Pro-Daily Camaro Project

Background

I grew up in a car family. More specifically, I grew up in a Camaro family. We had second-gens, third-gens, and fourth-gens. There were Blazers, Berettas, Chevelles, and Silverados. I had a fourth-gen Z28 daily driver for years. I knew a first or second-gen was going to be in my future at some point. It was just going to be a matter of time and money.

There’s also a level of skill and experience I just don’t have with a project like this like this and that needed to be considered. I feel like I’m a pretty quick learner, though, and knew I’d be doing a lot of this learning in real time while being active with the project. I’m a big fan of being thrown into the fire and making mistakes with stuff like this. I also knew I’d be relying on a lot of friends and family’s recommendations, feedback, and direct help to accomplish what I was trying to do.

Goals

When I sat down nearly 15 years ago and put pen to paper (fingers to keycaps?), I wrote out what I was looking for from this project. Here’s the text I wrote back in November 2006:

“We are building a 1967-68 or 1970-73 Camaro. It will be used as a daily driver and should have modern suspension, braking, safety, and interior amenities. Targeted power will be around 400 hp and should come from a modern naturally aspirated power plant. The option to take it to a track or autocross should be present, but not focused. If there was an identity for this particular Camaro, it would be “pro touring light” or “pro daily”.”

When the time was right to start the project and revisit my planning stage in 2016, I was amazed how little my goal had changed from a decade earlier. The only thing that really changed was settling on a second-gen that fell out of California’s smog regulations, so that meant a 1970-74 model year Camaro.

Daily Driver

Contrary to my upbringing, I never believed we should put away a car just for the sake of “saving” them, so I knew for sure I didn’t want to build a garage queen. I didn’t want to build a show car. I didn’t want something that never touched rain or be too scared to bruise and bump. I think most cars are best enjoyed driven and I wanted this one to be a daily driver for an enthusiast like myself. Since the plan was to be in the car so much, this meant reliability and safety would be top priorities in this build. Most people would just do a simple resto-mod, but I wanted to go well beyond that. Nearly all components that could be changed to moderns systems and safety would be updated. The only real thing original I’d want is the body and maybe some interior trim. I’m not building a dedicated race car here. The interior needs to be a nice place to be, so some creature comforts, such as air conditioning, would be budgeted into the build as well.

Track Capable

I love a good track day as much as the next enthusiast and this build will most definitely see track days. As much of a daily this build will be, it needs to also be able to handle a handful of track days a year. The modern power and suspension would need to be flexible and adjustable enough to handle a grocery run as well as Laguna Seca’s corkscrew. The idea of passing modern sports cars with a 50 year old Chevrolet just makes me giddy. I don’t need to win, but I really hate to lose. As long as this build is competitive and the only thing holding it back is my skill, I’ll be happy and having fun.

Individuality

There’s a lot of positives about using a second-gen Camaro as your base. Parts are abundant and the platform is highly supported by the aftermarket industry. A lot of products require very little fabrication, not as much knowledge as they use to for installation, and are simply plug-and-play. While it will be fairly unique to see a car from 1973 on a track, the popularity of the Camaro also means they aren’t very unique in the world of classic cars. They are absolutely everywhere at a car show. I would like to add some sort of touches to this build that will make it feel unique to me.

Parts List

Body

Engine

Transmission

Fuel Delivery

Electronics

Suspension

Brake

Steering

Misc

  • tbd

The Journey So Far

Coming soon…

The Future

Coming soon…