding a Spintech 21/2-inchside-exit system

Transmission: Borg-Warner T56 six-speed manual from '96 LT1Camaro with Centerforce Dual-Friction clutch, McLeod flywheel, andcustom driveshaft from Denny's

Rearend: '85 Corvette Dana 44 differential with 3.73:1 gears

Suspension: Front: Stock '68 Camaro with Global West Category 5tubular arms, springs, Del-a-lum bushings, and 1-inch sway bar and Konishocks; Rear: '85 Corvette IRS with stock fiberglass transverse leafspring, Koni shocks, and polyurethane bushings

Brakes: Front: Wilwood four-piston Superlite with 12.2-inchrotors; Rear: Stock '85 Corvette

Wheels/Tires: American Racing Torq-Thrust II with 17x8 frontmounting BFG KDWs in 245/245-17 and, 17x9.5 rear with Nitto Xtreme Dragin 275/40-17

'68 Camaro Performance Data
60-0 BrakingCraftsmanshipEngineeringRide-and-Drive

All but one RSE car had 17-inchwheel/tire combos, and it had 16s.

Fifth Place
Stephan Barthe '80 Corvette

On paper, it appeared Stephan was a bit outgunned with his '80 Corvette.He had planned on showing up armed with a much stronger small-block thatgrenaded a mere week before Real Street began. To make it even morechallenging, he and wife Catherine faced a 900-mile drive from Quebec,Canada, to Norwalk, Ohio. One advantage was the clean Tremec five-speedswap that allowed his very mild small-block to knock down 21 mpg on thetrip.

The first big test of the day also became Stephan's biggest challenge.On his first pass, Norwalk's outstanding track preparation literallyripped the left rear halfshaft right out of the car. Stephan didn't havea spare, but Bob Brownell's father Bob Sr. offered to shuttle Stephan toa nearby driveline shop where the halfshaft was quickly repaired.Stephan then reassembled the Vette in time to compete in the brakingtest. Here is where he surprised most everyone by decelerating intothird with a 124.5-foot stopping distance.

"This guy's gotta get the big balls award!"
-The NY guys referring toSteph's 900-mile no-trailer trek

The next day was cold and wet but the Corvette shined in theride-and-drive portion of the event with excellent street manners fromthe very mild motor. The combination of the Tremec five-speed and the3.73 rear gears worked out well on both the highway and in town and theplasticar delivered minimal squeaks, rattles, or other gremlins thattend to infest older street machines. All this combined to position theCanadian with an excellent finish despite his drama-filled start.

Tech Notes

Car: '80 Corvette

Owner: Stephan Barthe, Charlesbourg, Quebec, Canada--he speaksFrench, can you?

Engine: The original 355ci small-block Chevy L-48 short-blockwith cast pistons, stock rods, and the stock crank

Heads: Vortec iron heads with some mild pocket porting,1.94/1.50-inch valves, and a three-angle valve job that helps makearound 230 cfm at 0.500 lift

Camshaft: Comp Cams 230 at 0.050 duration single-patternhydraulic cam with 0.480-inch lift

Induction: Edelbrock Performer Vortec dual-plane intake with thestock Q-jet 750-cfm carburetor. Stephan added an NOS Top Shot nitrouskit to the previous engine but didn't want to risk it for RSE.

Exhaust: DynoMax 15/8-inch headers with dual 21/2-inch exhaustthrough DynoMax UltraFlow stainless steel mufflers

Transmission: A Tremec TKO-500 five-speed conversion to which headapted the stock Muncie shifter handle. The clutch has a 2,600-poundLS7 pressure plate with a half-organic and ceramic disc. The driveshafthad to be shortened 1 inch.

Rearend: Dana 44 IRS with 3.73 Precision Gear and a Tom'sDifferential limited slip.

Front Suspension: Stock with a Vette Products front brace andStrange adjustable shocks along with a drilled cross-shaft to increasecaster to 5 degrees positive and a 11/2-inch antiroll bar

Rear Suspension: Vette Brakes lower control arm with lowerattaching point, Strange adjustable shocks, and a 5/8-inch antiroll bar

Body: Stock '80 Vette painted with Glasurit Torch Red enamel witha clearcoat by Richard Chevalier

Brakes: The stock calipers are fitted with Hawk HP-Plus pads andVette Brakes 113/4-inch rotors on all four corners.

Wheels/Tires: American Torq-Thrust II 17x8 wheels with 255/50R17Kumho Ectsa Supra 712 tires.

'80 Corvette Performance Data
60-0 BrakingCraftsmanshipEngineeringRide-and-Drive
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