Friday, February 26, 2021

1970-1973 Split Bumper Camaro RS

1970-1973 Split-Bumper Camaro

To say the least, the split bumper Camaros are great-looking muscle cars that are sought-after by many car enthusiasts. But there has always been a lot of confusion about which Camaros came with the split bumper option.


Camaros with the RS trim package RPO Z22 option are the Camaros that were originally meant to come off the assembly line with the split bumper feature. There are a lot of split bumper replicas out there because of the high demand for the unique look the Z22 option produces.  



Since there are more original full bumper Camaros, there is a huge market for kits that can transfer a Z28 or an SS trim package into a split bumper look. If you're okay with a replica, then there's no problem, but if you want an original split bumper Camaro for investment purposes, then you need to know what you're looking for or you are sure to get duped. 



If you are looking for a Camaro with a legit Z22 option trim package, you will probably be making a smart move by doing some investigating on these Camaros before purchasing one. Taking someone's word for it is a fool's game. In fact, there are ways you can find out if the Camaro you are looking at is a real RS trim package or if it is a Z28 or an SS trim package with aftermarket Z22 parts.



Could it be a Z28 or an SS with a Legit Split Bumper Z22 Package?


Yes! It's important to know that just because a '70-'73 Camaro is a Z28 or an SS doesn't mean that it couldn't have been specially ordered from the factory with the Z22 option. You see that all the time, even in today's Camaros, Z28s ordered with RS stripes, ground effects, leather delete, etc.  



Don't get fooled. If you're looking to purchase a true split bumper Camaro, ask the owner if they have a build sheet. If they do, then the build sheet should specify if the Camaro was optioned with the Z22 package. If it wasn't, then the bumper most likely is aftermarket. 











If they don't have a build sheet, then specific features of the car should tell you what you are looking at. A true Z22 package should have most of these options: body-colored inserts on the door handles, bright chrome window and body trim, sill and hood panel moldings, hidden wipers (RPO C24) option, and bright accented parking lights, tail lights, and backup lights.  


There is one other way to find out the true identity of the car. Takedown the VIN# and call Chevrolet or use the Internet for the information you need. It may take a while, but it could be very well worth it. 



It also should be noted that an RS package is not worth more than a Z28 or an SS package. But if a Z28 or an SS came original with a full bumper and it was converted to a split bumper, that could decrease the value of the Camaro.


 

Saturday, February 20, 2021

2009 Corvette ZR1: The Era’s Most Pinnacle Corvette Built

2009 Corvette ZR-1


When it comes to Chevrolet, nothing but the best engineering has always been used when the Corvette is involved, and this Corvette is absolutely no exception. 

Through the years, Corvette has always made a big splash with their Z-Series Vettes. Corvettes such as the ZO6, ZR1, and the ZL1 would receive just a little more power and torque, handling capabilities, and all-around upgrades for better track performance than anything else General Motors was pushing on the market. 

But around 2007, Corvette starting talking about this new ZR1 that would be introduced in 2009. This ZR1 would be so performance packed it would give it a supercar status that would have its name being mentioned in the likes of Ferrari, Porsche, and Lamborghini. 


This first 2009 ZR1 was auctioned off for a Million bucks to a one, Dave Ressler. He is also the owner of the oldest known Corvette in existence, #003.

6.2-liter LS9


Motor and Transmission

The see-through Carbon Fiber hood allows anyone close enough to take a peek at the engine and see that this isn't just your average Corette. The ZR1 is powered by a 6.2-liter LS9 aluminum V8 with a Twin Vortices Series supercharger that forces air through an attached intercooler. 


Hand-built in Wixom, Mi. this powerhouse motor puts out 638 horsepower at 6500 rpm and 604-lb.ft. of torque at 3800 RPMs. 

Controlling all this power is easy with a close-ratio six-speed manual gearbox and a high-capacity, high-performance clutch that makes anyone who is sitting in the driver's seat feel like they're driving a professional racecar. 


Sure, that may seem a little light in the power department now, but in 2009, that was as beastie as it gets


Performance Stats

This General Motors’ engine and transmission combination are responsible for the staggering numbers that it puts down while going in a straight line. This ZR1 gets from 0-60 in 3.4-seconds while reaching 100-mph in a matter of 7-seconds. The Corvette has no problem covering the quarter-mile in 11.3 seconds at 131 mph. With a top speed of 200-mph. Without a doubt, the most capable, powerful Corvette put into production.  

Frame and Suspension

The ZR1 comes standard with an aluminum frame structure that weighs in at a mere 138 pounds. This frame is the exact frame that is used on the C6.R race car, giving it a power-to-weight ratio of 5.2 pounds per horsepower. The aluminum frame rides on a Magnetic Selective Ride Control suspension. The Magnetic Ride Control is the most sophisticated suspension of its kind. The ride control gives the driver two different driving modes to choose from: A Sport ride control which is ideal for the racetrack and a Touring mode which is ideal for everyday driving. These modes can be switched back-and-forth right at the driver seat with a push of a button. Doesn’t seem like so much of a wow factor now, but back in 2009, this convenience was just starting to become a top technology on American vehicles. 

Tires

Now with all that power and a great suspension, you have to have some way of keeping the tires and wheels in contact with the ground, and in this department, GM spares no expense. By replacing the stock Corvette tires with a set of Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires, the ZR1 was able to shred off three seconds per lap at the Virginia International Raceway. And that’s when the decision was made, the Michelin’s that performed the best would come on the best Corvette ever produced.


Corvette ZR-1 Wheels

Braking

You can't have a vehicle with all that power and ability without having an effective way of stopping it. So massive Brembo Carbon Ceramic 15-inch front and 15.5-inch rear vented cross-drilled rotors were added. These rotors can withstand 1000-degrees celsius before warping. The brake system includes six-piston calipers in the front and four-piston calipers in the rear. When this system all works together it is capable of the type of stopping power that you would need for a 200 mph supercar.


Corvettes First Super Car


The Looks of a Supercar

With a wider stance than the average Vette, the ZR1 is designed to take corners better and get around the track faster. Sporting 19-inch diameter wheels in the front and 20-inch diameter wheels in the back, the look of the ZR1 says nothing but supercar.

All buyers would have had the option to choose the color of the wheels which include a bright silver coated finish, a deep black coated finish, or a chrome finish. All three colors look great depending on the look you are trying to achieve.

Corvette offered nine different exterior colors, all of which are in an exotic tint helping give the ZR1 the supercar look that Corvette is ultimately after. The bigger spoiler on the back is both functional and awesome looking, and the see-through Carbon Fiber hood really makes a supercar statement. 

Interior Options for the ZR1

Corvette ZR-1 Cockpit
When it comes to the interior, the ZR1 came with an abundance of options and colors. The buyer was able to request almost everything from the steering wheel to the door panels to be wrapped in rich leather. They would also have the option of different model-specific badges to be placed about the inside of the vehicle. Power adjustable heated leather seats with microfiber inserts could be purchased for a better day-to-day driving experience. Corvette also offers a package called the 3ZR. This package included a nine-speaker Bose system, Bluetooth wireless technology, a head-up display, and a SiriusXM satellite radio, all designed for a more convenient and exciting driving experience.

Price Tag and Gas mileage

With supercar looks and supercar power and track times to match, an MSRP price tag of $112,000.00 makes this ZR1 one of the best-priced supercars of its kind. The ZR1 also rated very high in gas mileage for a 2009 sports car - EPA-Estimated 14 city/20 highway mpg. For a V-8 powerhouse, this type of gas mileage is extremely good and should be extremely satisfying for consumers.

The best thing about the ZR1 was for the first time ever, Americans that were in the market for a supercar cloud finally choose an American-built supercar that is placed in a class with some of the best supercars in the world.
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Friday, February 5, 2021

First All-wheel-Drive Drag Racing Performance Success: GMC Syclone and Typhoon



The Dog Days of Sports Cars

Back in 1991, the dogs days of the sad, slow, so-called economy efficient sports cars were starting to come to an end. The days of the poorly performing 350-cu.-in. Tuned-Port Injection (TPI) engine setups that General Motors were using for their unimpressive performing sports cars were about to be replaced by a much more stout performing LT1 350-cu.-in. engine.

'91 GMC Syclone

But before the change, the GMC truck division of General Motors made an interesting move to get involved in some of the performance hype GM was encouraging at the time. GMC made a move and signed a contract with a company called Production Automotive Systems (PAS) which in turn started the creation of the fastest production trucks of its time: the '91 GMC Syclone pickup truck and '92-'93 GMC Typhoon SUV.

The Pass Company was no stranger to this type of work. Pontiac called upon them to help build the very famous
20th Anniversary 1989 Pontiac Trans AM

1989 Turbo Trans Am 20th Anniversary Edition. Oddly enough, they just went with a drive train that was already tormenting all of the sports cars on the streets, the V6 3.8-liter Buick turbo intercooler setup.  

Originally Buick's Idea

Originally, Buick came up with the idea for the turbocharged truck, but not to cause any conflict with the GMC truck production branch, they handed the idea over to them. GMC was hesitant to take on the project at first since they already had a similar black regular cab pick-up truck on the market with a 454 cu.-in. engine. 

But some forward-looking engineers and designers saw the potential in smaller engines. Assuming Buick could make it work in a G-Body grocery-getter car with much success, doing the same in a truck and an SUV should work just as well, and to nobody's surprise, it did.  

Different Turbo Setup For The Syclone and Typhoon

The PAS company engineered a 4.3-liter Vortec engine equipped with a turbocharger and an intercooler to fit in both the Syclone and the Typhoon.

To efficiently transfer engine
'91 GMC Typhoon
power, both models would receive the four-speed 700R4 automatic transmission, the same trans the Corvette and the Buick turbos were using at the time.

The First All-Wheel-Drive Technology Used For Racing Performance

What made the Syclone and the Typhoon so unique from other trucks is that they used a very performance efficient all-wheel-drive system. That technology helped these trucks that had an underrated, unofficial horsepower rating of 280 get down the quarter-mile with times that could stop the clocks somewhere in the high-to-mid 13-second range. 

Since the technology was so similar to the successful 3.8-liter turbos, aftermarket part dealers and car enthusiasts knew exactly what easy upgrades could be made to make these trucks amazingly performance efficient. I've personally seen Typhoons run in the high 10-second range and Syclones being lighter in weight, stop the clocks in the 9s. 





GMC Syclone and Typhoon: Unbeatable Deal

With great gas mileage, great performance, and the fact that they were limited production, the GMC Syclone and Typhoon were and are still collector items for all car enthusiasts alike. 

With production numbers of only 2,998 '91 Syclone's, 2,500 '92 and 2,200 '93 Typhoons built, the price tags on these rare trucks still stay up in the $15,000 to $25,000 range for the ones that are still in good condition.

Unfortunately, the PAS company based in Troy, Mi., that was responsible for the GMC Syclone and Typhoon's engineering and design would go out of business after GM decided not to go forward with any more specialized GMC vehicles at the time. 

The decision was mostly due to the progression of the Corvettes, Camaros, Trans Ams and the need to focus on the new technology of eclectic vehicles. That may have sounded silly then, but now, all auto companies have moved into the electric vehicle direction, and GM predicts by 2035, the only vehicles they will be producing are going to be all-electric vehicles. 
             

Syclones and Typhoon GENERAL SPEC

4.3-liter turbocharged intercooled











Type:      V6
Disp.:      262 C.I. (4.3L)
Horsepower:   280 BHP @ 4400 (Syclone) 285 BHP @4400 (Typhoon)
Torque:     350 lb-ft @ 3600 (Syclone) 350 lb-ft @ 3600 (Typhoon)
RPO:       LB4
Bore:      4.00
Stroke:     3.48
Comp. Ratio:   8.35:1
Firing Order:  1-6-5-4-3-2
Oil Pres. (Min) 6 psi@ 1000 RPM, 18 psi@ 2000 RPM, 24 psi@ 4000 RPM

CYLINDER BORE
Diameter:    3.9995-40025
Out of
Round:      .001 (production) .002 (service)
Taper:      .001


PISTONS:
Clearance: .0015-.0030
PISTON RING: Compression: Groove Clearance: .0012-.0032 Gap: .010-.020 (top) .010-.025 (2nd) Oil: GC: .002-.007 Gap: .015-.055 PISTON PIN: Diam: .9270-.9273 Piston Clearance: .0002-.0007 Rod Fit: .0008-.0016 Interference

CRANKSHAFT:
MAIN JOURNAL: Diam: #1 2.4484-2.4493
#2 #3 2.4481-2.4490
#4 2.4479-2.4488
Taper: .001 max
Out of Round: .001 max
MAIN BRG. CLEARANCE: #1 .0010-.0015 #2#3 .0010-.0025 #4 .0025-.0035
CRANK END PLAY: .002-.006
CRANKPIN: Diam: 2.2487-2.2497
Taper: .001 max
OOR: .001 max
ROD CLEARANCE: .0013-0030
SIDE CLEARANCE: .006-.014


CAMSHAFT:
LIFT +- .002 Intake .357 Exhaust .390 Journal Diam: 1.8682-1.8692 End Play .004 -.012

VALVE SYSTEM:
Lifter Hydraulic Rocker ratio 1.5:1
Lash Adj. One turn down from zero Face Angle 45 deg.
Seat Angle 46 deg.
Runout .002 max
Seat Width 1/16 to 1/32 Stem clearance .0010-.0028 Spring length 2.03 Valve Spring Pres. 76-84 lbs @ 1.70 in Closed 194-206 lbs @ 1.25 in
Open Installed height 1 23/32"
Valve Spring Damper: Free Length 1.86 # coils 4

   



Wednesday, January 6, 2021

69 of 69: Last 1969 Camaro ZL-1 - Sold - Crashed - Restored

 

69 ZL-1 Camaro #69

Although the ad doesn't indicate, this 1-of-69 ZL-1 Camaros is actually #69. The Hugger Orange Camaro rolled off the assembly line in early 1969 and then was shipped off to the Huebner Chevrolet and Oldsmobile Dealership in Carlton, OH. 


1969 Camaro ZL-1 #69 History 

The Camaro was sold by Archie Huebner to an unknown customer. Through the first couple of years, the ZL-1 received custom candy-coated cobb-web stripes by the famous custom vehicle painter "Greg of Akron"

ZL-1 69 Camaro




The Camaro also received a healthy 396 to replace the famous ZL-1 aluminum-block and wider wheel wells for wider rear tires. In the hands of its's first owner, the Camaro turned in a quarter-mile time of 11:29 sec. at Norwalk Raceway in Ohio. 


Norwalk Raceway


 

After a few years, the Camaro was sold to a second owner and then thrid. Eventually, the Camaro would get sold to a fourth owner in '78 with only 11,000 miles on it. He would then sell it to a friend in '81 who ended up wrecking it within a week.    

ZL-1 Wreck in Rear

69 ZL-1 Camaro Wrecked





#69 ZL-1 Camaro Restoration Time 

The Camaro sat for 22 years without no one really knowing what kind of Camaro it was. Then one day someone sent the owner a letter inquiring about the Camaro. So the owner and some friends did some research only to find out they were sitting on a goldmine. 

Camaro info #69 ZL-1

After all the research and the number checking, it was time to start shopping for NOS sheet metal, parts, and everything else that was no longer salvageable on the Camaro.

ZL-1 Camaro Restoration

 

Camaro ZL-1 Sheet metal






69 Camaro ZL-1 Paint

The 396 engine was pulled a long time before the restoration was started, but luckily for the restorers, they found the original 427 aluminum-block that matched the code for the Camaro. 

ZL-1 Aluminum Block




1969 Camaro ZL-1 Fact Sheet

Vin# 9N650977 (#69) 
  • M22 4-Speed HD Close Ration Transmission
  • A01 Soft-Ray Tinted Class
  • D55 Center Console 
  • D80 Air Spoiler Equipment
  • U17 Special Instrumentation
  • U63 AM Pushbutton Radio
  • Z21 Style Trim Group 
  • 5927 72-72 Hugger Orange
  • Sports Car Conversion
  • 9737 Tires (in place of PL5)


1969 ZL-1 Camaro


The Last 1969 ZL-1 Camaro's Resting Place

Unfortunately, I have done some research and found other documented true '69 ZL-1 Camaros, but I have yet to find this one. I've heard rumors and stories, but nothing positive enough for me to put in writing under fact. Maybe it is in a museum somewhere or held down at someone's garage? 

Hopefully, It's Safe! 










Thursday, December 31, 2020

Difference Between the Yenko Camaro and COPO Camaro

 


Most people probably know about how badass the Yenko and the COPO Camaros are, but how many people know where the names come from and what’s the difference between the two. Of course, if you are a diehard Camaro fan with a lot of knowledge of the first generation Camaros, you probably know some or all of the facts, but just in case you don’t, here is a little bit of education.



The Yenko

In 1967, Don Yenko, owner of Don Yenko Chevrolet, contacted General Motors and ordered 54 Camaros straight from the factory with a special mission in mind. That special mission was to convert those Camaros into Yenko drag strip-ready IHRA/NHRA Stock and Super Stock Camaro competitors.


(How many Yenko Camaros were built and sold from 67 through 69 is really unknown. The same goes with COPO Camaros; ask ten different experts and you're likely to get ten different answers).


When these Camaros first showed up at the Yenko Dealership, the first order of business was to take out the existing 396-cu.-in. engines and replace them with 427 big-blocks. Although a lot of numbers swirled around about how much horsepower they produced, it was estimated around 425-450-hp (depending on who you asked). Along the way, Yenko also had all Yenko labeled Camaros beefed up with other goodies like traction-bars and 3:73-positraction rear-ends. 


There was only one problem with Team Yenko’s plan to turn the Camaros into drag strip-ready Camaros, they were not allowed to race in the IHRA/NHRA Stock or Super Stock classes. These classes were strictly for cars that had no engine changes or any other big mechanical changes after they left the factory. They were not banned from all drag racing, just the Stock and Super Stock classes that the Yenko Team was aiming for, so eventually the Yenko program was canned. 


A lot of people think that the reason Yenko stopped the program was because of the inability to race in their intended classes. That was part of the reason, but most of the reasons were because Yenko was losing money on the pulled 396 motors and rear-ends they could not seem to get rid of and the program was losing even more money since GM would no longer warranty the Camaros if they were modified after they left the factory. That either fell in the hands of the owner or Yenko himself.



 

69 COPO Camaro   

It’s true, the name strikes fear in the hearts of racers who dare to pull up next to one in the staging lanes. They dominated the Stock and Super Stock classes for a long time.


COPO stands for (Central Office Production Order) and this program was invented specifically to put competitive Camaros in those Stock and Super Stock classes. If you ordered a Camaro from the central office, the build sheet would go to the factory, and when the Camaro rolled off the factory line complete, whatever you asked to be installed would be installed and considered stock. With that being said, there was nothing IHRA or NHRA could do about excluding the cars from racing in stock classes.


Ultimately, it was Fred Gibb and Don Yenko that pushed Chevrolet into making this program happen. Chevy saw the need for competitive Camaros in these classes for the use of sponsorship and of course bragging rights. They were Camaros, they were stock, and they were Mustang and Mopar eaters for a long time at the track. The 427 big-blocks made 425-hp and 460-lb.-ft. of torque, they took home a lot of trophies.  

Last Note 

A lot of people believe the COPO division was designed for the 69 ZL1-Camaro and then squashed, and then brought back in 2013 for the Camaro again. But the General Motors COPO Division has been around since GM made fleet vehicles e.i. cop cars, taxis, tow trucks, etc. All vehicles that are ordered specially from a corporation, charity, a government, or something like that are considered specialty made vehicles or COPO vehicles. (It wasn’t just a program made up for one of the baddest Camaros ever produced, the Camaros just stole the spotlight). 


  


 


Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Brand New Trans Am "Smokey and The Bandit" Car




Update 12/2020

"Smokey and The Bandit" Trans Am


Well, as everyone excepted, the "Smokey and The Bandit" Trans Am was going to sell out fast, and that's exactly what it did. But with the Pandemic and the holidays on the horizon, keeping your eyes open for one on sale is a good idea.  In fact, this December, I've come across a couple of them for sale. I can't say rather or not they're priced to move, but they are for sale and they're collector items.  

There are some imposters out there, so to be on the safe side, take the VIN# down and call transamdepo.com to make sure that it is an official (1-of-77 Trans Am Smokey and The Bandit Special Edition cars). There is a big difference, one that could leave you on the losing side of a car transaction.


Update 2018


 


Trans Am Worldwide is announcing that they will be producing 77 Trans Am Bandit Sports Cars signed and certified by the man himself, Burt Reynolds. The reason for the off-beat number being built of 77 represents the year the movie "Smokey and the Bandit" came out in theaters (1977), and it represents the year Trans Am that was used for the movie. 

With 800+ horsepower, these Trans Ams are sure to be a little bit more fun to drive than the ones that were raced around in the movies. Probably more expensive and harder to get your hands on as well, but if you do, this would definitely be a collector car.


6/7/13



Brand New Trans Am

 




Trans Am-Firebird

There is a lot of talk about if GM will ever come back with a Trans Am or a Firebird, but that is just what it is, talk. If GM does decide to bring it back, there would be a lot of car enthusiasts very happy with their decision. If they are planning on making this type of move, they are defiantly keeping a very tight lip on what they're going to do and when.



There is one fact that has been made very clear by GM. If they do bring back the Trans Am and Firebird, they will not be bringing back the Pontiac brand. All production would be under the authority of GM and the Pontiac name would not even be used for the Trans Am campaign. One last thing that is pretty well-known about the situation is that they would probably be produced in the same factories as the Camaros and would be sold at Chevrolet dealerships where Camaros are sold. 



Build Your Own Trans Am/Firebird


If you're someone who does not want to wait for GM's decision and you must have one no matter what, there are alternatives. Companies like Trans Am Worldwide build authentic-awesome-looking prototypes of Trans Ams, Firebirds, Hurst, and Firehawks that can be customized personally and purchased by private owners.



The process is really cool! Brand new Camaros are purchased, then ground effects, bumpers, spoilers, customer interiors, and whatever else that needs to be replaced are replaced with prototype parts for the unique styling that replicates what a new Trans Am would probably look like if GM was to start making them again. The nice thing about these projects is that they're made from new Camaros, which should be enough to ensure that these Trans Ams are built American Motor tough.