Last of the 4th Gens
Owner: Dave Smith
Ever since my first car, a 1975 Camaro, I’ve always had a Camaro in my life. That is, until my four children came along and the Camaro was traded in for a Suburban! Fast forward 20 years and with the kids in college, I decided it was time once again to renew my love for Camaros. I started searching for a ‘69 retro-rod. I looked for about six months, but everything I found was well above my price range.
One day while traveling down the Interstate I saw a 2000 SS Camaro that really caught my eye. I modified my search to include a Gen 4 SS. I found the perfect car just 20 miles from my home, and I just had to have it. It was a red 2002 SS with only 4,000 miles on it. It had complete documentation down to the factory order sheet and plastic covering on the seats and floor. I took First place in the original class in its first show at the 2011 Chevy Classics Winter Nationals. It also won best original paint and interior at the same show. Unfortunately, only two weeks after it won Winter Nationals, the car was totaled in a single car accident (that’s what happens when you don’t have traction control and you’ve just completed Richard Petty’s racing school). I was sick about totaling this perfect Camaro!
I liked that car so much I immediately started a search for another Gen 4. The search led me to my current 2002 6-speed SS Camaro, which I found 150 miles away (this one has traction control). I don’t know much of the car’s history except it was originally purchased at a local dealership 9 miles from my home and does not appear to have ever left the state. The car only had 9,000 miles on it when I purchased it in 2012. Its condition was excellent with the exception of the paint and general cleanliness. When I got the car home and went through it thoroughly, I was surprised to find that the car had not been abused at all. It was a “no hit” body and in excellent condition underneath.
I decided I wanted to make this car one of a kind. It took eight months to perform most of the modifications with a lot of help from our local Camaro club – Classic Camaro of Central Florida. I started with the engine by adding a hotter cam, pushrods, dual valve springs, high volume oil pump, under drive pulley kit, LS2 timing chain, CNC ported throttle body, American racing headers and a complete suspension from BMR including lower springs, torque arm, lower control arms, adjustable pan hard bar, front and rear sway bars, and a strut tower brace. I had the car tuned and dyno’d at 400 hp. I then completely removed the interior and painted the car “Jet Stream Metallic Blue,” with black double hockey stick stripes and a blacked out rear-end. I removed the rear antenna (I never knew how much fun sanding could be!) I replaced the interior and made it a rear seat delete and added high back sport seats, a shoulder harness bar and four point seat belts. I topped it off with a set of gloss black C6 wheels: 17 x 9.5 up front and 18 x 10.5 in the rear–all wrapped up with Continental Extremes.
At its first show, the Chevy Classics 2013 Winter National, it scored 998 out of 1000 points, and took first place in its class. The Camaro also received a Best Award in the custom paint category. My plan for the future is to use what’s left of the kids’ college fund to add a set of heads and dress up the engine compartment.
Special Thanks To:
Anthony and Bob (paint and body)
Jim, Tim, Chuck, Chris (suspension and interior)