ProCharged 581ci Big-Block Pro-Touring ’72 Camaro

The pro-touring scene across the country is blowing up, literally. It seems as though every second-hand muscle car is getting swooped up by prospecting enthusiasts and transformed into corner-hooking sleds. Case in point, the ’72 Camaro we found on in the midst of a complete makeover.

For years, the owner of this Camaro drove the car in its current state for nearly a decade. For all you young bucks on there, don’t let the Van Halen paint job fool you, this was actually the style in the early ’90s. Even with the roots-type supercharger protruding through the hood, it was driven as a semi-serious pro-touring car when the hobby was in its infancy. This time around, in its second coming of life. Steve Johnston’s Camaro project is in full swing and has begun with an ultra-real rendering by Kris Horton.

The car is currently being built as closely to the renderings as possible, albeit with the ’90s paint scheme. With a radical build of this magnitude, nothing was left to chance. This Camaro is all business. With Silver State and one-mile top speed events in the future, a lot I am trying to incorporate a lot of aerodynamic components to help it achieve a 200-plus mph time slip.

Of course, traction was critical. To offset any wheel hop or cornering abilities, Forgeline wheels were ordered in 18×10.5-/18×13-inch front/rear wrapped in P295/30/R18 rubber up front while a larger set of P345/35/R18’s sit out back.

Currently, the Camaro is using the SPC adjustable arms, AFX spindles, Baer Extreme Plus (6s) front brakes with 14-inch rotors, Howe tall ball joints, center link and tie rods, and a speedway engineering swaybar. Custom spring adjusters were made to make it even easier to adjust height. Shocks are from RCD and are a modified Bilstein. The steering box is a custom Lee setup with a slower ratio for high speed.

To keep things grounded, a GoodAero wing was utilized. Built from Carbon fiber, this beautiful piece weighs about 5lbs. Finally, to the bread and butter of this entire build.  Beginning with a 581ci big-block, an F2 ProCharger was plugged over the carburetor. Even with a mild tune and a lowly, 5,500 rpm, the the engine produced 1,234 and was still climbing.

Torque came in at 1,178lb-ft and was also still climbing. By 3,400 rpm the motor was already making about 800lb-ft of torque. At the time it was on the dyno, it had no intercooler and a different carburetor hat and a smaller than recommended headers and exhaust. The build is good for about 7,400 rpm of sheer terror.

Balance was important as well. With that in mind, the engine was set back 10 inches. Extra room was also needed for the 2 1/2-0inch primary tubes, funneled into 5-inch oval exhaust pipes. Mindful of ground clearance, the collector was flattened. Mufflers go behind those headers into two, 5-inch Spintechs with oval in and out sections. then, it splits into four, 3 1/2-inch sections.

Handling all the power is no joke, literally. A car of this magnitude was going to need a special slushbox. It needed engine braking capabilities, manual shifting and the ability to handle full-throttle shifts into overdrive. A Gm 4L80E was called into action by Rossler, who happens to build the fastest automatics in the world. The overdrive was then modified with extra clutch packs and an SFI approved shroud in case things go awry.

Fuel consumption was also addressed. To assure this mill never goes lean, a custom-built, 45 gallon fuel cell was added. Inside the cell sits a bladder, foam, surge tank and dual Aeromotive A1000 pumps. Yeah, this beast is thirsty. While we don’t have any completion pictures, we can assure you this Camaro is going to be a thriller. Make sure to check back on the build thread at for more information later on.


About the author

Sean Haggai

The former Associate Editor of Chevy High Performance, joins publication Chevy Hardcore, Sean is a true blue Bow Tie guy and a core do-it-yourself technician. If it doesn't run a "mouse motor" or a big rat between fenders, Sean ain't interested.
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