The west coast grudge scene has always had a unique flavor and vibe that’s fueled by the people who make it happen. The Boddie family has been the backbone of bay area racing with Jay Boddie and his Nova making noise for years, but now his son, Jermaine Boddie Jr., is ready to step up his game. Boddie Jr.’s new 1967 Camaro is going to be a big-time player in the west coast grudge game when it hits the track.
Before this sexy Camaro made its way into the Boddie camp, Boddie Jr. was wheeling a 2000 Pontiac Trans Am in the grudge world. That car was powered by a 428 cubic-inch small-block, but when that wasn’t enough, Boddie Jr. moved to a healthy 758 cubic-inch big-block on nitrous to try and keep up with the competition. The problem was the Pontiac’s chassis just wasn’t up to the task, causing the car to either knock the tires off or go up on the bumper. After a lot of frustration, the call was made to go in a different direction.
“After the Trans Am was sold we got a 1965 Chevelle but it needed a lot. We worked on that car for a year and sold it, and that’s when we came across the Camaro. It was set up really nice so we got that and started all over. The goal was to get a car that could compete at a higher level on the west coast and the Camaro was perfect. I run small-tire and the the local guys got fast real quick. Roger Holder brought his Camaro out here and it just changed the game, so to keep up we knew we needed something better that could handle the power,” Boddie Jr. says.
Boddie Jr’s Camaro is an all-steel machine that uses the same 527 cubic-inch Miner Brothers HEMI his father’s Nova has. Instead of a pair of turbos providing boost, Boddie Jr.’s car has an F3X-136 ProCharger bolted to the front of the engine via a Chris Alston’s Chassisworks geardrive. Behind the Miner Brothers mill is an M&M Transmission three-speed unit along with a torque converter from Neal Chance Racing Converters. A Haltech 2500 Elite controls all of the engine’s functions, while a set of Menscer shocks keep the Camaro planted on the track.
The move from nitrous to boost was more of a strategic endeavor for Boddie Jr. Having all the cars in the camp use a similar setup allows for a smoother operation if there are any issues with either car.
“We were looking to have a similar setup on both cars we run. That way it would be easier to work on them and have extra parts on hand if there were any problems. It just makes it easier to be able to swap parts from each car when it comes to the engines rather than having two totally different setups,” Boddie Jr. explains.
When the car is finished, Boddie Jr. plans on sticking with no-time racing and might throw a set of big tires on the car so he can get some action. Toward the end of 2019, the Boddie family will be headed East to look for some grudge races and hit up some big no-time events, as well.