Gap Racing Goes All Out On This Custom-Built 1971 Camaro


All photos courtesy of John Jackson

This 1971 Camaro was built by Gap Racing and is a stunning example of what can be done when the ingenuity of great minds meets the skill of a craftsman’s hands. Back in 2016, when the car was unveiled at SEMA, it won the GM design award. Just recently, at the Goodguys event in Fort Worth, Texas, it won the builders’ Choice award. In addition, it also garnered a top-five award at Goodguys meet in Columbus, Ohio, and was a Muscle Machine finalist.

The blue on this car is beautiful. We just love the color and style on this build.

With its list of awards and ridiculously awesome build from both a mechanical and an aesthetic viewpoint, we knew we were going to have to find out more. To that end, we got in touch with the folks that put the car together and talked to Tim Palazzolo over at Gap Racing to get the low-down on this high-end build.


Look at that stance.

“We built this car for a good friend, Rob Roberts,” Tim explained. “He wanted a car that he and his son could take to Cruise the Coast and the Hot Rod Power Tour. They wanted a car they could drive and enjoy. Rob had a Corvette ZR1, and wanted something that would drive like that and have the incredible classic style of a 1971 Camaro.”

We talk about high-detailed builds a lot, but this is in the upper echelons of what it means to build a car down the very smallest details.

“The theme of the car was to refine its body and looks,” Tim continued. “We did a lot of work on the tail panel, and sucked the rear bumper in toward the valance.” They also did a lot of work on the trunk lid to get everything to line up, and added metal to the doors to tighten the gaps. “We welded in the additional metal, blended it, and filled the void.”


The drivetrain is made-up of a Chevrolet Performance LS9 engine built with a Brian Tooley stage-three camshaft, a Bowler six-speed transmission, 15-inch Baer brakes, and Detroit Speed suspension all the way around. With the current setup, it makes 720-horsepower and 680 lb./ft. of torque.

The brake setup on this Camaro is completely manual and does not have booster of any kind.

They also moved the frame rails in the back so they could move the four-link inward to allow the larger wheels to fit and the car to sit lower to the ground. In an effort to keep things clean, the dry-sump and intercooler have been moved to the trunk.

During the build, the team at Gap Racing  focused on refining the car to get the look that they wanted. They added quite a bit of carbon fiber detailing to a stunning custom interior that’s really well designed. The carbon fiber shows itself on the rear view mirrors, spoiler, and front splitter. “The firewall is carbon, the fenders wells are carbon, and the engine cover is carbon,” Tim said. “Everything that looks like carbon is real carbon.”

The carbon under the hood is a really nice touch and adds to the look of this build.

The interior is back-seat delete and the front seats are  Recaro racing seats that have been recovered for a perfect match to the other upholstery work. Other interior features include a set of Racepak gauges, Restomod A/C, and custom switches from Ironworks.

The interior is stunning. This is the kind of car that looks just as good on the inside as it does on the outside, and that's really saying something.

Overall, this is one of the cleanest, and straightest 1971 Camaro builds that we’ve seen. All of the gaps are super tight and the depth of the paint is absolutely stunning. We love this thing and can’t wait to see what Gap Racing comes out with next year.

The top two pictures here show just how tight the lines are looking at it from the side, while the bottom two images show how nice the interior looks in comparison to the exterior. Beautiful.

About the author

Kyler Lacey

A 2015 Graduate from Whitworth University, Kyler has always loved cars. He grew up with his dad's '67 Camaro in the garage and started turning wrenches at a young age. At seventeen, he bought his first classic, a '57 Chevy Bel Air four-door, and has since added a '66 Plymouth Valiant and '97 Cadillac Deville to his collection. When he isn't writing for Power Automedia, he's out shooting pictures at car shows, hiking in the forests of the beautiful Pacific Northwest, or working on something in the garage.
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