Home-Built Hero: Show-Stopping, LS-Powered ’69 Camaro

This show stopping 1969 Camaro is one that you won’t miss at a car show. It’s got an LS powerplant, Detroit speed suspension, and modest styling that puts an emphasis on the little details without going over the top or using flash and chrome to stand out. With a mild stance and a mirror-like Gunmetal Gray exterior color, this Camaro will never blend into a crowd.

The owner of this beauty is Chris Turley of Rutledge, Tennessee, and we talked to him to get the inside scoop on his custom-built Camaro. He’s had the car for six-years, and when he got it, it was nothing like what you see now. “It was in boxes when I bought it. I was interested in cars with the Pro-Touring look, and it came with some Detroit Speed parts,” he said.

A modest custom, this car looks good from every angle.

“I was actually looking for a Chevelle, but this popped up and it had a lot of good parts with it. My best friend had just restored a ’69 Camaro and he was familiar with these cars,” Chris stated. Knowing what he wanted to do, the parts that came with this car put him a step ahead of any other project where he would have to start from scratch. It also helps to have a friend with some experience. “My best friend, Bryan Jenkins, helped me build this car. If he hadn’t helped me out, I never would have gotten it done,” Chris quipped.

What originally started out as a car with a six-cylinder, now has a little more power lurking under its hood. Chris updated the drivetrain with a 525-horsepower LS3 GM crate engine, a six-speed Tremec transmission, and a Moser 12-bolt rearend with 4.10 gearing. During the five years it tool to build the car, Chris and Bryan did all of the work in Bryan’s garage on evenings and weekends.

An LS engine, a smoothed firewall, and an aluminum radiator—it doesn't get much better than that.

“The paint was done by a friend, and the interior was done by Todd Kirk at Kirks Kustom Upholstery,” Chris explained. The interior features custom seat covers, over custom bucket seats, and a rear bench seat that’s bolstered to give it a new look. He also added a custom console, a Billet Specialties steering wheel, and Speed Hut gauges. “The Speed Hut gauges are great, they plugged right into the OBDII port,” he said.

This Camaro looks amazing. Chris used a Flaming River steering column, and was able to keep the key in the factory location.

Chris bought almost every part that Detroit Speed makes for the ’69 Camaro. He is using the company’s suspension, dash, and wiper kit. “They’re awesome people. When I started the project, I was going to drive it and autocross it, but the build just got out of control. I’m still going to do that, but I want to hit a few shows before start beating on it too bad,” Chris said with a chuckle.

It also has a custom exhaust by Barillaro Speed Emporium.

The first show he attended with the car was the Holley LS fest in Bowling Green, and it won best muscle car. “We took it to the Goodguy’s show in Charlotte, and it won builder’s choice,” he detailed. “I never imagined that it would compete against cars of that class.”

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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