Modded & Custom Chevy Camaro Builds: Street Performance, Drag & Drift
A main competitor of the famous Ford Mustang, the Chevy Camaro entered the market for the 1967 model year. The car was aimed primarily at competing with the Ford’s model and Chevrolet even started a special campaign to attract interest and emphasize its rivalry with the Mustang. Chevy’s parent company GM held a live press conference to introduce the Camaro, where for the first time 14 cities were connected in real-time through a telephone line. And according to Chevy’s product managers, the nameplate Camaro stands for a small animal that eats Mustangs.
The original Chevy Camaro was constructed on the same platform and shared lots of parts with the Pontiac Firebird, but was a bit less upscale. The base power unit was a 3.8 L I6 capable of producing 140 hp, while a larger 4.1 L I6 and a variety of V8 power plants were available optionally. The list of transmissions included 2-speed and 3-speed automatic, 2-speed semi-automatic, and 3-speed and 4-speed manual offerings. Only 2-door body styles were available, being hardtop and convertible. Despite an ambitious launch event, distinctive styling and solid performance characteristics, the run of the first-generation Camaro was short and lasted just to 1969, however because of production issues, its last model year was prolonged and lasted up to November 1969.
The second generation of the model entered the market only in spring of 1970. Based on the same platform, it was made larger and wider, plus received a completely new exterior styling. There were lots of mechanical changes too – the suspension and chassis now delivered more comfort and refinement, road holding, sound proofing and ride isolation were improved even in the base models as well as braking, steering and overall balance and in total the Camaro became a more driver-oriented car. The model was more successful than the previous generation and stayed on the market up to 1981. The F-body based Camaros were in production for over 20 years more – up to 2001.
Chevy Camaro Models
- 1st Gen 1967-1969
- 2nd Gen 1970-1981
- 3rd Gen 1982-1992
- 4th Gen 1993-2002
- 5th Gen 2010-2015
- 6th Gen 2016 & UP
After a 7-year long gap in production, the model was revived in 2009, it underwent a complete redesign and was built on the new platform. Though, the main concept didn’t change – the Camaro was a potent 2-door muscle car, either a coupe or convertible, with distinctive styling, excellent performance and intention to turn heads. All classic versions like the SS, ZL1 and Z/28 were revived too. Soon after the release, the model was shown in the popular Transformers movie that contributed to its already growing popularity. Today, the Camaro is still in production with more than 5 million units sold already.
Why modify your Chevy Camaro?
Whatever version of the Chevy Camaro you own, it surely delivers at least solid performance and looks excellent from the factory. But there is always room for improvement – either to push performance even further, add some personal touch or increase the level of comfort. Especially, if you own some rare version, you can make it totally unique. Three main types of modifications are performance, exterior and interior upgrades. As the name implies, performance ones will help you push your Camaro to the limits, exterior mods will make it look special, while exterior upgrades will add comfort and convenience to your regular driving.
Performance Mods & Upgrades
Simply speaking, performance modifications are aimed to make your car faster or more powerful. They mainly include engine tuning but can also affect other systems of your Camaro. Today, the range of upgrades you can do is virtually countless, from almost invisible from the outside performance chips up to installing a more robust turbo or supercharger. You can make your vehicle run faster, deliver more revs, respond faster and more accurately, sound louder, and much more. The range of mods is huge, but take a look at some of the most common ones.
Air intakes provide the air into the power unit of your Camaro being a kind of breathing strips for it. OEM units are designed to allow the engine “breath” freely and effortlessly in regular conditions, while aftermarket systems improve the flow of cold air into the engine that makes a combustion process more complete, leading to a longer lifespan of the motor and slight increase in power output as per Wikipedia. A quite straight modification, it can also improve efficiency of the vehicle along with steering response. Compared to other engine upgrades, installing aftermarket air intakes is a more budget-friendly way of upgrade and it will still make a notable difference.
In case you want some solid power enhancement, take a look at intercoolers – turbochargers and superchargers. They will increase performance of your four-wheeled friend significantly, but both installing such a unit or upgrading your existing one will lead to some serious expenses. On the other hand, spending several thousands of dollars you will get significantly higher power output – the difference can reach about 200 hp and even more. Be sure to get high-quality components and deal with only experienced mechanics to not only get better results but also prevent severe damage to the engine of your car.
Upgrading the exhaust, you’ll kill two birds with one stone. First of all, the sound of your Camaro will be significantly better coming to a whole new level. Plus, thanks to different bends, gas will be better removed from the system resulting in lower backpressure and hence better performance.
“Big pipes flow more, so is bigger better? Answer: absolutely not. Primary pipes that are too big defeat our quest for the all-important velocity-enhanced scavenging effect. Without knowledge to the contrary, the biggest fear is that the selected tube diameters could be too small, thereby constricting flow and dropping power” – Motor Trend.
There are both separate components and complete systems available on the market today, to meet the needs of all sorts of enthusiasts. The installation process won’t take much time, especially if you get your car to a specialized service station – if you’re a little lucky, you can enjoy the new sound of your Camaro even the same day you got the new exhaust.
Current-time vehicles depend on computer systems more than even before. It not only makes driving easier and more comfortable, but also provides an opportunity to upgrade your vehicle in one more way. Usually, these systems are intended to deliver a compromise between efficiency and performance. Though, you can install an aftermarket performance chip aka tuner that will change certain parameters of your car’s ECU and unleash its hidden potential. Of course, it is quite a serious change, so it is recommended that you talk with experienced specialists and get your vehicle to only trusted stations. Besides, the price of the chips is not that high as the one of the intercoolers, but the difference will also be noticeable.
Custom Exterior mods
Of course, clothes do not make the man, but if your car will not only perform excellently but also look excellently, it will impress much more. Whichever version of the Camaro you own, you can make it even more aggressive, stylish, sporty, and personal. Luckily, the range of variants for exterior tuning is countless – spoilers, head and tail lights, hoods, fenders, wheels and rims, complete body kits, etc. The number of material and color options can blow your mind just like your pride and joy will do when you finish your job and take it to the streets. Take a look at some of the most common mods.
Custom LED lights
Lighting is crucial for your safe driving, because it helps your vehicle stay visible in dark and during bad weather conditions. At the same time, thanks to the latest technology and incredibly wide range of aftermarket units available, installing custom set of lights is a great way to add some personality to your four-wheeled friend, make it more stylish and attractive. At the same time, you will increase your safety, as LED lights are brighter than halogen or other types of bulbs installed on vehicles from the factory. In addition, their lifespan is much longer and energy consumption is drastically lower too. Options of headlights and taillights are virtually countless, but you can also install some addictions like halo rings to your existing assembly without replacing it.
Whether you’re planning a complete makeover or just want to change certain body parts, today getting the job done is easy like a breeze. Numerous bumpers, hoods, diffusers, widebody fenders, spoilers, are offered for your choice. Made from high-grade materials, they will deliver many years of reliable service making your vehicle turn heads for years to come. Some high-end body kits and their components are made of carbon fiber combining very light weight and excellent reliability. This material also looks awesome by itself, so you’re not even have to color the part or kit to get an attractive look.