Doug Young has the patience of Job. He's been waiting nearly two years to get his car in the magazine. We first saw his Camaro last year at a cruise night at Bob's Big Boy in Burbank, California, where we staked out his car until he returned to it to drive home. After asking several probing questions trying to figure out if the car was legit, we promised to call soon to schedule a photo shoot.
Soon turned into several months, and we didn't actually shoot these pictures until January of this year. At that time, we were working on the June '10 issue (due to be on sale in April), and we assured Doug his car would be in it. That never happened. It got cut for space.
For a variety of reasons, this article has been cut from every issue since then, but not because it's not good enough. On the contrary, it is absolutely worthy of being in the pages of CC. Hopefully it was worth the wait.
In addition to this car's killer stance, Doug's Camaro has a cool backstory-he's owned it for 18 years. He bought it when he was 16 from a guy named Larry in Chino, California, who listed the car in Auto Trader for the paltry sum of $3,800, and it had a 327, a four-speed, and Center Lines. What more could you ask for? Even cooler than that-it's still wearing those Center Lines, and they look better than ever on this car, which we feel justified in calling a sleeper, even though Doug drives around town on those slicks. Despite those bigs 'n' littles, this is one deceptive Camaro-it really keeps you guessing at just how fast it might be. You need keen eyes to spot the well-hidden rollbar, and the full exhaust with tailpipes really muffles the racket of the solid roller 383 that currently powers this first-gen-until Doug rolls open the secondaries of his Demon carburetor. Then, there's no doubting this car's quarter-mile times in the 11.40-second range.
Doug built this car with help from his older brother, Scott, and his father, who passed away almost three years ago. Doug told us he wishes his dad were still around to see the car today, but we suspect there's so much of his dad in the car, it's like he's there with Doug each time he sits in the driver seat and turns the key.
Who: Doug Young
What: '68 Chevrolet Camaro
Where: Canyon Country, California, a community in the city of Santa Clarita
Engine: F&F Machining in North Hollywood, California, did all the prep work on this 350-inch small-block, punched 0.030 over and stroked to 383 ci. Doug put it together with a Scat crank, stock 350 rods, and forged TRW pistons. The solid roller cam is a custom grind that measures 260/268 degrees duration at 0.050-inch tappet lift. Comp lifters and pushrods actuate Comp roller rocker arms, pushing the intake valves 0.610 inch off their seats. The exhaust lift is an equally impressive 0.615. The valves themselves are 2.08 and 1.94 inches and are also stainless steel. The cylinder heads are cast-iron Dart Sportsmans and were treated to "lots of headwork," according to Doug. The Barry Grant 750-cfm Demon carburetor feeds an Edelbrock Super Victor intake with annular discharge boosters.
Ignition: The stock distributor was fitted with a PerTronix pickup, and an MSD Digital 6 ignition box handles the sparking duties.
Exhaust: Doug bolted up a pair of big-tube Hooker Super Competition headers to his small-block. The 17/8-inch primaries dump into 3-inch collectors. The rest of the system was also constructed with 3-inch tubing with DynoMax race mufflers welded in.
Transmission: Seeking the dragstrip consistency of an automatic transmission, Doug swapped his manual trans for a bulletproof TH400 built by A1 Transmission, which relocated to Vancouver, Washington. It stalls at between 2,500 and 3,000 rpm with a 10-inch converter, and he ratchets through the gears of his reverse manual valvebody with the help of a B&M shifter. Oh, there's a transbrake, too, just to make things even more interesting.
Rearend: The driveshaft is stock GM, and it leads to a 12-bolt rear Doug bought from an Auto Trader ad for $300. It's stuffed with 4.10 gears and has survived more than 200 dragstrip passes.
Suspension: Mostly stock stuff here. Doug installed 90/10 shocks up front and a pair of Landrum leaf springs in the back helped out by a set of CalTracs bars.
Brakes/Wheels/Tires: Stock discs and 12-inch rear drums slow the car. The front Center Lines measure 3.5x15 inches and hold a cheapo, skinny radial tire; 28x10.5-inch Mickey Thompson E.T. Drag slicks are mounted on the 15x10 Center Lines out back.
Interior: Neat, clean, and understated best describe this Camaro's interior. Everything is mostly stock with the addition of the B&M Pro Ratchet shifter and a trio of universal-mount Auto Meter gauges. We especially like the factory tic-toc-tach. The six-point Chris Alston rollbar is virtually invisible from the outside of the car. The R.J.S. harnesses are about the only giveaway that this car is fast.
Paint/Body: All steel. No fiberglass add-ons or cowl hoods. Doug says his car weighs 3,400 pounds in race trim. That attractive shade of blue is Chevrolet Indigo Blue, and it was sprayed by John Vercoutere. R.W. Autobody in North Hollywood did all the bodywork.
Power: We have no reason to doubt Doug's claims that his engine makes 540 hp and 500 lb-ft. His best pass was at LACR, where he ran an 11.48 at 118 mph. He says he's hit 122 in the quarter-mile.