Good Things Are Happening at Camaro Concepts!

August 12th, 2011

Text and Photos by Bob McClurg

Passersby can’t help but notice Camaro Concepts’ rather unique sign on top of the building. Made from the front clip of a ’69 Camaro RS/SS, the vacuum-operated headlights, side markers and turn signals all function. Also note the unique Texas “TEST CAR” license plate. It’s the real deal!

As its name implies, Houston’s Camaro Concepts specializes in the parts sales, restoration and modification of Chevrolet Camaros from 1967 to the present, as well as other popular makes of GM muscle cars, like Corvette, Chevelle, Nova and full-size Chevrolet. Founded in 1991 by the father and son team of James and Roy Chaney, Camaro Concepts has built numerous award-winning Camaros, many of which have been featured in the best magazines in the business. However, as good as the company’s work is, their calling card is even better. Passersby can’t help but notice a ‘69 Camaro RS, or at least the front clip from one, protruding through the front of the company’s 11,000-sq-ft building.

“We got the idea that we wanted to have a Camaro coming through the roof so as to erase any doubt in anyone’s mind what type of work we do at this establishment. However, unlike a number of other examples of ‘car art’ we’ve seen around the country, we wanted to use a ‘real’ car, or at least the front end clip from one. A good friend of mine named Chris Lyons and I actually built the thing. Early on, we decided that we wanted everything to be fully functional just like a real car. The vacuum headlights are sensor-activated and come on at night. The turn signals also work, as do the side markers, and we thought that the State of Texas “TEST CAR” license plate might also be a good touch. You might say that it has become our trademark!”

Camaro Concepts’ unique “sign” may bring customers in, but it’s the company’s knowledge of the subject, expert service and show quality workmanship that keeps them coming back time and time again. Camaro Concepts’ well-stocked showroom is the first thing visitors see when they walk through the door. According to Camaro Concepts Sales Manager, Dennis Guerra, “We are a distributor for Goodmark Industries, Dynacorn International, Inc. (Dii), Golden Star, Classic Industries Parts & Accessories, Rick’s Classic Camaro Parts, CHQ, Retro-Electro, OER, Trim Parts, Soft Seal, Ted Williams, PUI and many other brands. We also carry a full line of restoration parts packaged under the Camaro Concepts brand name; and we are a dealer for American Racing Wheels, Billet Specialties, Competition Cams, Edelbrock, March, Moser, MSD, Stainless Steel Brakes Corporation, TCI, Vintage Air, etc!”

“We have the greatest customers,” says Camaro Concepts CFO Anne Chaney. When we first started out, our customer base was the greater Houston Texas Metroplex. Then we branched out to include San Antonio, Dallas and Austin, Texas, markets as well as Louisiana. These days, we’re shipping parts all over the country along with far way places like England, Sweden, Finland, Australia and New Zealand!”

Camaro Concepts supplies and services the greater Southwest with the finest 1967-current Camaro/Firebird, Nova, Chevelle and full-size Chevrolet restoration parts available. No job is too big, and no job is too small for the 11,000-sq-ft facility, which has a staff of five knowledgeable employees who know the subject inside out.

Roy Chaney says that the ratio of customer restoration versus modified is about 50/50. “On some weeks, that ratio may change, but we’re always busy. We’ve got a final assembly area set aside for both restored and modified Camaros and other GM products, and it’s always full. Out back we also have a new sheet metal fabrication shop, which does everything from fender and floor pan replacements to complete rotisserie restoration jobs. For the street machine/pro touring set, we also specialize in the installation of full tube sub frames, narrowed rearends and wheel tubs. On average, we’ve usually got three to five car building projects going on at all times. Then we have the day-to-day maintenance work, which quite often leads to a customer saving up his pennies and coming in and having us do a full restoration. Our philosophy has always been no job is too big, and no job is too small!”

With the exception of the actual machine work, Camaro Concepts also builds its own engines. Virtually every other facet of the operation is done in-house regardless of whether it’s a straight rebuild or the assembly of a nitrous big-block.

All told, Camaro Concepts employs five full-time employees. “We’re open nine to six Monday through Friday, and from nine to two on Saturday. Obviously, you have to have a passion for this kind of work, and when we’re not at the shop, we’re either at a car show, or otherwise engaged in the pursuit of the Classic Camaro or some other type of GM muscle car to one degree or another!”

In 2009, Camaro Concepts was selected to participate in Chevrolet Division’s official State of Texas product launch of the new ‘10 Chevrolet Camaro, a total of 55 cars were used as part of a four-lane freeway cruise around Houston, a rock solid endorsement of an automotive enthusiast aftermarket company by the hierarchy at GM if there ever was one.

“This is a very happy place,” says Chaney. “When people come in here they want to get away from their problems. Of course, a love for the Chevrolet Camaro is the common denominator that brings us all together. You might say we’re just one big happy family!”

Give Camaro Concepts a call at 713.365.9000 or visit the company’s online store  Camaroconcepts.com (http://www NULL.camaroconcepts NULL.com). Be sure to tell Roy Chaney and the gang that you read about it in Muscle Car Power Magazine.

SOURCE

CAMARO CONCEPTS

2236 Blalock

Houston, TX 77080

713.365.9000

Camaroconcepts.com (http://www NULL.camaroconcepts NULL.com)

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