MUSCLE MAKEOVER -1972 Camaro

To be honest; the second-gen Camaros really haven’t had much attention till late, which is a damn shame because when done right, like this example, they look as tough as nails. Since what feels like, the beginning of time, the only Camaros people believed that were worth modifying were the first gens – the ’67 to ’69 cars. Perhaps it is the fact that pretty much anything and everything has been performed to these cars, that finally, the younger brother is starting to get some love. Builders like Steve Strope from Pure Vision, the team at the Roadster Shop and of course, the Ring Brothers have all put their stamp on the second gen cars so that has certainly helped the cause and dare I say it, the split bumper Camaro of Monza on Street Outlaws hasn’t hurt the models popularity either. Whatever the reason, I am happy to be showcasing this prime example.

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Chris Spaulding is the go-to guy in Perth when it comes to Camaros. Working from his home garage in Perth’s southern suburbs on his own rides and a bundle of mate’s cars, the man knows all when it comes to this breed. That is why another friend of his approached a few years back to create something that would turn heads and haul arse. “Originally he was talking about a first-gen but after some more talking I found out that as a young guy, back in the US, he actually owned a second-gen. I told him that I would love to have another crack at one those. It just became a waiting game to find the right example” said Chris.

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Funnily enough, the right car did turn up and it was something that Chris was very familiar with. “I had done a whole heap of work on the car for the guy, but his Mrs didn’t like the thing. It was too noisy and obnoxious looking, so he had to get rid of it” Thinking he had nailed right there and then it came as a real surprise that after looking over the car, the new owner decided he kinda liked it but kinda didn’t. “Before I knew it, I was gutting the car and starting again. As good as the car was; it just didn’t match the vision the new owner had in his mind. I didn’t argue, I wanted the challenge” stated Chris.

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After a few discussions, it became clear that the driveline was going to cop a pretty serious overhaul. Enter one GM Performance Parts 502 cubic inch big block crate motor. “Bang for buck, it is hard to go past these motors. It is just cheap and easy hp” explained Chris. All set to go, it is pretty much just a matter of bolting a few bits and pieces here and there and then wiring it up. The engine features decent internals, an RPM Airgap manifold wearing a 950cfm QFT carby and a set of Hedman headers that Chris picked up for the build. Wayne and Willeton Exhaust sorted the rest of the system out.

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Chris was asked to swap the manual box for a Turbo 400 with a TCI 3,500rpm converter with an anti-burst plate. A Final Drive Engineering built 9-inch carries a TruTrac centre along with 31-spline Moser axles and 3.5:1 gearing that replaces the old rear end. All that new power would be useless if the car didn’t handle well or further-more, have some sort of braking ability. Chris took it upon himself to seriously beef these areas up. Being a huge Detroit Speed Engineering (DSE) fan, their springs found their way under the car along with Koni shocks and a DES sway bar. Drilled and slotted Wilwood brakes appear on all four corners – 6 piston callipers up front and 4 piston version on the back. The wheel and tyre comb copped a small rework – the centres of the Coys 20-inch wheels were painted gloss black with the outers being left polished. Tyre wise, the Camaro now wears Continentals on the front and with some big Nitto 555s on the rear.

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The car has remained the same custom mix Gunmetal Grey but got some extra love from Chris’ main paint guy – Sam at Awesam Paintworks. The tidy-up over some of the areas has made a massive difference to the car as has the blacking out of all the chrome work which makes for quite a sinister look. The big block lurking in the bay called for the application of the 3-inch reverse cowl scoop and only adding to the aggressive feel of the ride are the front and rear spoilers. Visually, the car looks as hard as nails. Thankfully the car has the performance to back it up.

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Internally, the ride copped some neat accessories chosen by the owner – those trick looking Sparco race seats were big bucks, as was the MOMO wheel. The original dash bezel now wears Dakota Digital instrumentation. The later model centre console is fitted with a B&M Quicksilver shifter, and if the owner ever feels the need to try and drain out the sound of the big block, there is a comprehensive audio system featuring top-notch MB Quart speakers.

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After a few years of driving this fine example of Chevy goodness, the owner has elected to sell up and build a new project. If you think you would like to be the one holding the keys now, shoot me an email, and I can get you in touch to make a deal!

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