STEGMILLER'S SECOND GENERATION CAMARO: 1970-1981

SPECIAL CAMAROS

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Canadian Camaros Baldwin Motion Hurst Sunshine Special Bill Mitchell MACHO Z, Z29 Chevera Law Enforcement Camaros Convertibles Yenko 1981 Canadian Z28

 
 

CANADIAN CAMAROS

Each year some Camaros were shipped to Canada from the US. The following production numbers have been contributed from fellow enthusiasts who did searches through GM of Canada. If you have something to add, send it here.

Year Production
1970 4381 V8 Camaros shipped to Canada
1972 2110 V8 Camaros shipped to Canada
105 SS and Z28 Camaros shipped to Canada
172 RS/Z28 Camaros shipped to Canada (Not consistent with above?)
1973 1287 Type LT's built in Norwood and shipped to Canada, 207 of which were Z28


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BALDWIN MOTION

Baldwin Motion reportedly produced special Camaros for 1970, at least one of these cars is known to still exist. For 1971, Baldwin Motion produced 73 modified 454 powered cars (some of which still exist in collections today). He purchased Z28s and replaced the LT1 with 450hp LS6 454 engines. He added a hood with a L88 hood bulge, headers, traction bars, rally wheels, and a special paint stripe scheme. These cars would turn quarter mile times in the 11s, but likely did not meet 1971 emission standards with the high compression 454.

At least one 1973 Baldwin Motion Camaro is still known to exist.

Links:


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HURST SUNSHINE SPECIAL

In 1970, Hurst Performance Inc. built three "Hurst Sunshine Special" Z28 Camaros. Of the three, only one is currently known to exist. These cars got special badging on the front fenders and glove box door, a sliding fabric sunroof, special automatic shifter, a different steering wheel, and a prototype large front spoiler.

Links:


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BILL MITCHELL
Much of this information credit Bill Kursar.
1980 Hugger section credit Ron Wade

Mark Donohue (of Sunoco Camaro fame) conceived the idea of building a Concept Camaro. He teamed up with Bill Mitchell, a former road racer and GM engineer. After Donohue's death in 1975, Mitchell formed his own company to build these cars at his Special Vehicle Developments shop in Cheshire, Connecticut.

The 1975 models were sold new in Connecticut, plus possibly a number of kits sold outright. The cars got a special IROC-style front air dam, chrome windshield clips, rear window straps, hood pins, two-position volume air horns, a special steering wheel, different seats, a larger rear swaybar, 1" lowered front suspension, stiffer shocks, and Minilite wheels. The 7" front wheels were wrapped in cookie-cutter 205/70 Michelins XWXs; the massive 9.5" rear wheels had equally sad 215/70s from the same tire line. A complete car ran about $9500, and a kit cost up to $3000.

No information for 1976, yet.

In 1977, there were some (at least six, likely more) Bill Mitchell Turbo Camaros built (click here for a picture) from the Type LT. These Concept Camaros received a front air dam designed by Bill Mitchell himself, driving lights, Minilite alloy wheels, Koni shocks, Racemark front seats and steering wheel, special chassis tuning, sunroof, special paint striping, dual exhaust, a turbocharger with 7psi boost, water/alcohol injection, engine air cooler, transmission oil cooler, ported and polished heads, electric antenna, and CB radio.

1978 again saw production of the Concept Camaro. By this time a fully equipped car cost approximately $15,000; however, they were made to order as far as the buyer's pocketbook would allow. They got all of the basic Concept Camaro goodies such as Minilite magnesium wheels, Koni shocks, special front seats and leather-wrapped steering wheel, 7/8" rear sway bar, 1" lowered front suspension, oil-pressure gauge, front spoiler, halogen headlights and driving lights, and air horns. Extra options included 8" wheels with P225/50-15 tires (front) and 9.5" wheels with P285/50-15 tires (rear), turbocharger, heavy duty brake system, sliding steel sunroof, hood pins, windshield clips at the top of the windshield, rear window safety straps, and pinstriping. A fully equipped car produced 330hp gross and ran the quarter mile in 15.0sec.

No information for 1979, yet.

In 1980, Bill Mitchell made 90 "Hugger" Camaros for the Daytona 24 hour race (click here for a picture). Car 28 was his race car and the rest were sold as street cars at 48 dealers across Florida. They started life as 1980 Z28s which he modified to his specifications. Most were red orange in color. The special stripes read "Hugger Bill Mitchell Special Developments". In addition the cars featured 14" Minilite wheels, Dunlop tires, Koni shocks, hood pins, windshield clips at the top of the windshield, and an IROC-style front spoiler with fog lamps. Some had T-tops, posi, leather wrapped steering wheel, and 180mph speedometer. The Hugger packaged added $3000 to the price of a Z28.

The number 28 race car made 19 hours of the 24 hour race before a header broke which caused a valve to bend. The car was repaired and raced in other races, eventually to be wrecked. Its current whereabouts are unknown.

For more information on the 1980 Hugger Camaro, contact (updated 6/26/00):

The Hugger Registry
2450 SW 148th CT
Miami, Fl 33185
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CHEVERA
This section credit Glen LaVallee.

The Chevera was primarily a "do it yourself" process available from VSE (Very Special Equipment), a company founded by Herb Adams. Herb was a former Pontiac engineer working on the Trans Am program (especially the handling). His package was designed to dramatically improve the handling of Firebirds (Fire-Ams) and Camaros (Cheveras).

Modifications consisted of shortening the springs to lower the body, a battery relocation kit, solid lowering body spacers, sub-frame to firewall struts, and special zero offset wheels. Additionally, the sway bars were increased to 1" in the rear and 1-5/16" in the front.

The hood scoop was made functional by cutting a hole in the hood after removing the grill and drilling it with holes. Under the hood, holes were drilled in the air cleaner top and outside the diameter of the filter; a gasket tied it all together (similar to the 1969 cowl induction hood).

An article in the July 1979 Hot Rod outlined how to make all of the above modifications in 52 hours, the result was called the Stage 1 Chevera. This article also indicated that four VSE authorized installation centers existed across the country to perform the modifications for those not inclined to tackle the project themselves.

The Stage II Chevera included everything found in the Stage I plus Koni adjustable shocks, an oil cooler, air ducts to direct cool air to the front disk brakes, ventilation holes cut in the rear drums, and full metallic brake linings. The interior was treated to a Corbeau racing seat, a chrome roll bar, and a VSE custom steering wheel.

The result is an improved weight distribution of 53% front, and 47% rear due to the relocated battery, significantly lowered ride height, softer springs/shocks, and larger sway bars. The skid pad test results indicated a best of 0.86Gs versus 0.73Gs for a stock 1981 Z28.

Since the Chevera never really took off as a full package, there are no production numbers available. According to Matt Adams, the son and current owner of VSE, almost everything they did was in the form of packages for modification by the owner.

Matt Adams has indicated that anyone interested in their current offerings can contact him at (831) 659-7660.

Their current address is: Herb Adams VSE; 23865 Fairfield Place; Carmel, CA 93923

References:

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MACHO Z and Z29
This section credit Glen LaVallee.

The DKM Macho Z was a package available from Dennis and Kyle Mecham. They primarily focused on the Trans Am (Macho T/A), which was likely because their father had a Pontiac dealership. More articles and performance tests were done on the Macho T/A than the Macho Z, leaving less documentation on the Chevrolet version.

The Macho Z was actually the 1978 model name, which was changed to the Z29 in 1979. Records indicate that the 1979 production plan was for 200 vehicles. Although the Mechams do not have any detailed records, indications are that the actual number was very small. However, Dennis Mecham recently stated that the Camaros were numbered separately from the T/As, and there is documentation on DKM Camaro Z29 #12.

The plan called for DKM to purchase new vehicles, modify them and sell them back to the dealerships to be sold as "used" vehicles, and then sold and serviced by the dealer. The cost for the modification was $2995.00, but with factory and further DKM options the 1978 Z28's base price of $5713.85 could be practically doubled.

Testing done on a prototype 1978 model with a Hurst shifted four-speed indicated a 14.9-second 1/4 mile ET. The modifications were not only for improved handling, but also for performance as the stock 1978 Z28 4-speed required about 16-seconds.

Handling enhancements included "large" Goodyear GR60 (front) HR60 (rear) tires on 15" aluminum wheels, Koni adjustable shocks, larger sway bars with nylon bushings, and individual suspension tuning.

The Camaros were to all be ordered with positraction and the recommended four-speed. The engine was only "massaged" with Hooker headers, a full 2-1/2" dual exhaust with cross over, dual catalytic converters, and stock tailpipes. The Quadrajet carburetor and the distributor were modified; in addition, the hood scoop was made functional. These were all considered basic modifications; many other options were also available including 350 Traco engines and Doug Nash five-speed transmissions.

The interiors were stock other that the addition of DKM emblems and numbered placards. Again, personal touches were possible with optional seats, roll bars, and 100-watt Fosgate stereo systems.

References:


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LAW ENFORCEMENT CAMAROS

Over the years various law enforcement agencies have used Camaros. The most notable is the California Highway Patrol 1979 Z28s.

Also heard rumors about the Oregon State Police using 1974 Z28s as pursuit vehicles.

Links:

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CONVERTIBLES
This section credit Ken Boughton.

Fact:

Speculative Convertible Information:

Check out the July/August '00 issue of the World Wide Camaro Association's magazine for a feature on a 1979 and a 1980 Z28 convertible.

Convertible Links:

Convertibles in the Media:


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YENKO
Special thanks to "Yenko" Paul.

The Yenko's return began with a joint project between Yenko and Holley in late 1979. After a prototype was beaten on the dragstrip by a 301 Trans Am, the partnership was terminated (a 1980 301 Trans Am had a 1/4 mile time of 16.7 @86mph).

A partnership was then formed between Turbo International and Yenko Performance Cars for the 1981 model year. These cars look similar to an 1981 Z28, but have an IROC-style front spoiler. Special "Yenko Turbo Z" graphics on the doors, nose, and rear replaced the standard Z28 stripes. Production initially called for 200 cars, but only 20 (or 40-50 depending upon the source) were actually built. These cars meet California emissions (California C.A.R.B. granted it executive order #D-112). They came with 17 extra cost factory options and were available in black, blue, red, brown, white, and silver. Stage I cars had the Turbo International Turbocharged 350 Z28 engine, automatic transmission, Stage I wheels, and graphics for a base price of $11,300. Stage II cars had all of the Stage I options plus fully adjustable leather seats, leather competition steering wheel, Turbo Z floor mats, Koni shocks, modified stabilizer bars, modular wheels and Goodyear Wing-foot tires. Interior color choices were Camel Leather or Black Leather. The base price for a Stage II car was $17,500. These cars are supposed to run high 14's in the 1/4 mile.

Don Yenko sold Yenko Chevrolet in 1981, making this the last Yenko built.

References:

Links:

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1981 CANADIAN Z28

In 1981, Canadian optioned Z28s could still be had with the 350 and 4 speed combination (like 49 state 1980 US Z28s). The more relaxed Canadian emissions allowed that their 350 engines were not computer controlled like the US engines. A 1981 Canadian Z28 is basically a 1980 US Z28.

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