Ain't no better place to begin than with an original, straight, rust-free, 70,000-mile black-plate California car. Bret: "This thing was so perfect that it needed no panel replacement or panel repair, interior or exterior. I've started with rust buckets and I'll never build another car from one of them again." Precision Coachworks (paintgods.com) did the deed and did it admirably. John Hemmer is the body shop manager at Precision and coordinated the whole scheme. Dennis Neihaus and Kurt Blackgrove made the body panels really coincide compared to how they were originally "fit" in Van Nuys 40 years ago. The color is Velocity Mandarin Orange and all paint products were supplied by DuPont Hot Hues. The craftsmen at Precision refrained from attaching a spoiler and they left the hood flat and original, reason being those metal-colored stripes are indeed bare-metal original, not paint. In fact, the entire body could have been clearcoat naked. To disrupt Camaro purists further, Precision bobbed the bumpers, metal finished 'em, and did them up in clearcoat, too. They hand-formed the aluminum air diffuser at the rear of the car as well as the in-your-face front splitter. Precision could not stop. They built custom LED taillights, front valance screens, and radiator support/fender braces. Some components will likely be reproduced for sale in 'glass and/or carbon fiber. Since our insect pals, especially the flying variety, outnumber humans by the megabillions, Shields in Martinsville, Indiana, produced a hard-coated Lexan windshield (nice Technicolor splat?) and backlight from the same material.
Props first: Bret Vaal is the master TIG guy at Air Ride and welded up numerous special pieces at various times of the day and night. Rodney Mason built the first ever TigerCage ... in the finished car! John Hochegsang does the prototype CNC work and made dozens of the special trim pieces, many of which will soon see production. Brit Marolf, also an Air Ride crony, spent just a few hundred hours doing all the vehicle, EFI, transmission, and stereo wiring chores via an American Autowire Highway 22 system. He included Electric Life power window lifts and couldn't help but build a custom switch panel to direct the entire composition. Kurt Blackgrove built the instrument panel, the center section of the dash, and the console cover. A symbiotic aura was essential to the cockpit. The Air Ride crew created it around a RacePak IQ3 dash that includes on-track data logging. Marquez Design is building a complete set of interior panels that the company will soon release for production. To mitigate some of the bug litter, Detroit Speed's seven-speed wiper system makes short work of what's left of the gook. Bret is a sentient being and of the idea that a comfortable driver tends to be an alert driver. Hence, a Vintage Air Gen IV HVAC system (vents are from a John Deere tractor, which they got plenty of where Bret comes from), Kicker Stereo/Sirius satellite with a five-channel amp and eight speakers, and a blanket of Dynamat underneath it all. Atop the Flaming River steering column Bret lays hands on a Corsa wheel and instantaneously manipulates the transmission via one of Steve Chryssos' Twist Machine paddle shifters. The Cerullo Sport GT buckets are imbued with the ridetech.com logo and custom billet bezels installed to complement the mesh headrests. Bret alternately produces velocity and burns it off through Modo Innovation pedals, and when the g's begin to build, Fred Crow's five-point belts keep Bret's torso right where it ought to be.