1969 Chevy Camaro Is a Deceptive Classic, Hides 700-HP, All-Motor V8 Under the Hood

The 1969 Chevrolet Camaro is arguably the best-looking version of GM's pony car in my book. It's also the most appealing in terms of power thanks to the beefed-up 396 and the insanely powerful, drag-prepped COPO ZL1. But none of these original variants compare to this garage-built muscle car.
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Photo: AutotopiaLA/YouTube
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The 1969 Camaro you're looking at started life as a painted shell. The owner bought it off Craiglist and turned it into a running car using aftermarket components and bits and pieces bought at swap meets. It might not sound all that interesting, but the result is cooler than builds put together by specialized shops. In fact, "cool" is an understatement. This thing is a monster that puts the modern Camaro ZL1 to shame.

Don't let the clean and plain exterior fool you, this 1969 Chevy is a street-legal dragster. See them fat rear tires? They're not there for looks only, the wide rubber transfers more than 700 horsepower to the ground. How is that possible without a blower poking through the engine hood?

Well, the V8 prepped by Skip White Performance is simply large enough to summon all that oomph without forced induction. Displacing a whopping 572 cubic inches (that's 9.4 liters!), the big-block unit cranks out 716 horsepower and 706 pound-feet (957 Nm) of torque. COPO Camaro who? Might as well ask the same question for the modern Camaro ZL1 too, because it's "only" good for 650 horsepower, despite using a blower.

And yes, it sounds glorious too. Hearing the V8 idle is enough to get an idea about the monster under the hood, but all hell breaks loose when the throttle hits the floor. And not just because it all comes from a massive, naturally aspirated big block. This Camaro breathes through a pair of shortened exhaust pipes, the kind they used to fit on Super Stock factory dragsters back in the day.

Speaking of which, the owner is totally racing this thing. As is, with no other modifications. He's driving it to the strip, he's doing quarter-mile sprints (I bet they're fast too), and then driving it back home.

And yes, it's fully prepped for the event of a crash, sporting a full roll cage and modern seats with proper lateral support. But both the front seats and the rear bench boast houndstooth upholstery, so it still looks classy. Despite having digital gauges instead of the Camaro's old dashboard.

My only complaint here is that there's no actual footage of the Camaro at the drag strip. But the video below is enough to prove that this garage-built muscle car is raw and relentless. Something that might try to kill you if you're not careful enough. Omar is one lucky dude.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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