Anyone lucky enough to get a ’67 Camaro for their 16th birthday probably ended up creating lots of great memories with it. That’s exactly the case with Shawn Gutterson, who on a cold Colorado winter morning in 1983 found a stock blue Camaro with wire hubcaps parked on the driveway as a gift from his parents. Over the next three years, the car would take Shawn to every high school football and basketball game, and be ready for many waterskiing trips during summer vacation.
While the 327 V-8, equipped with a two-barrel carburetor and Powerglide automatic transmission weren’t at the top of the muscle car performance list, Shawn enjoyed the power and did what most high school kids do: upgrade the exhaust and stereo system. But soon the responsibilities of becoming an adult and the time to have fun were put on hold as Shawn moved on with his life. This is typically the point where many would have to sell their first car, but that was never an option for Shawn. Instead, he decided to cover it and store it in his parent’s barn, knowing that someday it would be there waiting for him to take it out for another ride.
Unfortunately, the car sat for 22 years before he could truly enjoy it again. By this time, the car wasn’t as pristine and agile as he remembered it. Undeterred, however, Shawn appreciated his second chance with the car and now had the financial means to build it the way he really wanted. This is when he took the car over to Rob Green, a popular muscle car and race car builder in Orange, California, who took Shawn’s vision and rebuilt the Camaro from the ground up.
Green spent the time making sure that the various engine accessories were polished, and that the block was also painted to match the body color. Needless to say, if you’re going to go through that process, the entire undercarriage should be just as clean. Green made sure of that by also painting and polishing all of the components under the car to be just as nice as the exterior. This included matching the new Chris Alston’s Chassisworks front subframe, which came with tubular control arms, rack-and-pinion steering, and coilover shocks to also match the body color. Even the rearend was chromed.
Even though it took 22 years for the Camaro to get to this point, it definitely got a second chance at making an impression with Shawn, and any other Chevy enthusiast who takes the time to take a closer look at his ride and realize it isn’t just some restored ’67 with aftermarket wheels. It isn’t until they look under the hood and chassis that they get blown away by the detail and precision that sets this car apart from the rest.
Power & Drivetrain: Green began by stripping down the Camaro to the bare bones and upgrading the car starting with the engine. The original 327 was bored 0.030 over and outfitted with 10:1 compression pistons. The factory connecting rods were still in good shape, but Green turned the crankshaft 0.010 under and added Clevite bearings, and a Melling high-volume oil pump to the short-block. To make the engine breathe better, Green added a performance Crane hydraulic roller camshaft and 1.5 ratio roller rockers, along with a pair of Edelbrock performance aluminum cylinder heads. Because Shawn wanted the Camaro to be extremely reliable and ready at a moment’s notice, Green recommended switching from the factory carburetor to a Holley Stealth Ram fuel injection unit. The end result was a potent, but very manageable 400hp small-block that idles smoothly and runs on street octane fuel. To keep the engine cool, a Be Cool aluminum radiator was used, along with an electric fan. This also allowed the use of a March V-belt system
that keeps the engine compartment looking clean and neat. Ceramic-coated Flowtech headers lead the exhaust gases to a Gibson polished stainless
steel exhaust system. What’s cool is that unlike most modified Camaros that will simply have turndowns at the mufflers, Green opted to allow the
exhaust to exit out behind the rear quarter-panels with a set of polished stainless exhaust tips. While the Camaro’s engine was up to par with modern
performance technology, the same could not be said for the original two-speed Powerglide transmission. Green swapped it out for a Chino Hills
Transmission 700-R4 automatic, with improved shift points and a B&M 2,200-stall speed torque converter. The factory 10-bolt rear, was also outfitted
with an Eaton Posi unit and Richmond 3.73:1 gears. This makes the Camaro easy to drive on the street or highway, but doesn’t take away from its
potential to put the power to the pavement.
Wheels & Binders: With the engine and drivetrain looking and performing at a level expected of a modernized ’67 Camaro, it was also necessary to ensure the brakes, wheels, and tires could perform at these levels. Fortunately, the Chris Alston’s Chassisworks frontend already came with Willwood front disc brakes. So the rear was upgraded from the factory drums to an ABS Power brake system that includes rear discs, a new master cylinder, and a vacuum booster. A set of 255/40R18 and 235/40R18 Toyo Proxes T1R tires were used on the rear and front of the Camaro, giving it plenty of traction on acceleration and while taking corners at speed.
Digs: With a modern muscle car chassis and drivetrain, one might expect the interior would also contain items like a four-point rollcage, leather-wrapped Recaro racing seats, and a custom center console. But Shawn wanted to keep the Camaro’s interior just as he remembered it. So Green had Ernie’s Upholstery in Orange, California, cover the seats in the original bright blue, seat covers, headliner, and carpet. The original gauges, however, were far beyond working properly, so a set of Hanline gauges were added to the factory instrument cluster. And in keeping with Shawn’s original upgrades, Green took out the old Alpine stereo that was installed in the ’80s and upgraded it with a Pioneer stereo system with a touch-screen monitor that was custom integrated into the Camaro’s factory center console. The system can integrate with an iPhone and any MP3 device, and uses two Kicker amps and a 10-inch subwoofer box that was fitted into the Camaro’s trunk. The original-looking stereo on the dash is a dummy unit that simply plugs up the hole.