A 772 Horsepower Big-Block Powered Work of Art

February 2nd, 2011

Text by Travis Noack

Photos by Brandon Burrell

RK-Collection-Tom Farrell, 1969 Camaro Convertible, Concord, NC

The best part about owning a high performance muscle car is sliding into the seat, cranking the key, hearing the rumble exit the pipes, and mashing the gas as the rear tires feverishly search for traction as their grip is no match for the fire breather you’ve got under the hood. For the crew at the RK-Collection in Concord, North Carolina, the injected big-block powered pro touring ’69 Camaro convertible radiating off of these pages was an investment in potential. The RK crew wanted to see how far they could and would go to create the ultimate pro touring ’69 with power, style, detail and craftsmanship rounding every curve and corner of this handcrafted pavement pounder.

Like any piece of art the Camaro was not created by one man but by a whole team who dove head first into the project. The staff of the RK-Collection includes Ron Kauffman, Tom Farrell (fabricator/designer), Rich Kraus (president), Hugo Tinajero (fabricator), Nick Sherwood (fabricator) Wally Roberts (engine builder), Gary Volpicelli (Camaro expert), Vic Maguire (wiring), Tyler Walker (painter/bodywork), Corey Rupp (mechanic), Katie Morgan Rupp (administrative assistant) and Marcia Aguilano (office manager). A special thanks also goes out to Hot Rod Interiors of Mooresville, North Carolina, for crafting the trick threads as Chuck Hanna and Darrel Pressley outdid themselves on the insane cockpit of the Camaro. This tightly chiseled and deeply fabricated muscle car took approximately 18 months to build and with a stack of awards under its belt in just the first show season the car is definitely forcing other Camaro builders to bust out their note pads. Check out all the details on this amazing custom ’69 Ragtop Camaro. For all of the specs visit the Fast Facts Column.

Fast Facts

Engine/Drivetrain/Fuel Delivery

772 hp/775 ft-lb of tq. All-aluminum 582-ci Dart/Chevy big-block

Hilborn electronic fuel injection

Crane cams camshaft

Crane cams pro magnum rockers

JE Pistons 10.5:1

Eagle 4.600 bore-4.375 stroke crankshaft

Dart aluminum Race series 340 cylinder heads

Manley valves, seven COMP Cams valve springs

MSD ignition

ARP fasteners

Billet Specialties pulleys

TKO 600 five-speed manual transmission

Pro Motion shifter

Universal Automotive custom nickel-plated driveshaft

Strange 9-inch Ford rearend with 3.50:1 gears

Electronic traction control with driver selectable on/off mode

MagnaFlow performance exhaust

Hand built stainless steel headers and exhaust

Custom-fabricated, 24-gallon aluminum fuel cell

Custom aluminum oil pan


Custom Art Morrison Max-G frame mated to custom floor

Custom crafted, mandrel-bent, removable 2 1/2-inch steel roll bar (leather covered)

Custom-fabricated front frame cross member/stiffener with 1-1/4-inch sway bar

Custom CNC-machined/polished frame to firewall stiffeners


All custom fabricated

Finished in two-tone leather with carbon fiber inserts

Pioneer AM/FM CD stereo/GPS navigation/iPod interface, 800-watt amplifier, six speakers, two subwoofers

A/C, push-button start, power top, power windows, power doors, power trunk

Tilt/telescopic wheel

Custom molded carbon fiber kick-sill plates

Customized ’68 Camaro dash with modern gauges/billet switches

Custom-fabricated center console with CNC-machined billet gauge panel

Auto Meter gauges

Formula 1-style foot controls with custom CNC-machined pedals

One-off CNC-machined shifter with carbon fiber ball

Interior by Hot Rod Interiors, Moorseville, NC (704.799.7680)


Genuine ’69 Camaro Rally Sport (RS) convertible with original, intact ’69 Camaro VIN Number

All hand-fabricated inner fender covers/firewall

Customized cowl-induction hood with hidden air filter and CNC-machined Billet cowl induction grille

Custom-fabricated flat floors, all-metal rear spoiler

Electrically actuated exterior door handles

Billet aluminum polished hood/trunk hinges

Custom shaved/painted front and rear bumpers and shaved side marker lights

Rockers extended to bottom of frame

Custom-fabricated rear fascia with custom exhaust outlets and billet LED taillights and fuel cover

RS headlight openers converted to DSC electric

Custom hidden cable-drive wiper motor

PPG Atomic Fire custom-mixed paint


Front: C-6 Vette polished front suspension with Strange adjustable coil-overs, 1.25-inch sway bar

Rear: 4-link (nickel plated) rear suspension with Strange adjustable coil-overs, 1-inch rear sway bar

Rack-and-pinion steering with Uni-Steer electric assist

Ididit steering column


Colorado Customs Taladega Wheels

Front: 18 x 10

Rear: 20 x 12

Tires Front: P275/35ZR18 Michelin Pilot

Tires Rear: 335/30ZR20 Michelin Pilot

Wilwood 4-wheel drilled discs/six-piston calipers front; 14-inch rotors/four-piston calipers rear13-inch rotors

Time to Build: 4,000 work hours

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