Stuffing late-model drive trains in classic muscle cars and equipping them with modern suspension and brakes is nothing new. It’s a style that was originally launched under the Grand Touring moniker years ago, and has transformed muscle cars, whatever the flavor, into fun to drive, corner-hugging, cruising machines. Let’s face it, while the Big Three nailed the style on the performance tin of the past, the technology was not there to make them handle, stop, steer, and perform at high levels. These factory fast brutes were designed to go fast in a straight line, making them prime candidates for drag strip duty where many off the show room speed demons wowed the crowd. What about a car that can do everything well? We are talking go fast, stop fast, hug corners, and pin you back in the seat, all while the A/C is turning the cockpit into frostbite central.
Jimmy Davis of Lubbock, Texas, succeeded in crafting a car that performs well whatever the situation. The ’69 Camaro stretched across these pages has the ingredients to impress in show mode or when the Ram Jet small-block is sprung into action and the rear 20s are punished. When the car was purchased the original blue hue was added, it rolled on some old Cragar wheels, and it had a small-block Chevrolet in it with a 6-71 blower poking through the hood. Not exactly the style Jimmy was looking for, but it ran like a bat out of hell and he planned to stick quite a bit of money elsewhere on the car.
The first step in hitting the G-machine goal after the body went back on the frame was to move the 40-year-old underpinnings towards the trash bin. Jason Hill at Hill’s Hot Rods out of Lubbock racked the car and installed a full Air Ride Technologies setup so the Camaro could successfully surf the asphalt. The front suspension was all overhauled with new bushings, tie rods and idler arms from Performance Suspension Components. To bring the car to a firm stop SSBC four-wheel disc brakes were mounted up for when Jimmy gets the urge to crank the Ram Jet wide open. Setting off the low down and adjustable stance are 18-inch front and 20-inch rear Billet Specialties Pomona II billet wheels mounted on BFG low pros
For deep restoration and custom body and paint detail Jimmy turned to Jeff Cameron of Dooley and Sons back in 2000. Unlike most original iron from this era, Jimmy lucked out with an extremely straight and clean car with only the passenger door skin and rear valance needing replacement. Jeff Cameron applied PPG basecoat/clearcoat black and Hugger Orange over the Camaro’s smooth surfaces, and Rodney Hutchinson of Total Kaos applied an airbrushed trim split. Color sanded and polished to a glistening shine, the car was ready for upholstery and audio, which happens to be Jimmy’s specialty.
Dooley and Sons tossed a factory patterned Hugger Orange and black hound’s tooth deluxe interior in for retro appeal. Lending the custom touches are Electric Life front and rear power windows, Dakota digital gauges, digital air ride controls from Air Ride Technologies, a Billet Specialties steering wheel, and Lokar shifter commanding the Turbo 400 transmission. Lokar pedals command throttle and braking duties, while a custom center console built by Jimmy D holds a small portion of this beauty’s massive electronics arsenal.
Jimmy stuffed the interior of his car with a Clarion DVS 9755Z Dolby digital 5.1 DVD monitor with equalizer, crossover and time correction to lead jams to the mix of Clarion and JBL gear. The laundry list of booming audio gear includes four JBL P-432 coaxial speakers, two pairs of 6.5-inch JBL P-632 coaxial speakers, one JBL LCS-1050W subwoofer, two JBL W12GTI subwoofers, two JBL BP-80.4 amplifiers, and one JBL BPX-220.1 amplifier. Visual excitement is boosted with a Clarion VMA-7191 7-inch LCD monitor and Clarion MSS-430 TV tuner. The trunk was masterfully created by Jimmy with molded fiberglass panels all painted to match the exterior scheme of the car. Accessories from Stinger and Phoenix Gold link all of the high powered audio excitement together.
Jimmy Davis, with the help of a few Lubbock shops, has crafted an insanely detailed and extremely street worthy ’69 Camaro. The car blends the classic muscle car lines with a slew of modern high-tech tricks that make these cars so fun to drive. Mission accomplished!