The 2015 Specialty Equipment Market Association show is playing host to no fewer than four official customized concepts based on the latest, sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro muscle car, plus a new COPO model for official drag racing events. However, as gleaming as the new metal will be, there's a chance that they could all be upstaged by another Camaro making its debut at this year's SEMA -- one that's already 45 years old.
The demand for customization and aftermarket services in the US and beyond was born as much out of restoring and hot-rodding existing and classic cars as it is on making a 2016 model year vehicle really ‘pop' with personality. And with a specially restored and modified 1970 Camaro RS, Chevrolet has found the perfect way of combining new with old school.
Under the hood is the company's latest crate engine, the LT4, a supercharged powerplant derived from that found in the latest Corvette and one that could conceivably be dropped into any classic Chevy in order to add a bit of power and a lot of reliability. How much power? 650hp in standard tune, making it GM's most potent ever off-the-shelf propulsion solution and one that can be specified with a wet or dry sump.
"Chevrolet Performance pioneered the concept of high-performance crate engines and the LT4 represents a new threshold in technologically advanced, production-based choices for builders," said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. "Whether it's in a classic Camaro, like this resto-mod concept, or a vintage truck or street rod, the possibilities are almost endless -- and that's exactly how we continue to fuel the dreams of enthusiasts."
More power means that everything else has had to be modified to cope like the car sports rack and pinion steering, independent front suspension with coil-overs (multi-link at the rear) and a set of brakes from the Corvette Stingray that were developed for coping with this motor's stopping demands.
Other modern external touches include LED headlamps and taillights and a Hyper Blue metallic paint color, which is new for the Camaro this year.
Inside, at first glance the car appears stock, but look closely and the instrument gauges are new and designed to display the engine's electronic systems. There's also a T-56 Super Magnum six-speed manual transmission (the engine can be coupled to an automatic gearbox, too) and for ultimate peace of mind, a roll cage.