Like we said, it's a GM Performance Parts ZZ454 (PN 12498777) that remains as delivered. Chris liked that the reciprocating assembly is forged and the 9.6:1 compression ratio was completely amenable to pump gas. He liked that it wore large-port aluminum heads. He liked that all he needed to sink it home were NOS engine mounts and a stock 5-quart oil pan meant for an F-body. Though the factory assigns this engine nominal values (440 hp at 5,250 and 500 lb-ft at 3,250), Chris cites his at 491 hp at 5,600 rpm and 517 lb-ft at 4,300 rpm, his information stemming from a magazine dyno test with the same combination.
Since the motor comes without a carburetor or primary ignition system (and other requisite items), he deemed a Holley 4160 750-cfm carb (vacuum secondaries and electric choke) with modified jetting, a pump squirter, and an accelerator cam. He paired it with a GM HEI distributor and an MSD ignition module and rev limiter and set the timing at 34 degrees BTDC at 3,000 rpm. Semi-wasted fuel is sucked away by Hedman 2-inch primaries into a Flowmaster American Thunder 21/2-inch exhaust system.
Chris put the front of the motor on with a March serpentine accessory drive and tucked a Tilton high-torque Super Starter next to the flywheel. Electric fans blow through a big-block-sized aluminum radiator. On the receiving end of the power are a Bowtie Overdrives Extreme converter built with a 2,600-stall speed and a matching Level 3 2004R transmission (2.74, 1.57, 1.00, 0.67:1 ratios). Chris commands it with a B&M Hammer shifter. Fluid is circulated through a B&M cooler as torque huffs its way down a custom Inland Empire Driveline 31/2-inch steel prop shaft (fitted with 1350 U-joints) to a Moser 12-bolt stocked with 3.42:1 gears and an Eaton differential.
To keep cost down, Chris welded some new patch panels where needed and made progress on the body until it was ready for final paint in his home garage. After that, Syndicate Automotive Concepts in San Diego applied four layers of GM Arrival Blue and an equal complement of clear. Better yet, Syndicate got the car out of paint jail in less than five weeks. Was it cool? The Camaro got props last December when it appeared as Budnik's Cool Ride and Lateral-G's Ride of the Month.
A Motel 6 it sure ain't. Chris left nothing untouched. He laid the foundation with an American Autowire loom system and B-Quiet sound deadener throughout. He sank a Detroit Speed steel insert in the dash (customized and painted by him) chocked with Auto Meter Carbon Fiber Ultra Light instruments, removed the passenger grab-bar, and put a transmission fluid temp gauge where the ashtray once resided. He upped the comfort quotient with a custom console/armrest. He got the custom cut-pile carpeting from ACC. Leather covers Arizen Racing seats as well as the console.
Way back when, Chris' car was ordered with the rare (RPO A67) fold-down rear seatback. It presented a perfect place to hide the Infinity subwoofer. The audio compilation includes a Pioneer CD/MP3 head unit and two Alpine amps (in the trunk along with an Optima battery) feeding four Infinity midrange speakers. All this added 150 pounds to the gross and all is connected via Monster cables.
Bright bits include billet door handles, window cranks, door locks, and a Detroit Speed pedal kit. Chris loves his LeCarra Mark 9 Elegante steering wheel. Rather than leaving his wellbeing to 40-year-old cloth straps, he installed Morrison three-point safety belts.