Three two-barrel carburetors, a 427 engine, and a Richmond six-speed transmission sounds exciting to any red-blooded hot rodder. But when Larry Christensen decided that's what he'd install in his '69 Camaro, he had to keep it a secret. That's because Larry has spent the last 25 years knee-deep with early Camaro restorations, and has rightfully gained a strong reputation as an authority on 5,000-point concourse F-bodies. Granted, meticulously restored early Camaros are very cool and are icons of musclecar history, but Larry now wanted to create a car that whispered detail and screamed creativity.

After locating a deserving Rally Sport Camaro, Larry kicked off his high-perf creative jaunt by completely disassembling the body from the frame. Once the chemical cleaning was complete on the subframe, he reengineered the F-body's front suspension geometry to gain improved handling and reduce the ride height. He also replaced the stock control arms with tubular arms from Detroit Speed & Engineering (DSE) and added a 1 1/8-inch Hotchkis sway bar. To give the Camaro plenty of stopping power, the stock discs made way for a set of large-by-huge rotors and calipers from Baer Racing. For added rear-tire clearance, he minitubbed the Camaro's rear wheelhouses and relocated the rear springs with offset shackles from DSE.

Larry blended strong musclecar heritage with current performance pieces under the hood by bolting in a vintage 427ci L72 short-block topped off with factory aluminum rectangular-port heads and a very rare L71 Tri-power intake manifold. To that he added Street and Performance pulleys, GM Bow Tie valve covers, and an MSD HEI distributor.

The drivetrain came next, and Larry insisted that it incorporate both versatility and strength. So he installed a Richmond six-speed gearbox with a 3.27:1 First gear that produces a strong overall blast through the 3.08-geared 12-bolt rearend and effortlessly cruises in high gear with the 0.76-Overdrive ratio.

Larry believes that fit and finish are critical, so before painting guru Marvin Galbraith fired up his spray gun the fenders, doors, and hood underwent no less than three trial fits to ensure perfect body and fender gaps. After the Daytona Yellow paint cured, Larry and Marvin masked off the rear body section and laid on a Baldwin-Motion-style black bumblebee stripe to give the car an added identity.

Inside the Camaro, the crew at DSE constructed a new dash with color-keyed gauges from Classic Instruments. For added seating comfort, the Nebraska-flat '69 Camaro seats took a hike, replaced by a pair of Corvette C5 seats wrapped in yellow leather with houndstooth inserts.

True, early Camaros offered great style and performance in showroom condition, but Larry has proven that with some creativity, detail, and boldness these cars can improve with age. This doesn't mean that Larry has left the early Camaro restoration camp; he just wanted something a little bit different.

Speed Reading

Car: '69 Camaro Owner: Larry Christensen Engine: 427ci big-block, 4.280-inch bore, 3.760-inch stroke (433ci), 10:1 compression, TRW forged pistons, Four-bolt main caps, GM steel crankshaft, Chevrolet L71 Tri-power intake manifold, Hooker Competition Headers, Jet-Hot coated, Crane PowerMax hydraulic camshaft, 236/246 degrees duration at 0.050-inch lift, 0.553/0.571-inch lift, GM Aluminum cylinder heads (casting No. 074), MSD HEI ignition, Spal electric fan, Be Cool radiator
Drivetrain: Richmond six-speed manual, 3.27 First gear, 0.76 Overdrive, '69 Camaro 12-bolt rear narrowed 6 inches, 3.08 posi-traction, C-clip-eliminator kit, 11-inch Centerforce clutch
Chassis: Baer Pro Plus six-piston Alcon calipers w/14-inch front rotors, Baer Touring Plus 13.5-inch rear rotors, Koni shocks, Hotchkis 1 1/8-inch front sway bar, 12.7:1 modified Saginaw steering box, Sandblasted and powdercoated frame, Rock Valley 18-gallon stainless steel fuel tank, Detroit Speed and Engineering tubular control arms
Wheels: Boyd Coddington Magneto wheels, Front: 8x18, 255/45ZR18, Rear: 12x18, 345/35ZR18, 5.5-inch back spacing, Michelin Pilot Sport tires
Body: Paint and bodywork by Camaros Plus, painter Marvin Galbraith, Daytona Yellow body color with black bumblebee stripe (Baldwin-Motion Camaro design), Custom dash by Detroit Speed, Gauges custom painted by Classic Instruments, '69 Trans Am rear spoiler, Z06 front seats, ididit tilt steering column, Endura front bumper, Vintage Air A/C unit