“SSAWD” – World’s Very First All Wheel Drive Camaro?

Porsche, Audi, and even Subaru have made the terms “all-wheel-drive” synonymous with great handling and grip that just won’t quit. So why not take a Camaro and give it all the same great benefits? Well, it someone finally did. This awesome all-wheel-drive Camaro creation was on display at SEMA 2011, where we snapped a few pics of it, and we also came across this video on YouTube displaying the ins-and outs of this unique Camaro.

We are thinking that this might just be the first ever successful all-wheel-drive Camaro project. (Before you say it – No, those jacked up 4×4 Camaro monstrosities don’t count.) The car was built by the aptly named “Custom Shop” out of Flanagan, Illinois, and is actually a combination of a 1968 Camaro and a 2010 Camaro. A base model, 6-cylinder 1968 Camaro donated its front end, and was welded to the rear of a 5th Gen Camaro, and the whole car was given the wide-body treatment.

The roof was completely cut off to make it into a full-time roadster and the rear seats deleted so that the two front seats could be moved back a full 11 inches. The windshield was also cut off, laid back 6 inches, and re-welded to give the car a longer and leaner look. The body has been dropped 5 inches over the channeled frame, and a custom air-bag suspension has been utilized on all four corners to produce the ground-scraping stance. The look is capped off by all black, three-piece Forgeline Wheels wrapped in sticky Toyo Proxes on all four corners and the eye-grabbing Prospray Speed Orange paint with a tri-coat pearl top coat.

The official name of the car is “SSAWD”; which has a double meaning. First, obviously the name fits the car because it is in fact all-wheel-drive, but the name also references the extreme nature of the body modifications the car underwent – it was literally “SAW’D” into pieces and put back together even better than before.

The all-wheel-drive capability of the SSAWD Camaro comes from a 2008 Trailblazer’s front drive that has power channeled to it by a Bowler 4L70E transmission and transfer case. (Crud, looks like this car does have something in common with those 4×4 Muddin’ Camaros after all.) Of course, what would a build of this caliber be without LSX power? A GM Performance Parts LSX376 Crate engine, with its low compression, forged rotating assembly, and bullet-proof iron block is the perfect candidate for a big helping of boost, and that is just what the Custom Shop did for the AWD Camaro. The LSX376 breathes in 20 pounds of boost from an F1 Procharger, and reportedly makes 800 horsepower. Looks like this car might actually “need” all-wheel-drive with that much power on tap. The SSAWD Camaro even has an on-board laptop built into the interior for on the fly EFI tuning.

The Custom Shop says that this build took them three full years to complete, and an incalculable amount of blood, sweat and tears. It may have been a massive amount of work, but the end product truly speaks for itself, and proves that just about anything is really possible with the right skills.

About the author

Clifton Klaverweiden

Clifton has been a car fanatic since his late teens, when he started the restoration of his '67 Camaro. He considers himself a student of automotive science and technology, and particularly loves all things LSX. And, although he has an appreciation for everything, from imports to exotics, his true passion will always be for GM musclecars.
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