There are only a select few model names that are more cherished in the Chevrolet legacy than the Camaro. The model’s long-running production, along with its reputation filled with both power and agility, put it into the upper echelon of what it means to be a performance car. Chevy started strong in 1967, and continues to push the bounds of performance with the Camaro – even today. There is no better representation than the first model year of the first generation: the 1967 Camaro.
This gorgeous ride belongs to Kevin Holm of Bremerton, Washington. The iconic look of the first-generation melds well with the updated stance and color combination. The deep silver, contrasted against the deep black stripes down the center of the body, set this beauty apart from the pack and really make it stand out as a show-worthy muscle car. We love the look of Kevin’s Camaro. But even more than that, it was the deep, lopey idle that first attracted us to this show-stopping hot rod.
A Lifelong Dream Becomes A Reality
For Kevin, owning a Camaro like this has been a dream for as long as he can remember. “I’ve always wanted a Camaro like this,” Kevin told us. “It’s the best year. The lines, the wing windows, it’s really everything about them.” For Kevin, it was more than just being a first-generation Camaro, it had to be a ’67, it had to be a stick, and it had to be drivable.
“I bought the car sight-unseen off of eBay,” Kevin detailed. He saw the ad on the website, but had never actually seen, sat in, or touched the car before buying it. A risky move by all accounts, but one that definitely paid off in Kevin’s experience. “It was hard to find something like this that wasn’t cut up to race, and I wanted a stick, so those were two big hurdles to overcome.” Knowing he was looking for a rare creature, when he saw this car, he jumped on it.
The car had been rebuilt several years before he found it, and was somewhere between restoration and restomod. The paint and bodywork were done as you see today, and the interior is basically untouched. It’s under the hood, and under the body, where Kevin has made many of the changes.
The car was originally a 327 small-block car with a four-speed manual transmission, but it came with a mildly built 302 cubic-incher under the hood. “That’s really what made me fall in love with the de-stroked, small-bore engines,” Kevin explained. He really liked the way he could push the engine RPM so high.
The Big Changes
Part of the reason Kevin picked this car, was because he could drive it while he waited until his budget could afford to build what he wanted. He wanted something he could drive, and this was rebuilt as a driver. As a bonus, it came with a Tremec TKO manual transmission and 12-bolt 4.11-geared rearend—both of which are still in the car today.
For Kevin, one of the things that needed to change right away was the stance and the handling. He rebuilt the suspension and installed all RideTech Shockwave equipment. The rear suspension features a RideTech four-link system. It has sway bars on the front and rear, and Strong Arm upper and lower control arms. The stance of the car is totally adjustable by air through a control panel in the dash.
Kevin also installed a Holley Sniper-fed 383 cubic-inch mill with AFR heads, an Edelbrock Air Gap intake manifold, all forged internals, a SCAT crankshaft, and a custom camshaft by Comp Cams. The custom stick gives Kevin’s Camaro a great sound, and the engine runs really well. “I really wasn’t sure what to get for a cam. I called and talked to Comp and told them everything that I was running, and they made me a custom camshaft,” Kevin said.
Kevin has also upgraded the brakes with a hydroboost system that runs off of his power steering, and works directly with the Wilwood master cylinder. The radiator is copper and brass, and airflow is assisted by a single electric fan. “The debate I had was whether I go with two little fans or one big one,” he said, “the one big one seems to be keeping it cool so far.”
Kevin has done away with the old V-belt and added a Billet Specialties serpentine conversion. He also added a high-performance alternator to supply the needed amperes for the air suspension, and the idea that someday he is going to install a high-performance stereo system that will need the extra power.
The Personal Touches
The little things are really what makes each car different. It’s the different choices that people make when building their cars that make them stand out. For Kevin, one of these choices was the color combination under the hood.
The black valve covers were originally orange. That is the way they came from Chevrolet Performance, but during the build process he had the idea that black would work better. Although the classic Chevy orange would have been cool, it’s hard to argue the validity of choosing the ultra-sleek look of the black valve covers in contrast to the silver paint and the aluminum and silver finishes on the engine. With the black air cleaner, the look is well-rounded.
Another traditional thing that Kevin did, was keep the stock-style interior. “I wanted to keep it period correct,” Kevin told us. “I wanted to get in it and know that I was getting in a ’67 Camaro.” While custom interiors are often cool, and generally compliment the build they are in, Kevin thinks that sometimes they can take away from the overall package. “We buy these cars because of what they are, because they are old, and if you change them too much, they loose some of that.”
The only changes to the inside are the ididit tilt-steering column with a Nardy steering wheel, air-ride controls, Sniper EFI display, push button start, and custom gauges. The air-ride controls are hidden in the ashtray and the Sniper EFI display can be disconnected and put in the glove box. Kevin can hide most of what changes have been made to the interior.
“What I really like are the seats,” Kevin said. “They sit right below the door line so you can see straight through the car and it’s totally open. It just looks really, really good.” With the coupe body-style and the low-profile stock seats, looking through the windows really has an open feel that enhances the muscle car look. It adds to the stance in a way that it almost makes the top seem more streamlined to the body since everything lines up so nice.
All-in-all, this Camaro easily lives up to the reputation set by the name. Kevin’s Camaro is a near perfect mixture of custom and classic style. Even though it has a little more power than it came with from the factory (and it undoubtedly handles better) this car is unmistakably a 1967 Camaro. Whether it’s the look, the sound, or the feel of this car, when you get in it you know that it’s a classic, and a true piece of American muscle.