Carbon is one of the most abundant elements in the universe and is a primary component of all known life on earth. Without it, we couldn’t survive. So to say carbon has a specific importance in our daily lives is an understatement. If Yukon, Oklahoma-based Finale Speed has any say in the matter, they’re working hard to make all the benefits of this lightweight element as stylish and accessible as possible with the unveiling of its production carbon 1969 Camaro.
Why Carbon Fiber?
Speed junkies have known for eons that this super strong, ultra-lightweight material is a great way to reduce the weight of a vehicle, whether a race car, boat, or spaceship. Carbon’s low mass and high strength were always strong selling points, but recently, true craftsmen of this woven element have combined these characteristics with beauty and accessibility. Such is the case with Viral, Finale Speed’s entirely carbon fiber-bodied 1969 Chevrolet Camaro. As it stands, Viral weighs in at 2,500 lbs. When you compare that to an original ’67-’69 Camaro coming in between 3,400-3,600 pounds, it’s easy to see why carbon is a favorite for those wanting to go fast.
The old body man’s adage, “Paint covers a multitude of sins,” doesn’t apply when dealing with carbon fiber, as another beloved characteristic of this material is the beauty of its interwoven threads. As its name implies, it is a series of carbon strands interwoven into a matting. This matting can then be applied to a surface or shaped into various components. Viral’s fully custom carbon fiber body is engineered using pre-impregnated, autoclave-cured carbon fiber. The carbon fiber matting is impregnated with resin and then put into the autoclave, a pressure chamber, which forms the matting into the desired shape.
In this case, all those fibers are shaped with great detail into a close-tolerance representation of the iconic Camaro’s body style. The difference between Finale Speed’s creation and making a body in steel is there will be no room for error. You can’t simply sand down or fill in carbon fiber if you want to keep that glorious weave pattern intact! As you look at the close-up photos of this beauty, you’ll see that not only are the edges kept pure and untouched, but the weave pattern between the various panels is all running in the same direction. Amazing craftsmanship!
That same craftsmanship carries over to the interior, which is trimmed with TMI Products’ VXR Pro seating up front. A carbon-based rear seat-delete fills in the second-row seating, while custom Alcantara-wrapped panels from TMI fill in the rest of the interior. A Flaming River tilt column gives the driver yaw control, while an Old Air Products A/C system controls the climate within. Classic Instruments give the dash cluster added appeal, and a custom four-point roll bar increases the safety of all involved. As if aligning weave patterns wasn’t enough, the level of detail exerted in creating Viral’s interior is a tribute to the talents of Finale Speed’s team.
Not Just A Pretty Face
We all know there are two ways to improve the performance of a vehicle, by cutting weight or adding horsepower. Finale Speed decided to use both barrels and built this beautiful Ponycar around a Chevrolet Performance LT4 crate engine and Tremec T-56 Super Magnum 6-speed manual transmission, mating the two with a McLeod twin-disc clutch assembly. Making sure all those 650 ponies make their way to the asphalt is the full-time task of Viral’s SpeedTech Performance ExtReme chassis featuring JRi coil overs at each corner.
A 9-inch rear housing with 3.70 gears and positraction diff twists the torque into those Dutchman 31-spline axles. A set of Forgeline, three-piece VX3C-SL wheels (18×10.5 front/18×12 rear) make those Toyo Proxes tires (315 front/335 rear) scream for mercy under acceleration. When the G-forces go into the negative, six-piston (front) and four-piston (rear), Wilwood calipers clamp down on 14-inch slotted, cross-drilled, and vented rotors.
Many auxiliary systems come together to make everything work as it should. A VaporWorx fuel pump moves the fuel from the 18-gallon Rick’s Tanks repository, and GM’s electronics make the magic happen when the key is twisted. An American Autowire harness filters power throughout the rest of the vehicle. The Wegner Automotive front accessory drive and Wizard Cooling system featuring dual 13-inch fans ensure the LT4 engine keeps cool. Finally, a set of Ultimate Headers and custom Magnaflow exhaust lets it breathe as much as it needs when the going gets tough.
Viral is more than just a compound of various products. Everything is incorporated into a balanced symphony of style and function. Like any world-class orchestra, the Finale Speed team has perfected its craft to a level of detail and talent that sets it apart. But lest you think of Viral as a one-trick pony, we can tell you that lightning can strike twice thanks to Finale Speed offering the Viral carbon 1969 Camaro as a roller body or a turn-key vehicle. For more information on Viral and Finale Speed’s other projects, visit Finalespeed.com and follow along on various builds through the company’s Instagram and Facebook accounts.