While checking out the web site Engine Swap Depot, we spotted a unique project car that deserves recognition. Built at HotRod Dynamics in Lenoir, North Carolina, this super-clean 1967 Chevy Camaro, is built for speed and unrelenting aggression.
The car is owned by Joe Lutz, who also happens to be the owner of HotRod Dynamics. As a former member of the engineering department at Roush Racing, Joe had a solid vision of the car when first bought it back in 2012.
“I first purchased the project car in Reno, Nevada, at the Hot August Nights show,” he said. “Although the car needed restoration, it was a complete and solid factory V8 car with original rust-free floors and quarters.”
The Camaro has design cues stemming from late-60s and early-70s Trans Am race cars, to modern Pro Touring performance tricks. With an aim to build a car that wasn’t going to be a trailer queen, Joe built a custom creation that has 5,600 miles on the clock since its completion in early 2013.
Peaking under the hood, we’re treated to a 7.0-liter, 427 cubic-inch LS7 V8 engine, that has been fully upgraded with a forged crankshaft, CNC-ported cylinder heads, titanium connecting rods and intake valves, and sodium-filled exhaust valves. Joe’s Camaro runs with a beefy 102mm throttle body, LS9-spec fuel injectors, 304 stainless steel long-tube headers, and a Holley Hi-Ram intake manifold, all working together to sport a 11.0:1 compression ratio, and 650 horsepower.
Bolted to the monstrous LS7, is a McLeod Racing RXT twin-disc clutch that connects to a Tremec T-56 six-speed manual transmission. A 9-inch Strange Engineering rearend and a Detroit Truetrac differential keeps everything under control in the back of the Camaro. The suspension and rearend components were powder coated in black and silver, to match the rest of the vehicle.
A custom-built 3-inch stainless steel exhaust system by HotRod Dynamics features mandrel bends, and is TIG welded with an H-pipe. Magnaflow stainless steel mufflers give the Camaro a toned rumble, which are complemented by custom exhaust exits in the car’s rear valance.
The Camaro’s rollcage was built to pass through the dash and hide under the headliner. In 2015, Joe updated the car by adding a Detroit Speed hydroformed subframe, Corvette Z06 brakes, a set of 18-inch Boze alloy wheels, and Toyo R888 tires measuring 275/35ZR18 in the front and 335/30ZR18 in the rear.
To lighten up the heavy American classic, the Camaro had its front and rear spoilers, hood, cowl, header panel, inner fenders, fender braces, trunk lid, radiator support, door sills, dash and console all removed and replaced with pieces made of carbon fiber. The exterior features a Black and Titanium Silver PPG paint that pops from any angle. Even the number 67 on the door is vinyl, and completely removable.
The front bumper has been deleted and replaced with lower front fender extensions that have been welded onto the fenders, making a seamless one-piece finish. The car also features hidden turn signals, LED halo headlights, and sequential taillights. The rear bumper has been smoothed, narrowed, and tucked in to the body, giving this custom Camaro some hot rod appeal.
Joe spent close to 100 hours designing the carbon fiber center console. The dash is upholstered, and stitched with a French seam in red stitching, to add a bit of an upscale detail to the car. The dash was actually lowered 1-inch to provide better visibility. Recaro Millennium special-edition seats give the interior some pop to go along with the brushed stainless tilt steering column and brushed-finish Billet Specialties Outlaw steering wheel.
The rear seat has been deleted, and replaced with panels that include mesh inserts. The Dakota Digital VHX analogue gauges with red lighting, gives color continuity throughout the car. It looks as if all corners were covered on this Camaro, inside and out.
What are your thoughts on this Camaro? Is there too much going on? Feel free to leave a comment below.