The Chevrolet Camaro has been a performance icon since it first hit the scene back in 1967. And while General Motors has created some seriously potent iterations of the muscle car over the years, the most legendary versions of the Camaro have come from the aftermarket. Names like COPO and Yenko have defined the Chevrolet Camaro’s story since the early days, and continue to do so even today. Fewer people are likely familiar with the work of Baldwin Motion however, who themselves built some unbelievably cool versions of the GM muscle car back in the day. Thanks to the Legendary Motorcar YouTube channel, we now have a chance to see this one-of-one Baldwin Motion Camaro LS7 hit the streets.
Baldwin Motion Camaro: A One-Off Monster
Baldwin Motion was the result of a partnership between Motion Performance and Baldwin Auto Company in Baldwin, New York. The speed shop operated similarly to Yenko, combining desirable factory performance parts with their own in-house bits to create something very special. This particular 1969 Chevrolet Camaro started its life as a 396 cubic-inch V8 car, before the original owner wanted Baldwin Motion to stick their 427 Stage III package on it. The shop had another idea, instead suggesting the owner opt for the larger LS7 454 big block motor. Not to be confused with the high-revving LS7 from the 21st century, this old school big block was one of the baddest engines GM ever built.
The LS7 454 V8 Engine
Essentially a hybrid of the L88 and LS6 engines, this iron block motor featured a 12.25:1 compression ratio, forged pistons, rods and crankshaft, and a solid lifter camshaft. Combined with a bore of 4.251 inches and a stroke of 4.00 inches, its a serious bit of kit. Due to emissions regulations during the era, the LS7 454 never found its way into a production vehicle. GM did sell them as crate motors however, one of which is in this car. The LS7 454 in this particular Chevrolet Camaro cranks out 522 horsepower and about 600 lb-ft of torque. Mated to a M22 four-speed gearbox and a 4.88 Positraction 12 bolt rear end, the engine serves the muscle car quite well. This is the only LS7-powered Chevrolet Camaro ever built by Baldwin Motion, which makes it quite valuable as well.
Once this Baldwin Motion Chevrolet Camaro gets on the street, it makes one wonder why more of these things were never built. The sound of the big block V8 is infectious, and the hot rod nature of this beast is on full display. Even without giving it too much of a rip, it’s clear that this car would be an absolute joy to take on your favorite road or drag strip. It may not be a Yenko or a COPO car, but this thing is equally as badass.