Under the louvered, steel hood is a stout 406 small-block by Vrbancic Brothers Racing in Ontario, California. Chris wanted a reliable combo for his Chevy, but he also wanted enough horsepower to turn heads with a healthy rumble as well. An iron 400 block was chosen and stuffed with Diamond Pistons that provide approximately 9.8:1 compression, which allows Chris to run pump fuel. Scat connecting rods reciprocate around a Lunati crankshaft. Topping the 406 is a classic Offenhauser intake manifold that sports dual 600-cfm Holley carburetors. Knowing dual quads can be temperamental to tune for the street, Chris recruited the carburetion experts at The Carb Shop in Ontario who were able to make it purr like a kitten at idle and roar like a snow leopard wide open. A set of ProComp cylinder heads were prepared by Bob Morgan and a valvetrain from COMP Cams, including the rocker arms and timing set, was chosen to manipulate Manley’s pushrods, valves, and springs. The oiling system for Chris’ 406 was handled by Moroso and the spent fumes exits through Dynomax stainless mufflers.
Opening the door of this orange sleeper reveals a sane office consisting of pieces from National Parts Depot. Much like a lot of the car, Chris assembled the interior of his SS using all the period-correct parts, including a factory tachometer and gauge-equipped center console. Instead of factory instrumentation however, Chris replaced the console gauges with pieces from Auto Meter for a subtle but modern look and function. A factory-style steering wheel also from NPD allows the driver to control the turns, while factory fresh pedals accelerate and decelerate the whole shebang. At the driver’s right is GM’s famous “horseshoe” shifter, which connects to a Hughes TH350 transmission.
Once Chris had the Camaro at his home in sunny Southern California, he contacted Linda Moghtader, at Mid-Valley Auto Body in Tarzana, where the old paint was stripped off and each panel was painted Hugger Orange before assembly. Extensive cleaning, sanding, and painting went into getting the car looking as sharp as it does. The whole frame, engine bay, and undercarriage have been stripped and painted and traditional SS stripes adorn the exterior for a factory look. The “350” badges, hood louvers, and even the bumpers are spotless on this car.
Being a street car means no rollcage, no tubular control arms, no mini-tubs, just a powerful cruiser that’s at home in the car show as well as the highways. To help the Camaro plant its tires while still utilizing leaf springs, Chris went with Calvert Racing’s CalTracs bars, which transfer weight over the rear tires more effectively under heavy acceleration. Other chassis upgrades include Hotchkis subframe connectors, Addco sway bars for limited body roll, and absorbing harsh road bumps are KYB shocks at each corner.
One of the main reasons we think this car is neat is its sleeper style, which we feel has a lot to do with the wheels and tires it has. Instead of crazy billets or super lightweight racer wheels, steel rims with dog-dish hubcaps roll at each corner of this sedate-looking ride. Classic BFGoodrich radial T/As wrap each dog-dished wheel and the whole ride comes to a stop with Wilwood disc brakes. chp