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1967 Chevy Camaro - Sucker Sport

Steve Gray’s ’67 Camaro

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Obviously, this isn't your average SS clone—it's a bit more than that. Owner Steve Gray from Valencia, California, always wanted an SS, so he decided to build one. But Steve can't leave well enough alone, even on a show vehicle, so he decided that it also needed to be fast. While the 396 air cleaner on the big-block isn't fooling anyone once they see the size of the headers, there's still a lot you might miss.

The heads are AFR aluminum castings, for instance, which have had their logos epoxied and painted so as to pass for factory units. While other sleights of hand like the high-rise intake or "it's only a stocker" Holley Carb might get caught by seasoned enthusiasts, they might not guess that the pump-gas mill put out 586 hp on the dyno, along with 520 lb-ft of torque.

But the fun doesn't stop at the engine. Steve wanted the grunt of a steep gear but the cruise capabilities of a normal driver, so he opted for a 765R4 transmission from Bowtie Overdrives. The overdrive trans enables Steve's Camaro to come off the line hard, courtesy of a 2,800 stall converter and 4.56 gears, yet still have a mellow cruise rpm on the freeway.

Perhaps the most glaring difference between Steve's SS and a normal one is the check box for ordering 28x11.50 Mickey Thompson E.T. Streets didn't exist back in 1967. We asked Steve why he would ruin the vehicle's sleeper image with a set of near-slicks at 10 psi, and his answer was simple: "I like traction. Doing endless burnouts got old just after high school. People build these crazy-horsepower cars, and then get stoplight stomped by a car with half the power because they can't hook up. I can," Steve said. "It's not the ultimate sleeper, but it's fun to see how much of the deception people can catch."

Steve said some people walk right past the car, while others look closer. "I've had people comment about the tires, traction bars, and a few people even spotted the tiny AFR logo on the heads and figured out they were aluminum." Of course, Steve also has plans for the future. "It needs to be quieter, have a little more carb, and you never know, I might even put nitrous on it. Or maybe," Steve said with a smile, "it already has it—and you just didn't catch it." Whatever his future plans are for the Camaro, you can bet we'd think twice about going head to head with him at a stoplight. And that's just how Steve likes it.

Tech Notes

What: '67 Chevrolet Camaro

Owner: Steve Gray

Where: Valencia, CA, home of Six Flags Magic Mountain!

Engine: The bottom end of Steve's Chevy is a plain 454 bored 0.030 over, which is practically a small-block these days. Other than ARP rod bolts, the rotating assembly is pretty much stock, including a GM steel crank. Moving on up the engine, Steve eschewed the popular roller setup for a solid cam because he didn't want to have to rebuild roller lifters. The bumpstick comes in at 252 degrees duration at 0.050, with "around 0.600" lift, and a 106-degree lobe separation. The pushrods, springs, and valves are all Manley hardware, with Summit-brand roller rockers being the only exception. For high-end breathing, Steve got a little tricky with the heads, running 305cc AFR units that have been CNC ported to flow 358 cfm on the intake, and 277 cfm on the exhaust. A 850-cfm, box-stock Holley carb handles airflow duties in conjunction with an Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake. The combo was good for 584 hp at 6,800 rpm, and 520 lb-ft at 5,300 rpm on Burbank Speed's engine dyno.

Transmission/Rearend: The transmission in Steve's Camaro is a hybrid of a bunch of different parts built by Bow Tie Overdrives and is dubbed a 765R4. Before you run out and buy one, note that the price on their website is "$Arm&Leg." The rearend is a 12 bolt stuffed with 4.56:1 Richmond Gears, but retains a factory-style limited slip for streetability.

Exhaust: Hooker Super Competition headers that are 25⁄8-inch off the header flanges are perhaps the biggest clue that something is going on, although the 3-inch Flowmasters also make plenty of wonderful noise. The exhaust exits at the bumper.

Interior: Steve's Camaro is full of subtle surprises inside, including a fold-down rear seat and a factory, in-dash tachometer. Certain speed concessions were made, however, such as the Auto Meter tachometer and B&M Pro Ratchet shifter.

Frame/Suspension: To keep the big-block torque from twisting the car up, Steve installed subframe connectors, while Lakewood 90/10 drag shocks and Moroso drag springs keep the front end up and transferring weight. The rear is planted with 50/50 Lakewoods, and a set of Cal-Tracs traction bars.

Wheels/Tires: A set of Rally wheels are bolted on to the factory braking system, although Steve modified the rears with rim screws that are cleverly hidden by trim rings. Rolling stock consists of 225/60R15 BFGoodrich Radial T/As up front, and 28x11.50 Mickey Thompson E.T. Streets out back.

Paint and Body: The Camaro was painted in classic SS red and black colors by Unlimited Auto Body in Simi Valley, CA.

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