Take Three

They say home décor should be good for 10-15 years. Longer than that, and your olive-colored appliances and golden oak cabinets are starting to look dated. As a result, fashion-forward homeowners redo their home several times over the years. Many hot rodders do the same thing to keep up with changing trends; wheel diameters change, technology advances and teal paint with pink splash graphics goes out of style. Other hot rods get hard use over many years to the point of being used up, such that they need to be refreshed, and emerge with up-to-date build sheets out of necessity.

The COMP Cams Camaro is a case of the latter; it was first built in the late ‘90s as a tribute to Scooter Brothers’ trophy-winning Super Stock ’69 drop top. The car you see was picked up in 1998, put together to conquer the then-new Hot Rod Power Tour, show off the latest in hot rod goodies, and cause general vehicular mayhem. It completed all tasks admirably, with its coil-overs, four-wheel discs and SB2 small block. The Camaro racked up thousands of miles and as many stories, the best including the car falling out of a trailer. And not just like, “oh dang it slipped off the ramp,” like “we’re driving 70mph and the car rolled out of the trailer and caught itself by the header collector flanges.” Can you imagine the carnage of an unmanned 1969 Camaro, literally dropped onto the road? Let us rejoice in the fact that no one at COMP had to find out that day.

The Camaro lived a full life as the CC Camaro, 10+ years of raucous adventures, but by 2010 it was looking a little ragged. The F body was regulated to a corner of the shop, in varying states of disrepair until 2016. Comp’s 40th anniversary proved to be the catalyst needed to resurrect the Camaro, and V8 Speed & Resto was called upon to help. A Heidt’s Pro-G front clip was set in place, while their matching bolt-in four-link package was applied to the stern. Wilwood came through with a set of huge disc brakes for each corner, while Weld offered up one-off wheels. The body was repaired and restored to before-the-stories condition and sprayed with a custom-mixed white with black stripes.

Under the new Haartz top, you’ll find just what you’d expect in a classy ’69 Camaro; houndstooth upholstery over bucket seats. The seat belts still clip into the stock center console (maybe my favorite first-gen F body feature), though the horseshoe shifter was ditched in favor of a TCI Outlaw stick. The dash remains largely untouched, which is entirely possible thanks to the direct-fit VHX instrument system. The all-new gauge package makes use of stock bezels, both dash and center console. Black faces with white backlighting were spec’d for the traditional look, not to mention it matches the car perfectly.

As a tribute to a Super Stock car, as well as the flagship for the COMP performance group, things were going to get serious under the hood. Gone was the NASCAR-headed Gen I small block, excised in favor of an LS-based bullet. A shiny new RHS Race Block was shipped to Bulter LS to serve as the foundation. It was filled with a complete Lunati rotating assembly and COMP camshaft and corresponding valvetrain system. A pair of cylinder heads based on the LS7 design, also from RHS, were placed atop the shortblock and linked together by a FAST LSX intake manifold with a 102mm Big Mouth throttle body. A FAST XFI Sportsman EFI system serves as the operations manager, doling out fuel and spark to the tune of 690hp and 619lb-ft. Under the floorpan is a TCI 6X six speed automatic transmission with TCI converter handling the dirty work.

The CC Camaro is fresh out of the V8 Speed & Resto shop and is beginning to make its rounds once again. We ran into it (not literally) at the SEMA Show in November, and it was so nice to see a car with such history brought back to glory. The story of this car is the best life for a muscle car, if you ask me; built to the owner’s taste, then used, thoroughly enjoyed, even if they were hard years, then rehashed for the next chapter. What fun is a shiny car languishing away in the garage? It’s a little fun, sure, but shuffling past it trying not to scuff the paint isn’t a good memory. Doing donuts in a hotel parking lot, now that’s a memory.

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