Garage-Built 1968 Chevrolet Camaro Is a NASCAR Racer in Disguise

1968 Chevrolet Camaro restomod 1 photo
Photo: AutotopiaLA/YouTube
The late 1960s saw Chevrolet unleash a handful of really special Camaro models. The COPO ZL-1 is at the top of my list, mostly thanks to its race-spec, all-aluminum 7.0-liter V8. These cars are hard to come buy since Chevrolet built only 69 of them, but there are plenty of solutions out there if you want a first-gen Camaro with a racing engine. One of them is to drop a NASCAR mill under the hood.
This is exactly what Dennis McCarthy did and since his Camaro ended up featured on Autotopia LA, we can see what this fine garage build is all about. The 1968 pony was resting in a junkyard years ago, but got a second chance and became a restomod. But while most restomods are fitted with modern crate engines, this Camaro hides a full-fledged NASACR mill under the hood.

It hasn't been properly dynoed since its most recent upgrade, but the owner claims it's good for almost 700 horsepower. That's plenty of oomph to throw this car around, but the best part is that it hits the rear axle through a NASCAR Cup-spec transmission.

A late 1990s or early 2000s unit, this gearbox features straight-cut gears for the best row-your-own experience out there. But you need a heavy hand to do the shifting.

Going through the gears happens very quick and first gear makes the tire spin fast as soon as the gas pedal sees action. And everything sounds amazing, from the roar of the high-revving V8 to the way the transmission upshifts.

The car looks pretty clean inside and out. There's no heavy modding on the outside except for the front bumper delete and the vintage, Trans Am-period wheels, but the cabin has been revamped quite dramatically.

There's a pair of bucket seats with six-point racing harnesses, a full roll-cage, and a rear-seat delete for weight-saving purposes.

A NASCAR race car in disguise, this 1968 Camaro is loud, fast, and boasts a fabulous stance. It also launches like crazy and does burnouts effortlessly. A proper garage build that puts an old NASCAR V8 engine to good use.

If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea profile photo

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.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories