Several thousand feet above the ground you hold your breath and bail out of the aircraft, and within seconds you’re hurtling straight down at 125 mph. The earth’s surface is racing up at you as the tiny objects on the ground get closer. Separating life from death means yanking the rip cord at just the right moment. You do and immediately begin a gliding decent to your drop zone. For those who thrive on extreme sports, the word thrilling doesn’t begin to describe the adrenaline rush of skydiving. As a seasoned jumper, Craig Boone has been seeking this kind of on-the-edge excitement for years. But once back on the ground, Craig needs a four-wheeled form of free-falling—his ’69 Pro Touring Camaro. And although this Camaro never leaves the ground, it is just as thrilling.

This story started after Craig read the Oct. ’98 CHP story about Mark Stielow’s Thrasher ’69 Camaro. It was then that Craig decided to build his own Pro Touring F-body. After visiting a local swap meet, he found a ’69 Camaro in original condition just begging to be resurrected.

As with any true Pro Touring car, frame and suspension improvements are essential elements, and that’s where Craig first concentrated his efforts. To stiffen the Camaro, he first added full-length welds to the entire subframe. Next, with the frame mounted back in the car with solid frame mounts, he welded 2x3-inch box tubing to connect the front and rear frame sections. Improved cornering capability is achieved with a Herb Adams front sway bar, relocated upper control arms, Koni shocks, Global West front bushings, and Guldstrand coil springs. For better rear-suspension grip, Craig fabricated a set of traction bars built from steel and aluminum stock, made his own set of aluminum leaf-spring bushings, and moved each rear spring inboard 1-½ inches for extra tire clearance.

To power the Pro Touring Camaro, Craig assembled a 416ci small-block fed via a Holley multiport electronic fuel injection system with a five-speed transmission to harness the power. Because lots of power requires commensurate breathing capability, Craig added a set of aluminum Air Flow Research 210cc cylinder heads with 2.08-inch intake and 1.60-inch exhaust valves. Activating the oversize valves is a Crane hydraulic roller camshaft with 0.539-inch intake and 0.558-inch exhaust lift.

Inside the Camaro, Craig built his own four-point rollbar made from 2-inch tubing with 0.120-inch wall thickness. To accurately monitor engine data, he designed a custom-built gauge panel with a full set of Auto Meter instruments where the stock in-dash and console pieces used to reside.

We had a chance to spend a day with Craig riding in and driving his Pro Touring Camaro. To fully appreciate its capabilities, we motored out near Edwards Air Force base located in the desert 90 minutes north of Los Angeles. The temperature was near 100 degrees, but with help from the Griffin radiator, Stewart water pump, and dual Spal 11-inch fans, the car handled the drive easily without overheating. High-speed stopping is enhanced via a four-wheel disc brake system utilizing front 13-inch Baer rotors. The power in each gear is astounding, and negotiating the custom-built five-speed shifter through the gears is a blast. Craig has had the engine dyno-tested and at 475 hp at 5,250 rpm, with torque spinning 526 lb-ft at 4,250 rpm. Add all this together and you have a car that flies. And that’s just the way Craig likes it.