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One of the Most Popular Model of Vehicle at the SEMA 2017 was the Venerable Camaro

If you knew nothing about the American automobile industry, and your very first exposure was the SEMA Show, you’d be rightly justified to believe that the first generation Chevrolet Camaro was built for more years and in greater numbers than is actually the case. And while the brief three model year run is a bit over-represented at the show, it’s rooted in the esteem in which the car was held. It was both a successful road racer and drag racer in the days before tube frame chassis over replica bodies. So while there was representation from other generations of the venerable muscle cars, our coverage reflects the mix of model years displayed on the show floor.

1969 Chevrolet Camaro RS/SS “Double Take”

The "Double Take" 1969 Chevrolet Camaro is owned by Michelle and Brian Klein

Popping up through the hood is a carbureted supercharger with dual K&N filters in the scoop

Looking like a Hot Wheel come to life this 1969 Chevrolet Camaro is one of several stunning vehicles from Randy Weaver and his crew from Weaver Customs in West Jordan, Utah. Owned by Michelle and Brian Klein, the stunning blue creation captured a much-desired display spot right by the doors to the North Hall. Under and through the hood is a stroked Chevrolet small-block fitted with an 8-71 supercharger. The engine is fed through a pair of carburetors and if you were to peak into the scoop you’d find a pair of K&N air filters scrubbing the air entering the dual carbs. Backing up the motor is a stout Tremec TKO 600 six-speed manual transmission. The “Double Take” Camaro rides on a custom frame with IFS and a four-link rear suspension locating the FAB 9 rear axle with a 4.30:1 final drive. Exterior mods include narrowed and tucked bumpers and a one-off grille.

1969 Chevrolet Camaro “Big Red”

A fire during a test session just over a year ago almost totalled the Big Red Camaro

Rising, Phoenix-like from the ashes, the legendary Big Red Camaro is displayed in speed record trim

The Big Red 1969 Camaro has literally risen from the ashes. During an on-track shakedown run a fuel line worked loose and the car burnt about as far as possible and still call it a car. If you love 1969 Camaros, don’t look for the before pictures. The good news is, the car was recoverable and in a relatively short period rebuilt and on display at the 2017 SEMA Show. For top speed runs, Big Red is powered by a Larry Mollicone-built 598 CI Big Block and fitted with a ProCharger F3 blower drawing through two enormous K&N filters (each about the size of a Costco Quaker Oatmeal canister). Boost and a mix of methanol and water injection system deliver between 1600 and 2000 horsepower. An extensive roll cage structures ties the chassis together as well as protects the driver. The fuel cell is in the trunk with the small methanol canister under the hood. And in the reconstruction, the fire system was upgraded from a manual to an automatic system.

1969 Chevrolet Camaro “Axis”

Most interior and external panels were hand-fabricated by the talented crew at the Roadster Shop

Constructed on a Fast Track chassis by the Roadster Shop, this 1969 is powered by a 640 HP LT4

While still a 1969 Camaro, this version has a very different vibe than the previous two Camaros. Phil Gerber and Jeremy Gerber of The Roadster Shop of Mundelein, Illinois, constructed this '69 as a modern race-inspired Camaro that’s had its floor cutaway and an RS Fast Track chassis installed. Powered by 640 horsepower 6.2L LT4 V8 and backed by a T56 transmission, drive is passed to the solid rear axle that has been outfitted with a multilink suspension and Baer brakes all around. The Axis features all the hand-built components we’ve come to expect from a Roadster Shop build: front spoiler and side skirts, custom lower rear diffuser-valance combination, unique wheels, fully fabricated underhood sheet metal and interior. A vintage-looking Sparco steering wheel, Sparco seats, and AutoMeter Spek dials complete the cockpit. The Axis was a Top 12 selection for SEMA Battle of the Builders and the winner of the GM People’s Choice Design Award.

1971 Chevrolet Camaro “Split Second”

Due to low horsepower from meeting emissions controls 1970s Camaros are less popular with builders

This 1970 from the Roadster Shop represents Gen II Camaros. K&N filters feature their own intake

The name “Split Second” is derived from the unique dual or split fuel injection system and the split bumper design of this generation of Camaro. In ordinary driving circumstances, the engine is fed from a fuel cell containing 91 octane pump fuel. As boost from the twin turbochargers increases, the computer starts to feed 108 octane race gas from a second fuel cell into the 427 small block from Nelson Racing Engines. The result is a daily driver with around 900 horsepower that automatically segues into a 1600 horsepower beast. New inlets were added to the front to feed the K&N filters. The front clip and unibody floor of the Camaro and were discarded and replaced by a Fast Track hand-fabricated, fully-boxed 10 gauge steel frame rails that run the full length of the car, providing both a lowered ride height and a solid basis from which the suspension can work. At the front end is mounted an RS Fast Track Front Suspension with C6 Corvette spindle and hub assemblies. A 1.25-inch splined sway bar with C6 end links has also been fitted, while special Penske “RS Edition” performance coilovers control the ups and downs of the front suspension. Brembo provided the brake, HRE the wheels, and Avant Garde the interior.

And now for more Camaros:

The intake draws from under the bumper and feeds the now mandatory fuel injection system

All NHRA Pro Stock racers are required to use the specially-developed K&N carbon fiber intake

The engine will develop over 600 horsepower with no changes other than the kit

Hellion launched a bolt-on twin turbo kit for Gen 6 Camaros at the show, complete with K&N filters

It's also one of the favorites among the K&N staff

This Camaro receives our awards for both largest tubs and wheels with the most positive offset

This car was rather unique as it was one of the few Third Generation Camaros on the show floor

Optima hosted a Third Generation Camaro in its booth promoting its Ultimate Street Car Search


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