GM Performance Parts PN 12498793 is the perfect place to begin. Though most will think they've reached nirvana and won't take it much further: 572 cubic inches, a forged rotating assembly, those big-port heads, and a 9.6:1 compression ratio make it an instant sweetheart for nitrous, boost, and pump gas. Gavin added an SFI crank damper, Moroso baffled oil pan, a Stewart reverse-flow water pump, March serpentine belt accessory mounting kit, Holley electric fuel pump, Mallory Hy-Fire III ignition (36 degrees total), Alston 2-inch primary pipe ceramic-coated headers, a Flowmaster mandrel-bent 3-inch exhaust system with an H-pipe, and Flowmaster Super 40 muffs. The Tremec TKO five-speed overdrive transmission is rugged enough for the tall-deck Rat and Gavin reworked the underside of the console to clear the Hurst shifter and make everything fit like factory. A Lakewood blast shield and an engine mid-plate pin the motor securely to the chassis. Torque is extruded through a Precision Shaft Technologies carbon-fiber driveshaft to a narrowed (50 inches end-to-end) Moser 9-inch featuring a 3.25:1 gearset, positive-traction differential, and 40-spline axleshafts. We already know that the 572 puts out 620 hp at 5,500 rpm and 650 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. What a great foundation for a temple of power. Though it hasn't been dyno tested, the Hogan intake system and EFI pump the total (estimated) output to nearly 700 hp. Rick doesn't need any more than that.
Chris Alston's front clip includes a sheave of goodies: spindles, tubular upper and lower control arms, power-assisted rack steering, a 11/16-inch anti-roll bar, and Varishock shock absorbers with matching coilover springs. Lakewood connectors pull both halves of the car together. Gavin hung the axle with a DSE four-link arrangement, installed the adjustable Koni coilovers vertically, and quelled side-to-side movement with a Panhard bar as thick as your wrist.
Wheels And Brakes
Charismatic Vintage Wheelworks 60 authentic knock-off wheels, 17x8 and 17x11 inches for the Nitto 555 series 255/40 and 315/35 treads, make an undeniable visual statement. Check out the safety wire. Behind them, a coterie of Wilwood: 11/8-inch master cylinder, four-piston calipers on 13- and 12-inch discs, and emergency brake cable kit.
Though it looks like nothin's goin' on here, Gavin replaced every piece of interior trim (door panels, screws, bolts, carpeting, console, all glass, headliner, and sunvisors) with repro stuff, including the houndstooth upholstery, new upper dashpad, and the Z/28 console and gauge pack. The glint in the footwell blinks off Lokar pedal covers (as well as throttle linkage), but that wood-rimmed steering wheel looks like a fugitive from the '70s. An original "air" car, Gavin replaced the 40-year-old HVAC system with a compact underdash Vintage Air unit.
With the exception of the US Body 4-inch cowl induction hood, the sheetmetal is original, massaged, and painted Porsche Guards Red at Rick Matthews' body shop. The "572" blip and hockey stick stripes sweep tastefully below the late-model Camaro sideview mirrors. Narrowed axle and mini-tubs afford breathing room on either side of the bulbous Nittos.