If you read “The Office” in the Sept. ’12 issue, you’ve likely enjoyed an inside look at Jonathan Farrell’s 9-second* ’73 Camaro. In a world of smack-talking street racers, it was known as Daddy’s car because it was handed down to the Ferrell boys. This is Jonathan’s answer.
“We built this car to prove we could win without Dad’s car,” Jonathan says. “When we did, people claimed we used the ’73 engine, so we had to get both cars to run at the same time to prove it.”
The car runs without the timing lights at the strip, but the radar gun says 126 mph on the motor and 138 mph on the unit. According to our math, that’s low 10s and 9s in the quarter-mile.
Jonathan’s brother, Danny, found this car equipped with a 355 small-block swap. The LS engine was long gone. He wore the engine out racing LS-powered Camaros with a small shot of nitrous and gave the car to Jonathan for the build.
“I put this car together from spare parts from the ’73, and it turned out to be fast,” Jonathan says.“We raced a supercharged Mustang notch and won, so they brought another, faster Mustang, and we beat that, too. Then we beat a twin-turbo, LS-powered Silverado. That’s when people started accusing us of using the engine from the ’73.”
Now that the point has been made, the car is headed for competition in a local stock suspension class in either the PSCA or NMCA West. If you see Jonathan and the Camaro there, get ready to lose some cash.
Who: Jonathan Ferrell
What: ’99 Camaro SS
Where: Torrance, CA
Engine: Yes, the ’99 Camaro SS originally came with an LS1, but this one was swapped years ago for an iron-headed 355. Jonathan pulled that engine and dropped in his 377-inch Gen I small-block with Canfield 220cc heads and an Isky 280-ish at 0.050 duration cam with 0.640/0.650 lift. These guys like nitrous, so there is a 175hp Edelbrock Performer plate under the Quick Fuel 950 on the GMPP Bow Tie manifold.
Ignition: The distributor is an MSD Pro Billet with a Digital 6 Plus ignition box.
Suspension: The car has Lakewood 90/10 shocks in the front and Competition Engineering 50/50 in the rear with solid lower control arms, a Panhard bar, and an Edelbrock adjustable torque arm. The rear springs are from a V6 Camaro and SS stocks springs are in the front.
Wheels/Tires: Those are Weld Draglites. In race trim, the car is on M/T 28.0/10.5-15 ET Drags. On the street, it’s on 28x12.5-15 Sportsman Pros. The skinnies are 15x4.5s with the standard 165 VW tire.
Transmission: The trans is a simple TH400 with a shift kit built by Steve Sharp. It has a Continental 2,800 converter and a B&M Quicksilver shifter.
Rearend: Proving again that the Chevy 10-bolt is tough, this car uses the stock differential with 4.11:1 gears, a mini spool, and Tom’s Differential 28-spline axles.
Exhaust: The headers are Hooker Super Comps with 13⁄4 primaries into a 21⁄2-inch pipe and a MagnaFlow muffler.
Cool: The red hose sprouting out of the valve cover goes to a check valve that is welded at a 45-degree angle right after the collector. It is a kit from Mr. Gasket called a Header Evac System. It helps reduce crankcase pressure and sends any blow-by into the exhaust.
Interior: The interior is stock except for the Momo steering wheel and the shifter. The Auto Meters are in a custom panel made for the car.
Fuel: The car has a half-gallon Moroso tank that feeds C16 to the nitrous system using a separate Holley 125 pump. The BG 220 pump feeds the carb from a stock tank with a homemade sump.
Speed: “It will probably go high 9s, low 10s. It was going 138 against the truck. On the motor, it goes 126 against the radar gun,” Jonathan says.