Retrofitting GM’s latest and greatest motor into yesteryear’s engine bay isn’t anything new. But when that retrofit candidate is a current LS1 powerplant, it makes it all the better—especially if the recipient is a second-gen Camaro. Add a PPG Tangerine Orange hue with a splash of pearl-white stripes, and you end up with a killer ride that is the envy of the town.

Loyal readers will undoubtably remember the Hotchkis Performance ’71 Camaro from our third annual 0-100-0 slam dance (“Go! Whoa!,” July ’01). The object of the 0-100-0 shootout was to find out who could blast their way to 100 mph, then throw in some serious negative g’s to bring the car to a halt in the shortest distance. This second-gen Camaro did remarkably well, reaching 100 mph in a mere 1,133 feet and returning to 0 mph in just 361 feet. It then further proved it was no slouch by thumping out a 12.90 at 108.34 in the quarter-mile!

Needless to say, the ’71 left quite an impression on us, and since Hotchkis Performance was only an hour away, we felt the need to probe into the creation of the beast. But better yet, we managed to steal the keys and do a little test driving of our own in the greater Los Angeles area. We would like to thank Hotchkis for not calling the police on us when we didn’t return the car when we were supposed to—it wasn’t our fault that we enjoyed the six-speed, cold A/C, LS1 rumble, nice stereo system, the comfy seats…