Here’s a quick install video of our new Chassis Max Handle Bars for 1st Gen. (1967, 1968, 1969) Chevy Camaros.
Archive for the ‘1st Gen (1967-69)’ Category
When the designers at Mattel wanted to buy prescription drugs online without prescription release a cool first gen Camaro, they called us up and asked for some ideas. We talked to them about pro-touring, high-speed handling, low-profile tires and cool paint schemes. Then, a few months ago, they unveiled a Hugger Orange ‘69 Camaro with a white graphics package and our name emblazoned on the side! The HotchWheel was born, and we couldn’t be more honored. The car was just re-released with a slick new metallic purple paint job, and is in stores now. The entire Hotchkis Performance team is really excited knowing kids (and adults) are racing on plastic tracks around the country with these killer little F-Body muscle machines. If you’re as big a Hot Wheels fan as we are, check back here soon for more info on a much bigger Hot Wheels project coming soon.
There’s an old adage that states, “How do you make a small fortune collecting cars? Start with a large fortune.” While collecting classic Detroit iron for profit is never a good idea, thousands of members of the “baby boomer” generation have recently discovered the joys of owning and driving their high school dream cars. Such is the case for St. Charles, Missouri, residents Dan and Pegge Chaplin.
Back in 2002, Dan decided it was finally time to start looking for a sports car, preferably a new or slightly used C5 Corvette. One sunny Saturday in June, he decided to swing by a classic car showroom on his way to the Chevy dealership, just in case they had any new Corvettes on the lot. There weren’t, but there was a shiny red 1967 Camaro convertible on a turn table, spinning round and round and calling Dan’s name. It was love at first sight, and he quickly asked for a closer look. After feeling the car’s soft vinyl and hearing the muscular burble of a classic V8 trumpeting through dual exhaust, he had to have it.
Dan decided that buying an old Camaro could potentially be a solid investment, since it was less money than a new Corvette and would be cheaper to insure and maintain than a new car. We all know where the story is going from here. After a quick call home to wife Pegge, who thought he was crazy for wanting an old car but supportive nonetheless, Dan emptied out a shrinking 401k account and reinvested his hard-earned cash in his high school dream car.
At first the Chaplins took their new ride to local cruise nights and occasional car shows. After a few months of cruising and making friends, they quickly grew to love the camaraderie and activities associated with the car show scene and started traveling to shows a bit further away, even entering the Camaro in larger national events. Then the bug to start making improvements took hold.
The first big change was a heart transplant, with the Camaro receiving a new GM Performance Parts 330 horsepower 350 crate engine. The stock GM mill didn’t make enough power for Dan and wasn’t pretty enough for Pegge, so the had it completely polished and chromed, and added a bevy of performance parts to the mix as well. A Comp Cams 270 Magnum Hydraulic camshaft adds a little thump to the exhaust note, which is channeled through chrome plated Hedman headers and Jet Hot coated Flowmaster American Thunder exhaust capped with stainless steel exhaust tips. An Edelbrock Endurashine water pump and intake manifold add further sparkle and performance to the package, as does a chrome plated Holley 650 double pumper. MSD ignition lights the fire and a polished Be Cool radiator keeps temperature under control on steamy Missouri summer days.
With the engine out of the car, the Chaplins decided to replace the tired old Powerglide with a new TH350 automatic, fortified with a B&M Shift Kit and B&M 2,400rpm high-stall torque converter. The only other modifications made at the time were a new set of ProCar by Scat sport bucket seats, which were much more comfortable and supportive than the stock Camaro pieces, but still looked period-correct in the otherwise stock interior. However, it didn’t stay stock for long.
In 2004 Dan and Pegge had become completely hooked on the car show scene, and decided to totally disassemble the car and bring it up to their exacting standards. After removing the drivetrain and interior, the car was delivered to JB Auto Body in St. Charles, where it was stripped down to bare metal for a complete repaint. JB smoothed the firewall, and ordered a new hood, core support, inner fenders, bumpers, front and rear spoilers, and grill from Goodmark Industries. After the body was straightened out it was slathered in DuPont Victory Red – a late model GM color – with several coats of two-stage clear for the extra wet look.
After the car left the body shop, it was delivered to Auto Tailors for a new top and interior, which includes all-new hardware and custom seat covers embroidered with the iconic Super Sport logo. Finally Old Dog’s Street Rods in Maryland Heights, Missouri, took delivery of the Camaro for final assembly and finishing touches. The Old Dog crew installed a new Painless 18-circuit wiring harness, as well as new Autometer gauges that fill the stock dash holes, a Lokar billet shifter, and a slick center console pirated from a 1998 Camaro that looks Cialis Online like it was made for the vintage drop top.
With the cosmetics out of the way, the drivetrain was reinstalled in the freshly detailed body color engine bay, along with a new 10-bolt rear end that was painted and detailed to perfection. Stainless Steel Brakes two- and four-piston binders were added to all four corners for added stopping power. As a finishing touch, Billet Specialties “Rebel” wheels were added, measuring 17” x 7” in front and 18” x 8” in the rear. BF Goodrich G-Force KDA rubber was utilized on all four corners.
Last but not least, the car was delivered to Hotchkis Performance in Santa Fe Springs, California, for a complete suspension rebuild. The car already sported a set of Hotchkis sport springs and sway bars – which gave it a killer stance – but after meeting company founder John Hotchkis on the Hot Rod Power Tour, Dan and Pegge decided to take advantage of the new Hotchkis installation center and have a full compliment of F-Body suspension added to their ragtop.
The Hotchkis tech crew fortified the flexible Camaro platform with subframe connectors and a laser cut and tig-welded ChassisMax X-brace, the latest in F-body chassis stiffening technology from Hotchkis. The tired old A-arms were discarded in favor of new adjustable tubular upper and lower A-arms. To achieve the perfect balance of ride and handling, Hotchkis added 2-inch drop coil springs in front and 1.5-inch drop leaf springs in the rear, along with specially tuned Bilstein shocks. Finally a set of Hotchkis sway bars and polyurethane bushings were added to control body roll. The end result is a car that looks great, handles like the modern sports car Dan always wanted, and rides like a dream.
“The car handles SO much better now, its unbelievable. There is pretty much zero body roll, compared to the worn out suspension it replaced, it is a tremendous improvement.I have gotten a number of comments on the stance of the car now, and everyone LOVES how it sits. The install wasn’t very hard either.. although we took our time, it went together smoothly. I couldn’t be happier.” Chris V, Ontario Canada
Most gearheads got their first taste of high-speed racing action with a bucket full of Hot Wheels and an orange plastic track. In our opinion, those little metal cars are still just as cool as they were all those years ago, and now the wonderful folks at Mattel have honored us with a Hotchkis-themed Hot Wheels Camaro!
We couldn’t be more flattered, and the little Chevy street machine is extremely cool. When the designers and product planners from the company called last year and asked for our help coming up with a design for the next model in their “Muscle Mania” series, we just knew it had to be a Camaro. We suggested a first gen with a modified hockey stripe and big-inch pro-touring style wheels, and they came up with a spin on that theme that looks great. The car features our logo on both rocker panels, and from what we can tell it’s the first car in the entire Muscle Mania line to feature an auto aftermarket company so prominently. The Camaro is the fourth release in the 2009 Muscle Mania collection, following an Olds 442, an AMC AMX buying drugs online and a Buick GNX.
More than 16 years after John Hotchkis founded Hotchkis Performance, it makes our entire team smile with pride when we look at the little hugger orange Camaros sitting on our desks emblazoned with a logo that literally means “muscle car.” Now all we need is a track for the conference room…
John Hotchkis introduces Hotchkis Sport Suspension’s new first and second gen Camaro products at the 2008 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, NV.
Hotchkis customer Ryan talking about why he chose Hotchkis for his 1969 Camaro.