Speed and Chrome oct04

By:B.W. Hood
Reprint from Speed & Chrome Illustrated Magazine, Vol #1 Issue # 4

From the very beginning when the first modified Fords found their way out to a dry lake, it has all been about going fast. Snag a stock from the factory car and make it perform. Better yet, make it perform far beyond the dreams of the engineer that designed it. That is hot rodding in its purest form.
Lawrence Wight contracted Steve Borja to build him this ’69 Camaro with one thing in mind: going faster. No major body mods, no extreme paint job. He wanted it to be really fast, a lot faster than GM ever imagined. Actually, he wanted more than just fast. He also wanted it to stop on a dime and corner like it ran on rails. Well he didn’t want much, did he?

He ended up with this: a 381-inch blown Bowtie, built by three-time NHRA Pro-Stock champ Bobby Panella Jr. of Panella Motorsports. Now, in case any doubt exists that Bobby does not have a line on it, consider 500 hp at the rear wheels with the blower under driven, then jump that to 700 hp with a 15 percent overdriven blower, and add alcohol to the equation for a whopping 1,000 hp.

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In order to keep it streetable — yes, the car is a streeter — it uses a TPI-prepped TH400, driven by a Hughes 9″ torque converter with an anti-balloon plate. But bear in mind, this is not your basic dragster, so add to that a Gear-Vendors overdrive. That makes six forward gears for those days when getting out and flying become a desirable choice.
Lawrence calls the suspension “road race-inspired,” but didn’t give details. But look at the photos to confirm that as fact. The car rides as well as anything on the road and corners like it’s on rails. With the Willwood Dynalite 4 piston disc brakes, it should land as well as it takes off, which is to say that when


applying the binders, they do a good job stopping it.
The race theme carrier over to the interior, with a full set of Autometer gauges, Corbeau seats and Simpson harness. The designer and builders of the car, Performance Dyno-Tuning, with safety in min, had Future Customs of Oakdale, Calif. Install an 8-point harness.
All said an done, what Lawrence has here comes a lot closer to a flying machine than a Camaro. So that’s hot rodding, my friend. Take a stock from the factory car and build it way beyond what the factory had ever envisioned.

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Frame manufacturer: GM
Modifications: None
Rearend/Ratio: 9″ Ford 2.50:1 final drive with overdrive
Rear suspension: Not specified
Rear brakes: Willwood with Dynalite 4-piston calipers
Front suspension: Not specified
Front brakes: Not specified
Master cylinder: Willwood
Steering column: Stock
Front wheel make, size: 17×8 Billet Specialties Hustler
Front tire make, size: 245-40-ZR17
Rear wheel make, size: 17×9.5 Billet Specialties Hustler
Rear tire make, size: 274-40-ZR17


Year and make: 4.155″ Bore Chevy Bowtie Block
Displacement: 381CI
Camshaft: Custom Roller
Compression ration: 9:1
Heads: Modified Holley Systemmax
Horse power: 500 hp with blower under-driven, 700 hp with 15 percent
over-driver blower, and 1,000 hp on alcohol. Rear wheel hp
Torque: Unknown
Manifold/induction: 6-71 Weind Blower, 1 750-CFM Demon Carbs
Ignition: MSD Pro Billet with 6BTM Box
Headers/Mufflers: Hooker Super Comp with Flowmasters


Year and make: TPI performance Turbo 400
Converter: Hughes 9″ with Anti-Balloon plate


Body style/Material: 1969 Camaro
Body manufacturer: GM
Body mods: None
Bodywork: Panella Motorsports
Painter: Panella Motorsports
Paint type: House of Kolor True Blue


Dashboard: Detroit Speed and Engineering
Gauges: Auto-Meter Ultra Light
Wiring: Painless Harness
Steering wheel: Billet Specialties Hustler
Seats: Corbeau


8 Point Roll Cage, Simpson Harness