Music fills the interior, thanks to a Kenwood head unit with an MTX Thunder amplifier under the driver seat. It powers the pair of 4.5-inch two-way speakers in the kick panels, the 6x9s in the rear package tray, and the 10-inch MTX sub hidden behind the rear wall in the trunk. The build process took two years, finishing in October 2011. All that was left was a name for his creation and that happened late one night about the time Ed came to grips with how much was involved in this project. “It’s a sickness,” he thought to himself. Since the car was originally an SS, the SiknSS name stuck. Now that it’s done, all traces of the late-night ailments have disappeared and Ed and Terry drive their ultimate second-gen Camaro everywhere. Was his “less is more” philosophy effective? We’d say so. The dozens of subtle modifications paid off, with the car taking Best of Show in its very first outing, competing against 1,600 other vehicles!
The motor is an ’02 LS1 from a wrecked Corvette hit in the rear. Since the ’02s have rear-mounted transmissions and torque tubes, Ed sourced a 4L60E four-speed automatic from a Chevy TrailBlazer to complete the powertrain, installed with the help of his good friend Greg Pellicer. Reliability and a quiet ride were more important than dragstrip-level performance so the only changes to the already-quick LS1 were Hedman 17/8-inch headers and Flowmaster mufflers with a custom 2.5-inch exhaust. Tony Gonyon from HP Performance in Jacksonville, Florida, did the final tuning, getting the transmission to communicate with the engine and tweaking the car’s computer until they achieved 380 hp at the flywheel. Lots of interesting work occurred in the engine room however, beginning with the smooth firewall and custom-made 18-gauge steel wheeltubs. Ed kept half of the original tubs and handformed the rest. Twin 16-inch SPAL fans in a custom shroud keep temps in the green while the 140-amp alternator keeps the Optima Red Top battery fully charged. The air intake is custom-made with a 4-inch tube running from the engine to the enclosure built into the driver-side front fender. There is a cone air cleaner behind the headlight and air is inducted through spaces around the headlight. When people ask Ed how they can get that kit, he smiles and says, “A hammer and dolly would be a good start!”
In an amazing degree of personalization, Ed embarked on a project that only an experienced bodyman would tackle. Virtually everything on the car’s exterior has been replaced. That includes the hood, fenders, upper and lower valances, nose, bumpers, roof skin, quarter-panels, doorskins, and decklid. Not a single body panel on the car is original and the only part reused was the spoiler on the trunk. Spoken like a true master of his trade, Ed says, “It was easier to put on new panels than rehab the old stuff.” Cleaning up was part of the rejuvenation process with sidelights shaved and emblems eliminated. The hood is a Goodmark cowl-induction hood that reinforces the car’s aggressive good looks. HID headlights and LEDs in the original taillights guaranteed modern nighttime visibility. The final mods were relocating the front and rear bumpers closer to the body and adding the new RS grille and grille shell. When all the panels were in place, every cut line on the car was massaged until perfect. Once the body was straight and true, Auto City smoked glass added a distinctive touch. Ed and his good friend Bobby Gearin joined forces to spray the car over the course of a year. To ensure consistency, they mixed only the amount of the Sikkens Hugger Orange they were going to use that day so as not to change the pigments. The unused portions were sealed and hooked up to the shop’s automatic agitators, keeping everything fresh. It worked perfectly!