Christmas may have already come and gone, but it’s never too early to start the wish list for next year. This 1968 Chevrolet Camaro muscle car equipped with a NASCAR V8 ripped from a super late model race car should be right at the top of your list.
Even if you weren’t into cars this Chevy Camaro would absolutely command your attention. The howl from the high-strung small-block smashing off its 7,000 rpm redline, paired with the high pitched whine of straight cut gears in the dog box transmission ensures that.
The Chevrolet Camaro is owned by Dennis McCarthy whose father is the man responsible for building all the cars you’ve seen in the Fast and Furious movies. Apparently, this old asphalt race car with a perfectly good NASCAR-spec V8 engine was just bumming around at his dad’s shop. The perfect donor vehicle.
The engine is fully built with trick stuff like Jesel adjustable shaft rockers, a solid roller cam, and adjustable lifters. It’s built for high revs, with power estimated to be in the high-500 range–in a car weighing less than 3,000 lbs.
Even better than the Chevrolet Camaro’s engine is the Jerico WC4-4 transmission it’s paired with. The WC4-4 is an ex NASCAR Winston Cup four-speed transmission from the early 2000s most likely. The straight-cut box allows for shifting without the clutch, no matter how violent the driveline behaves. Power is routed to the ground through 4.88 gearing in the rear, meaning this thing must be unbearably loud at highway speeds. Such is the tradeoff for shifting at will.
Dealing with the newfound forces is a stock subframe and unibody but beefed up with a full cage that extends forward through the firewall and rearward into the trunk, a Hotchkiss sway bar, Detroit Speed lower control arms, and JRi triple-adjustable coilovers. And it all rides on 18-inch Minilite style wheels, the rears are 315s, and wear Dodge Demon-spec rubber. Everything is dragged back down to reality using a set of big Wilwood brakes, which is commonplace on restomod Chevrolet Camaro builds.
The interior of this Chevy muscle car is completely redone with an old-school Trans-Am, or early NASCAR vibe. Tinwork dash, central tach, with the rest of the critical gauges offset to the side. Period correct low buckets and Simpson harnesses complete the look. Hopefully you remembered your HANS device.