One quick scan of Ric Pinola’s tight coupe tells you that he’s a man of means, possibly of many means. He didn’t take part in the actual build but he did plenty of research prior to the commencement. Here’s the setup. “I’d driven the car as a stocker for most of the 20 years I’ve had it,” Ric says. “When I discovered Pro Touring, I wanted to bring the car into the 21st century with a modern drivetrain and suspension.”
Ric laid down cash for his prize in 1987, just prior to earning his driver’s permit. He’d wanted a Camaro, though not one in Hugger Orange. He would have rather had it in red or black. The plan was to tool it around for a year, you know, to see how he liked driving a 20-year-old car, and then he’d have it repainted in a shade more to his liking. After the tenure was up he was convinced of his love for driving it. Then he did an about-face. “I had the car repainted Hugger Orange with white Rallye stripes. I had the interior redone in the original white. It was my daily transportation through high school and college. I was ‘the guy with the orange car’.”
When school was out forever, he parked his flame-colored raggie and got behind a series of BMWs for daily driving duty. Do you think that (compared to agrarian set of the original Camaro) a well-balanced chassis and the impressive handling indigenous to the German cars could have influenced him in the least?
“My Camaro still saw regular duty on sunny days and on the weekends, but more than 20 years had passed since I bought it, and the time for freshening was at hand. Initially, I wanted to have the interior redone and during my search for capable help, I came across websites, Pro-touring.com and Lateral-g.net among them.” Then he got socked with a juicy double whammy, and Ric was enlightened beyond expectation.
“The idea of my car with the handling of a modern car was a dream come true. I had read about cars like Big Red [the iconic 220-mph Pro Touring poster child] but thought them too extreme to be a ‘regular car.’” If there was any part of Ric that hadn’t been converted to the new life, then following the build of [the] “Fuel” [Camaro] convinced him that G-Force Design Concepts [Chambersburg, Pennsylvania] could turn his dream into a four-wheeled tangibility. Accordingly, Ric got with illustrator Ben Hermance (Design) for a titillating preview of what was to eventually roll out the front of the G-Force barn.
Sure, the revamping gobbled up more than three years of toil, but Ric got exactly what he’d wished for: “There isn’t anything terribly unique about my car and I wanted it that way. At first glance, it should look like a nice Hugger Orange Camaro with big wheels. At closer inspection, you will notice the upgraded suspension, subtle trim mods, and custom interior.”
Yes, and much more than that, Ric. It’ll give ’em a head full of spiders.