First-generation Camaros are one of the most defining cars of the muscle car era. Not only are they distinct compared to their rival pony cars, they’re also Chevrolet’s original sales car, a vehicle that hit big when it was released and led to the production of many future generations. But it’s not just us enthusiasts here in the States that enjoy our bowtie queen. In fact, we recently found out from our friends at TCI Engineering that there is one bad little ‘Maro trumping everything in its path all the way over in Japan. Need we say more?
This 1969 Camaro RS built by Japan-based Rising Sun Engineering & Speed, and owned by shop owner Hideyuki Yamamoto, is one fine piece of automotive machinery. Just one look will have you drooling thanks to the expertly laid Dupont Orange paint, but what’s underneath the car is even more jaw-dropping.
Built with performance in mind, the Rising Sun Camaro makes use of a whole gamut of TCI suspension parts. From the chassis and independent front suspension to the 4-link in the rear, this bowtie beauty is sitting pretty with TCI components. Even the Camaro’s sway bars are from TCI.
Adding injury to insult, the Camaro also makes use of Ridetech ShockWave shocks, tubular A-arms, and an air ride system complete with a VIAIR compressor. Six-piston Wilwood brakes give the front of the Camaro plenty of stopping power while four-piston Wilwoods work their magic in the rear.
Now, with a chassis setup like this, you can just about bet that this stunning orange ‘Maro has plenty of oomph to go with all its performance contraptions. But this Camaro’s drivetrain is a little different than expected.
Instead of a Chevy crate engine of the 350ci or 427ci varieties, this car is fitted with a 1979 383ci small block with a bore/stroke ratio of 4.0 x 3.8 inches. Crammed inside you’ll find an ISKY camshaft, Edelbrock aluminum heads, intake manifold and 600cfm carburetor, an MSD ignition, and a header and exhaust combination from TCI and Flowmaster.
Pushing all the engine’s power to the pavement below is a 700r4 transmission linked to a factory/Shift Works combination shifter and an Inland Empire driveline. Out back you’ll find a Currie Ford 9-inch rearend with 3.70 gears. While Yamamoto couldn’t give us dyno results, he did tell us that the car’s top speed is about 140mph.
Planting the car’s power to the street are 18-inch flat black Budnick Velocity R wheels with a brushed rim. Running 7-inch wides on the front and 8-inch wides on the back, the wheels are wrapped in 225/40 R18 and 265/40 R18 Potenza RE050 rubber respectably.
With the Dupont Orange drawing the crowds, you may not have noticed the slight body modifications done to the car, including shaved side marker lights. Other than a few other finishing touches, the Rising Sun Camaro is factory gorgeous with a bit of spice.
While the exterior of the car is pretty stock looking, Yamamoto opted for a fully custom look for the interior.
Giving the car plenty of style and driving comfort are black Cerullo bucket seats. The custom door panels were made to match the seats not only in color but also in pattern.
Sabelt harnesses give the car even more of a competitive feel with the classic dash rings home of the good ‘ole days.
Encompassed in the dash, you’ll find Auto Meter gauges and a full Pioneer stereo system, with everything coming together nicely with a touch of bright work to set it apart.
With a car as cherry as this one, we knew there had to be a special reason for this $100k build and as it turns out, the Specialty Equipment Market Association is to blame. That’s because back in the day, Yamamoto saw a crisp ‘69 Camaro and knew he had to have one of his own.
The result is this fabulous build that took Yamamoto two years to complete but only a second to fall in love with.