autoevolution
Car video reviews:
 

1968 Chevrolet Camaro "Drift Animal" Is a Carbureted Small-Block Savage

The 1968 Chevrolet Camaro, as well as the entire genre it represents, doesn't get placed in the same sentence with "drifting" too often. Well, a gearhead named John Mason wanted to change this, so he took the said slab of GM and turned it into a slip angle machine.
1968 Chevrolet Camaro "Drift Animal" 4 photos
1968 Chevrolet Camaro "Drift Animal"1968 Chevrolet Camaro "Drift Animal"1968 Chevrolet Camaro "Drift Animal"
The aficionado, who describes himself as a fabricator, engine builder and tire destroyer, has been at it for a few years now and the smoking only seems to get better.

This build started out with the kind of good intentions many of us have, namely turning the 68 Camaro into a road and track (no Dodge pun intended) machine. However, the project quickly evolved into a drift car, one that can take a beating, as showcased by the battle scars present on its orange body.

Speaking of which, the exterior makeover isn't the extreme widebody type you see in many popular renderings, for instance. We're looking at extra LED lights, an unpainted front fender (to remind everybody this driver isn't afraid of using spare parts), a home-brewed wickerbill and faux BBS LM wheels - as the gearhead explains, all the abuse taken by these rolling goodies means investing in originals wasn't worth it. However, the car recently left the said shoes behind in favor of Kansei Corsa wheels.

What about the tech side? The title above might have ruined the surprise of not finding a LS here. Instead, this Chevy rocks a 383 small-block fed by a Holley double-pumper 750 carburetor, just to try and stay as close to the original recipe as possible. The motor also got Edelbrock heads and an intake coming from the same specialist, with its crank output sitting at over 500 ponies.

As the said sideways traveler admits, this path is costlier than taking the LS route, but, perhaps if more speed freaks choose it, the difference might get smaller.

When it comes to what's between the chassis, which has certain reinforcements, and the road, the front suspension mixes... eBay control arms with QA1 shocks, while the original power steering pump works with quick-ratio hardware. Despite this being a drift car, it has yet to receive a wide steering angle setup. However, it appears that the sway bar was limiting the angle, which is why this was removed.

Looking past the side exhaust pipes, we'll move on to the Ford 9-inch rear end (this build wasn't going to please purists anyway), working with a three-link torque arm coming from Mason's hands.

The cabin is loaded with heated bucket seats, racing harnesses, a cage, door bars and a custom dash, but the manual tranny's shifter protruding through the carpet has to be one of the coolest features. However, we can find an extra lever inside the car, which is obviously there for the hydraulic handbrake, a must-have feature for initiating slides and/or adjusting your trajectory along the way.

Now, you can see Mason putting the first-gen Camaro through its paces at the Willow Springs Raceway Horse Thief Mile Course in the first clip below. And this action, which was accurately captured by image master Larry Chen, easily illustrates that the Chevy doesn't always want to drift, but will certainly go the whole nine yards if grabbed by the scruff of its neck.

As for the second vid below, this Hoonigan production comes to show that the muscle car also slide in tighter environments. As a bonus, this clip includes a walkaround of the car.

Video thumbnail
Video thumbnail


 
 
 
 
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories