1967 Camaro - Through The Old Man's Eyes
We looked at the tech sheet that Shane Ganzel had amended for his '67 RS/SS Camaro and saw the near-perfect scenario. The perfect father-son team. It practically jumped in our face. Male bonding, Dad. Right some old wrongs. Just hang out. No wife. No kids. No family for the young guy to worry about yet. Lots of disposable income too, but probably a gallon or two of grief from his married friends whenever they feel like it. And yet all the stars seem to have gotten in line.
Here's the part you can't see. Shane's car has been here before, the willing mule for a Vortech supercharger tune-up tome (Dec. '07, "Spin Cycles"). This was not coincidental. Shane is an engineering senior buyer at Vortech. His car is nicely done. Handles like a spider. Goes like blazes. Editor H knows talent when he sees it.
"I got the car from my parents when I was 17," says the now 28-year-old son. "What they were thinking, I don't know. It was all my dad. My mom had no idea what she was in for. Building this car the past 10 years has been great. My dad and I built it together and have seen the changes it's gone through. I've had a vision for the car in my head and it has finally come true. The one thing my dad and I have always agreed on was that it had to be a driver."
From the beginning, the idea was to main tain a civil running weight-better than that, fightin' weight-because it doesn't take a mountain of power to move a 3,200-pound object. Something like 400 on both sides of the chassis dyno sheet will more than peg the joy meter. Shane would build the 383 engine around the super charger system, planting the right pieces for the possible job. Forged parts all around, smog-era compression ratio, stuff matched and systemized whenever possible, specially prepped blower carburetor, the works.
Methodical thinking at its finest. Supercharger: Vortech S-trim at only 6 psi. The proper cam phasing and optimized cylinder head flow tends to release a lot of power at modest boost. you do it this way, don't use the blower as a Band-Aid (or suffer the heat generated at 15 psi) to make it run like hell.
These days, most of us strive for "whole cars" fitted with stopping and steering sys tems commensurate with cranking linear like an RPG. Revamping an old suspension is a great way to peel off unnecessary weight too. Look how much less mass is involved with a modern control arm than with the old, stamped-iron clods (something certainly not lost on the oEs).
Shane's ride is festooned with it. Good stuff. Global West's suitcase of desire. Make your tub o' guts handle and drive like a lithe, modern sled. Do it for no other reason than the active safety that a powerful suspension always holds in reserve. Be adjustable wherever you can be. Just one safe catch would more than amortize the cost of the system, wouldn't it?
We appreciate Shane's ever-adaptable logic too. "The car had to handle, so I did the Global West control arms, Spring Specialties custom coils, Superior Spindles hardware, and QA1 adjustable shock absorbers. So then I had to do split-leaf springs and bars in the back. Then I had to do the brakes to complement the suspension, so I put big discs and four-piston calipers at each corner." Shane faithfully maintained the high-g theme with serious seat and harness, quick steering, double-overdrive six-speed, a little bit of blood in his eye, and yes, that blown 383.
"It had to have a great stance, have power, and handle like a bat out of hell," goofs our boy. "This car does that. I love being able to get in it and just cruise or hit a canyon or just watch the owner of a Viper as I pass him while lighting up the tires."
Tell you, these freakin' 383s are tough to keep down. Costs about the same to build as a 350. Bumps torque so you can really tell. Tune 'em with a screwdriver. yes, they're a popular choice all down the line. Shane moonlighted the machining and balancing at the company shop. He punched the 4.00-inch bore 0.030 inch over. He teamed a Scat 4340 steel crank with matching 6.00-inch I-beam rods. The blower forgings riding them are 9.1:1 Probes attached by full-floating wrist pins. Then he turned it over to Dan Luce of Luce Racing Empire. Dan inserted the Isky hydraulic roller cam (285 degrees duration at 0.050 inch, 0.578 inch lift, 113-degree lobe separation), socked it to the crank with a Cloyes double-roller timing gear, referred a Melling high-volume oil pump, and closed the cellar with a Milodon 6-quart sump. The valvetrain includes Isky springs, stain less 2.02/1.60 valves, Comp Cams 1.6:1 stainless roller rocker arms, Isky one-piece chrome-moly pushrods, and Isky retainers, guides, and locks. Trading ferrous metal for Edelbrock Performer RPM CNC-ported aluminum shaved pounds off the Camaro's snout, and the Victor Jr. intake manifold was port-matched to the heads to get that good combo rollin' deep. Since the seals and shafts and a lot of other things in a carburetor prepared for forced induction differ from one that services a normally aspirated engine, Shane stationed a Mighty Demon 750-cfm blow-through car buretor right in the middle of the V-2 SQ S-trim compressor, a custom dis charge tube with a Vortech Maxflow Racing bypass valves, and a pressure bonnet. The air cleaner is a custommade S&B unit. Ignition timing is critical to a successful supercharged street application, and conservative is always better. Here, positive manifold pressure does not exceed 6 psi, and total timing tops out at just 30 degrees (MSD Digital 6). Noxious gases are extracted by Hooker Super Comp headers with 17/8-inch primaries feeding a 21/2-inch system modulated by three-chamber Flowmasters. No feeble automatic for Shane, either. A Viper double-overdrive (1.80:1 final) makes cruising effortless and simultaneously saves on the engine. Shane fab'd a custom shifter from Hurst mechanicals and mounted a Centerforce clutch assembly, while grunt ropes down a custom-length prop shaft built by Drive Shaft Masters in Torrance, California. That original 12-bolt has been amended for its new mission by Tom's Axles, an Eaton differential, and a u.S. Gear 3.73:1 ringand-pinion set.
Certainly the iconic Sparco Milano seats and Billet Specialties steering wheel steal the show, but a closer look reveals the optional factory-installed power window lifts (RPO A31, 4,957 units) and fold-down rear seat (RPO A67, 17,993 units). Shane's only concession to comfort is all aural. A custom-installed Kenwood head and CD player root through Pioneer components and 6x9-inch speakers. To maintain as much of the '67 flavor as he could, Shane left the guts unmolested, inserting Auto Meter meters in the original nacelles. Shane: "I have the original gauges and seats, and I can put the car back to original if I wanted, but for some reason I don't see that happening." That's our boy.
Wheel output is 396 lb-ft at 4,300 and 420 hp at 6,100 rpm, and there's at least 25 percent more at a 10-psi boost threshold. As for empirical data, Shane's comeback on the performance is "12.20s spinning the tires" and "Top speed? Saw 130 once."
Another perfect fit for the perfect build: a body that had no wounds to minister and solid, imminently revivable original red. "I guess I'll eventually paint the car, since it is now the weekend fun car.
Polyurethane body mounts, solid aluminum leaf-spring bushings, and Competition Engineering subframe connectors eliminate untoward suspension movement and foster the rigidity necessary for the handling characteristics Shane sought. Then he was able to apply lighter components and superior geometry found in the Global West upper and lower control arms, Coil Spring Specialties 630-lb-in coils, QA1 12-way adjustable shock absorbers, and a 11/8-inch antisway bar. He stuck a fast 12:1 AGR steering box in the midst of it all. By incorporating John Calvert's CalTracs bars and split-leaf springs, and another pair of QA1s, Shane would eradicate all traces of hooliganism at the back balonies.
Stance is as critical as camshaft choice. Shane blocked his Camaro out with big and little Boyds hoops, 17x8 and 18x9.5, respectively, posing Nitto NT01 competition-compound P245/45ZR17s and P275/40ZR18s. The larger wheels easily accommodate 12.5-inch Wilwood discs and four-piston calipers on each corner. Guess this could be serious. CHP

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