Owner: Milt Burleson
Car: 1967 Camaro
Generally, full-blown race cars are something we tend to shy away from. And not because we don't like them, but mainly because most of them don't have much Camaro left in their souls. Milt Burleson's first-gen is a competition racer to the bone, but still carries itself with an abundance of original Camaro swagger. Milt salvaged the body from a scrap yard near Sacramento, California. Once the body was acid dipped, the project was underway built to SCCA solo specifications for C class. This means the car has to weigh no less than 2,750 pounds, sport wheels no larger than 16x12, and the engine can be no larger than 310 ci. Oh, and no tube chassis are allowed.
Global West's Cat-5 2.5-inch drop spindles and matching control arms work with Penske three-way adjustable shocks and 1,500-pound Hypercoil springs. The rear suspension is a custom four-link arrangement with a pair of Penske triple-adjustables and 600-pound springs. It may ride like a floor jack, but it handles like a go-kart-it's all in the plan. This gorgeous car peaks the "cool meter," and that's good enough to ink a spot on our top 10 list.
Owner: Mike Williams
Car: 1969 Camaro
Some cars carry an aura about them that makes you want to stand back and give it some personal space. Mike Williams put together such a car. From the exterior, this car just reeks of badness. The sinister, black pigment and race-inspired body mods weren't part of Mike's initial plan. And until he came in contact with Killer Kustoms' owner Blake Foster, the car was headed down a path of simple restoration.
Mike admitted he really wanted more than just a restored car, and further discussions with Blake ultimately led to an extreme g-Machine build. Although the car carries highly modified sheetmetal, it retains much of its Camaro heritage by utilizing a stock subframe. Sure, it sports tubular control arms and antiroll bars from Killer's sister company Speed Tech Performance, it also utilizes a Unisteer power-assisted steering rack from Maval Manufacturing. The Ford 9-inch-style reared hangs from a modified Art Morrison triangulated four-link. Mike could have gone with the now-popular LS engine upgrade, but instead kept with the 383 stroker, and puts the car on edge with a healthy dose of nitrous. The kicker: This car went from pedestrian barn find to a killer custom (no pun intended) in just 10 months.
Owner: George Paul
Car: 1980 Z28 Camaro
It's not often we come across a late second-gen built the way George Paul managed to build his the right way. Not that there is really a wrong way, but not many guys are willing to give an '80 Camaro the attention to detail the way George has. These later-year second-gen Camaros are still plentiful and relatively affordable, which may be part of the reason guys tend to hold back on de-bulking their wallets for such a common sled. Maybe the '80 second-gens have been quietly misunderstood. Well, here's a car that should change the minds of those who think that only the first three years of the second-gen is worth a damn.
George treated the car to Hotchkis suspension goodies, which lowered the car to a more credible ride height for improved handling and attractive visual characteristics. He upped the engine compartment with a GM Fastburn 385 and beefed up the TH350 with a 2800 stall converter. The car won't light the streets on fire, but it will certainly turn the heads of most any Camaro enthusiast. No matter what generation of Camaro you're into, this award-winning car should be considered as the benchmark of what can be done with a '80 F-body.