The images of dazzling, mirror-like paint jobs and powerful V-8 engines can be enough to drive a man to do extraordinary things. Every month a new car magazine hits the newsstands and enthusiasts from all over feverishly thumb through its pages. Every so often you will see a ride so spectacular that you are instantly drawn to it. The decision to build a similar ride then becomes a personal quest.

David Collins of Highland Village, Texas, is one who couldn’t resist the the attraction of the early second-generation Camaro. At a young age, he fell in love just moments after opening the pages of a car magazine, and for the next 15 years searched for an all-original ’70½ Camaro RS/SS. Once the Camaro was in his driveway, David immediately went to work adding an Edelbrock intake manifold, Comp Cams cam, and a 750-cfm Holley to the stock 350ci just to make it “more tolerable.”

With the additional power on tap, David and his wife Jill headed to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where they joined the 2000 Hot Rod Power Tour and tagged along for 4-½ days until they reached Tunica, Mississippi. Several weeks after the Tour, Jill informed David that they would be adding another member to the family in approximately nine months. The excitement of a family and a Hot Rod trip all in the same month was unbelievable. David knew the arrival would strain the budget, so he went to work immediately to finish his Camaro. He added a pair of aluminum Edelbrock heads along with an even larger camshaft and a Demon carburetor. Next, David dove into the suspension, replacing every bushing, sway bar, and shock. The Camaro had its undercarriage sandblasted and powdercoated, while the transmission and rearend were rebuilt to handle the new-found power.

Two weeks after David’s daughter Gracie was born, the Camaro received the final touches—a brand-new coat of cranberry red paint and a set of Weld Rodlite wheels. The following year, with all the new speed parts in place, David and his buddies caught up with the 2001 Power Tour in Springfield Missouri. Every night after David is done working on the Camaro he comes in the house to read his daughter car magazines so that she can fall asleep learning about cars. Maybe someday Gracie will be on a future Power Tour with this same Camaro.