Thursday, August 25, 2011

Building The Perfect 69 Camaro



Quest for Perfection

This One Hits the Mark

Story Joe Greeves

When we interview builders about the reason behind a creation, we often hear themes like wanting a good daily driver or hoping to create something new and different. We believe Brian Hall’s initial goal must have been a genuine quest for perfection since his beautiful ’69 Camaro is among the best we’ve seen.

Thanks to his father, Brian grew up loving cars and there was always a hot rod or two in the driveway. As the owner of several collision centers near his home in Rock Hill, South Carolina, Brian works on cars during the day and enjoys building custom vehicles after hours.

Starting with the basics, the original chassis was removed, all of the holes welded shut, seams ground smooth and everything sprayed to match the exterior. Stainless steel upper and lower control arms from Speed Freak were added up front, along with a Flaming River power rack and pinion steering activated by an ididit tilt and telescoping steering column. The Fab 9 rear is a nine-inch unit fitted with an all-aluminum Moser Truetrac center section, 31-spline axles and 3.73 gears, held in place by a RideTech four-link rear.

Advance Plating in Tennessee polished it to a show car shine. A Wilwood polished aluminum tandem master cylinder energizes the 13-inch, four-piston caliper disc brakes from Aerospace Components, complete with an emergency brake integrated into the rear discs. Getting the show-quality chassis rolling are Colorado Customs rims, 20 x 12 with 2½-inch backspacing in the rear and 18 x 8 with a six-inch backspacing up front. Toyo Proxes 35- and 40-series rubber plants the power to the asphalt.

The new RideTech Street Challenge system provides precise control over all four wheels, adjusting the Camaro’s altitude at the touch of a button. All the components are hidden behind the rear panel in the trunk.

Under the hood is a GM 502 Ram Jet crate engine, sending an awesome 502 horsepower to the turbo 400 transmission. Brian chose custom 2¼-inch headers and MagnaFlow mufflers to ensure the appropriate muscle car sound. Cosmetics include the Billet Specialties TruTrak pulley system along with chromed brackets and hood hinges. The engine block and custom valve covers were painted to match the exterior as were the inner fender panels, firewall and the smoothed underside of the hood. Seeing this car on a lift, you realize the underside is as beautiful as the top.

Very little of the original body remains. The rejuvenation process included new GM sheetmetal for the front end, doors, rear fenders, floor and decklid. Unique touches include the unusual steel dash from a 1960 Chevrolet Impala, shortened to fit the car and filled with Custom Classic instruments. The new center console was constructed from hand-formed steel and holds the stereo, A/C controls, air suspension switches and the Lokar shifter that works the B & M-equipped Turbo 400. Brian’s good friend Mike Riggs did the metalwork. The pair of perfectly scaled bucket seats came from a Fiero, re-upholstered and with the headrests removed. Mike from Mike’s Custom Cars created the unique rear seats and is now offering them for sale. You won’t see any carpet in this car. The Platinum Gray leather used throughout the car extends to the floor and headliner. The elegant stitch work was done by Hot Rod Interiors in Mooresville, North Carolina.

To ensure every block on the full custom list was checked, the stereo was next. Using Alpine components, the audio-visual package begins with the IVA-W205 Multimedia Station with its 6.5-inch touch screen in the center of the console. It controls the three trunk-mounted Alpine amplifiers with the pair of PDX 1.600 mono power digital amps driving the twin 10-inch Alpine subs. The single PDX-4.100 four-channel power amp energizes the separated 6.25-inch component sets in the kick panels and the pair of 6 x 9s in the rear package tray. A pair of Optima Red Top batteries, hidden behind the rear trunk wall, provide power for the stereo and the car.

The final step was paint, beginning with Brian’s brother, Todd Hall, smoothing the Camaro sheetmetal and shooting the distinctive Spies Heckler Intense Blue Pearl over a white base. Ryan Young of Indocil Art did the stylized flames with multiple shades of silver and gray.

Future plans don’t include many more modifications. About now, Brian says he has the Camaro just the way he likes it. Plans do include enjoying the car at lots of shows throughout the Southeast.

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