Larry and Cole's 1967 Camaro


Here's everything you need to know about our car and the adventures we have gone through with it.

 

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Our story   

   It started in October 1992 when my wife found an ad in the local paper for a 1967 “Pro Street” Camaro. Curiosity got the best of us and we decided to go take a look. When the owner pulled the cover off of the car in Thousand Oaks, CA we were surprised. It looked very nice on the inside and out. It had a pretty nice paint job, the Deluxe Interior was in great shape, and it had 15x3.5 and 15x10 Rally Wheels on it. The engine was a stock 400 SBC that was new, the stock TH400 was new as well. It had a stock width 12 bolt with 3.31 gears. It had a poorly finished “mini tub” job done to it, but it was acceptable for the time being. All in all, the car was in great shape for the money. We made her an offer and after a couple weeks she accepted. The car remained “stock” while my wife drove it as her daily driver for three years. We’d take it to Kevin’s Burgers in the San Fernando Valley on Friday nights to hang out. While at Kevin’s Burgers, we had quite a few people come up to us and say the car looked very familiar. After meeting a few more people, we came to find out that the car was a regular in the L.A. area street racing scene before we had purchased it. The only information that we know is that the previous owner’s name was Robbie and the car had a small block with a lot of nitrous. We were told that the car would hook on gravel despite having a small tire and stock suspension at the time. After enjoying the car for a little more than a year, the 1994 Northridge earthquake wasn’t very kind to us or the car. A bookshelf that was stored above in the garage came down on the roof/quarter panel. Along with various other items that bounced off the sides of the car. It was heartbreaking to see the car when we pulled it out of the garage. Luckily, Dave Van Espen, a good friend of mine offered to do all the body/paint work in his spare time. Over the next year in his garage, Dave got the body back in shape and repainted almost the whole car. In 1995 I was transferred to Phoenix, AZ. At that time we decided to make the car “right” by parking the car in the garage and doing a proper mini tub and subframe connectors. One thing led to another and the wife was pretty upset when she walked out and saw no floor from the front seats to the rear bumper. A few words were mumbled and the tears began to form. She thought the car was ruined. One of her fears was that the car would be a “race car” which she did not want. After almost five years of off and on work by myself, Frank Ring, John Denny and my son Cole we got the chassis back together. Meanwhile back in CA, my son Cole with the help of Tom Nelson built his first engine ever. It was a stout little 406 that had iron Bowtie heads and 12.5:1 compression. The engine dyno’d at 560HP and 550 Ft. Lbs. Finally in 2001, we got the car back on the road and began running a few Super Chevy Shows on the west coast. My son and I share the driving duties by trading off events. I can honestly say that half of the fun is building the car and watching it go down the track and the other half is sitting in the driver’s seat and making a pass. Eventually we were able to tune the car from 11.80 et’s down to 11.17. After two years of running the car here and there, the block decided to part ways. A crack in the number 7 cylinder from top to bottom ended our fun. We pulled the motor out and decided it was time to build something that would last. No more stock blocks for us. Cole found a number of great deals on eBay, PSCA Classifieds and word of mouth and began building our current engine. After working with Tom Nelson in his new shop, getting a few more machining tips here and there, Cole was able to handle most of the machining himself while leaving the important stuff like cylinder honing and balancing in the talented hands of Tom. After everything was machined, Cole assembled his second engine at home in the garage. The engine build took a little longer than we had hoped, but it was well worth the wait. We were rewarded with 780HP @ 7500 rpm and 590 FtLbs @ 5600 rpm on Bill Maropulos’ dyno in Simi Valley, CA. We have since added a vacuum pump which should bring the total close to, if not over, the 800 HP mark. To date it has run a best of 10.19 @136 MPH. We expect the car to run in the 9.60 range when the chassis is sorted out further and we can bring the 60’ times down. With the new ET potential, getting a NHRA license is also a requirement. Even though the car is now a “race car” and rarely sees the street, except for these pictures and the occasional local cruise spot, my wife still appreciates the car for being kept as complete and original as possible. I suppose when you consider the cost to build a car these days, this one is pretty “cheap” in comparison. We try to spend money in the right places, and doing all of your own labor goes a long way to keep this “budget racer” around. The car gets a lot of attention at the track when people see that it not a “striped” race car, and the fact that it has a small block. In today’s world of big inch motors, it’s nice to compete with a naturally aspirated small block and raise a few eyebrows. Future plans for the car include a trans brake, upgraded driveshaft, modified front cross member to allow a full kickout oil pan, adjustable front shocks, and other items that catch our eye. We also plan on running a few of the PSCA events in the 9.60 index class. We hope to see you at the track.

 

Data File

Car:                     1967 Camaro SS 350

Owner:                 Larry Balster

Engine:                403 cubic inch SBC
Horsepower:        800 HP @ 7500 rpm (no nitrous)

Torque:                595 ftlbs. @ 5400 rpm

Best ET:               10.19 @ 136 mph (foot brake laun)

Best 60’ Time:     1.47 (no trans brake)
Block:                  Motown Race with Billet Caps

Crank:                 Callies 4340 - 3.75” Stroke

Rods:                   CAT 6” 4340 Billet I-Beam
Pistons:               JE Forged 4.135” Bore 14.75:1 Compression

Rings:                  Speed-Pro File Fit

Bearings:             Mains – King Alecular

                            Rods – Calico Coated

                            Cam: King Standard

Oil Pan:               STEF’S Aluminum

Oil Pump:            Melling HP

Head Gaskets:      Fel-Pro MLS .041”
Heads:                 18 Degree CNC Ported by Petty Enterprises
Valves:                 Del West Titanium – 2.15 Int. / 1.625 Exh.
Springs:                PSI Valve Springs 300 lbs. closed / 700 lbs. open

Retainers:             Del West Titanium

Locks:                   Del West Titanium
Camshaft:             COMP 286/292 @ .050” - .750”/.730” Lift - 112 LSA (.470” Lobe Lift ! )
Rocker Arms:        JESEL Pro Series Shaft Mount 1.6 Int. / 1.55 Exh.

Lifters:                  MOREL .903" dia. Solid Roller .150" offset

Pushrods:             Smith Brothers 3/8” .120” Wall

Cam Drive:           JESEL Belt Drive System
Intake Manifold:   Wilson CNC - Edelbrock 2955 -  2 Piece with  WILSON 4500 Adapter
Carburetor:           Holley 1050 Dominator
Fuel System:         Aeromotive A1000 Pump and Regulator

Fuel Octane:         VP 110 Leaded

Valve Covers:       GMPP Cast Aluminum

Vacuum Pump:     Aerospace Components

Distributor:            MSD Billet w/ Slip Collar

Ignition:                MSD 7AL-2 with 2 Step Control

Coil:                      MSD Blaster HVC
Headers:               1-7/8” Hooker Super Comp modified for 18 degree flange

Exhaust:                Dr. Gas 3-1/2” X-Pipe

Mufflers:                Dynomax 3-1/2” Bullet
Transmission:        HUGHES TH400 with Manual Valve Body
Torque Converter: HUGHES 10” with 5200 rpm stall
Driveshaft:             3” Steel
Chassis:                 NHRA Certified to 8.50 seconds

                              Custom 2x3 Back Half

                              Alston 8 point Roll Cage
Suspension:           Front – Stock with MOROSO Drag Springs

                              Rear – ALSTON Ladder Bars

Shocks:                  Front – 90/10 Summit Drag Shocks

                              Rear – AFCO Double Adjustable

Rear End:              12 Bolt Chevrolet

                              Richmond 4.88 Gears

                              MOSER Steel Spool

           MOSER 33 Spline Axles

                              MOSER C-Clip Eliminator

                              T/A Performance Support Cover              

Brakes:                  Front – Aerospace 4 Piston Drag

                              Rear – Aerospace 2 Piston Drag

Wheels:                 Front - Centerline 15x3.5

                              Rear – Centerline 15x12

Tires:                     Front – M/T ET Front 28x4.5x15

                              Rear - M/T ET Street 30x13.5x15

Body:                     All original steel (except hood)

Hood:                     Harwood 6” Cowl Induction
Interior:                  Black – Factory Deluxe Seats (including rear seat)

Gauges:                 Custom Radio Delete/Gauge Panel

                              Autometer mechanical gauges

Paint:                     PPG Base Coat/Clear Coat
                              GM Code 41 Black with GM Code 50 White Stripes
Photographer:       Cole Balster