The story of this Camaro actually started more than 30 years ago as a simple dream. That is when Kip Murphy of Barlett, Illinois, found himself dreaming that one day he would own a first-generation Camaro. Finally, in 2012, he was in position to begin the search for his perfect car. “My original intention was to find a project car, pull it into my basement, and five years later, have it come out completed,” Kip explained. “My plan didn’t work out that way.”
When Kip found the car, it was located in Oregon. He bought it after only seeing a picture of it. The day it arrived, it appeared to be in good shape, but it did have a few issues that needed to be addressed. Kip took it to a local shop, and they fixed some wiring, brake, and engine issues, and a few weeks later, he was able to drive it. “I found out fairly soon that it drove like a ’69 Camaro, which as it turns out, wasn’t what I wanted,” Kip told us.
Kip was looking to upgrade the suspension when the 327 cubic-inch engine blew up while he was driving home from a work one day. Kip put in an order for a ZZ4 383 cubic-inch, 425 horsepower crate engine, a FAST EFI kit, Vintage Air, and the rest of the parts needed to make everything work.
With the car back on the road, Kip once again started looking into suspension parts when he came across the Roadster Shop, located nearby in Mundelein, Illinois. “They had a chassis for a ‘69 Camaro, and they were 45 minutes from my home,” Kip detailed. “I talked with them on the phone and asked if I could drive or ride in a car with one of their chassis.” Kip test drove a car, and it didn’t take long for him to make a decision. “After 10 minutes on the road, I couldn’t place an order fast enough.”
Kip drove the car for a few years with the Roadster Shop Fast Track chassis, and in 2015, decided he wanted it took look as good as it drove. “The Roadster Shop worked with my vision, and created a rendering that I accepted in in March of 2015,” Kip detailed.
The car debuted at a Goodguys show in July of 2016. Kip calls the Camaro “Wraith,” which was coined by Phil and Jeremy Gerber at the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals in November of 2016. The car scored a gold award with 995 of a possible 1,000 points. Even with 2,200 miles showing on the Dakota Digital VHX gauges. “It was worth the 30 year wait,” Kip said.
The 383 cubic-inch engine utilizes a Billet Specialties Tru-Trac serpentine belt system along with Billet Specialties’ valve covers and air cleaner. Behind the engine is a 4L65E transmission. The finishing touches are the killer Forgeline ZX3 wheels with Bridgestone Potenza tires, Recaro Sportster seats, and custom upholstery by Paul Atkins Interiors.
The exterior features PPG Nardo Grey with alloy and orange stripes, shaved and tucked bumpers, custom spoilers, CNC machined quarter-panel grills, shaved drip rails, a smoothed firewall and inner fenders, and a fabricated radiator and close out panel. All-in-all, we think it is safe to say that you are likely to never see another Camaro like this.
What do you think of Kip’s Camaro? If it were up to you, would you go with the same look that the aptly named “Wraith” presents, or would you go with something different? We think that the look is as near to perfect as you can get. Sure, GM did a good job back in 1969, but the outcome of Kip’s vision enacted by the professionals and the Roadster Shop does it one better.