The Pro Street style is one of the coolest things to happen to classic muscle in the last three decades or so. Since its inception, the Pro Street movement has brought about a whole new type of muscle that is designed to intimidate. When done well, a build like this takes an already tough, already badass muscle car, and emphasizes its strengths while redesigning any weaknesses. The weaknesses we’re referring to here, are things like stock suspension, thin tires, and low-preforming engine options.
Characteristics of a well-built Pro Street car include things like blowers, rollcages, fat tires, nitrous, custom paint, lots of chrome under the hood, and pretty much everything else that shows up on Rick McLeod’s 1967 Camaro. Rick lives in Bremerton, Washington, and his ’67 Camaro is just about as Pro Street as it gets. This car is special for more than just its build, but also because it’s a forerunner to all that we know of the genre today.
Rick’s car was first modified back in the early ‘90s, but since then, has seen quite a few changes. But, it retains much of the original looks and style that made it one of the coolest cars on the road then and now.
Finding The Camaro
The Camaro is a great platform for this kind of build. They are smaller and lighter than a lot of the other serious muscle cars of the era. They have always been a popular car to modify, so plenty of replacement and direct-fit aftermarket parts are available.
I had a good canvas to start with and I added my own personal touches to it – Rick McLeod
Rick is all about Chevy, and has a collection of badass cars: two Pro Street 1967 Camaros, two Pro Street 1966 Chevelles, an 8.61-second 1969 Camaro race car, and his dad’s 1964 Impala convertible. “I’m a Chevy guy,” Rick told us, “I’ve also always been a Pro Street guy. I think it’s the look. It says muscle, it’s all about the muscle. I like power and I like muscle. It’s who I am.”
Rick is always looking on Craigslist for other Pro Street cars. He keeps his eye on the market, in part to keep track of what’s worth what, and just to see what’s out there. He was cruising Craigslist one night when he caught sight of this car in Orange County, California. Rick made an offer and was turned down. But, two months later, he got a call from the seller and he accepted Rick’s offer.
Pro Street Perfection
The first thing that catches your eye – after the color, graphics, and big sneakers – is the engine mounted into this badass piece of nostalgic perfection. This is the kind of car that draws a crowd wherever it goes.
The engine itself is a thoroughly built small-block 350 cubic-incher with a roller camshaft, H-beam rods, an Eagle crankshaft, Ross pistons, and Dart 1 aluminum heads—all capped off with twin Demon carburetors, a blower, and a 300-shot of nitrous. The power is then run through a Turbo 400 transmission with a 3,200-stall converter and a 9-inch rearend with a spool and 4.56 gears.
The engine is topped with a unique scoop that really helps to define the look of the car. Rick found it on eBay, and knew it was something different, so he snapped it up as fast as he could. It was designed for EFI rather than carburetors, so he had to get an adapter for it to fit his setup. But it was totally worth it. The car came with a decent intake, but this one is way cooler.
The car came with stock upper and lower control arms and springs that had been cut to lower the front end. “It was slammed to the ground,” Rick said. “But that wasn’t part of the original restoration.” He didn’t like how it rode when it was setup that way, so he swapped the stock stuff for Heidts front control arms and QA1 adjustable coilovers. It also has Wilwood disc brakes all the way around, a Ron Davis radiator, and an electric water pump.
Rick also replaced the old fuel cell in the back with a newer 20-gallon unit and relocated the battery to the side of the trunk. The previous builder had put the battery on the back side of the cell and you had to pull the cell to get to the battery. “It was a pain in the ass,” Rick told us. He also completely rewired the car from the stock 1967 wiring and swapped the old Budnik wheels for the Koys that are wrapped in Mickey Thompson rubber.
Driving It, Loving It, Living It
When Rick acquired the car, the interior wasn’t in the shape that you see today. The previous owners had converted it from manual transmission to automatic, and just riveted a cover over the hole in the transmission tunnel. “I bought a patch and fixed it,” Rick said. He also took out the old seats and put in his custom console, the center dash cluster, and all new Auto Meter gauges.
The clutch pedal was also left hanging loose so it would flop around when you drove. Removing the loose-hanging, useless clutch pedal was one of the first things he did to the car.
The windows also didn’t work when Rick got the car, so he installed all new window hardware along with new handles and cranks. The seats in the car are from TMI, and they came as they sit. The car had Recaro racing seats when he bought it, but he didn’t really like them. He thought about having them reupholstered, but it ended up being the same price to buy the brand new TMI seats, so he got those instead.
For Rick, it’s about the look and the feel of driving and owning his Pro Street cars. He loves the look and he loves the way they drive. “I’ve always liked the fat-tire cars” Rick explained, “Pro Street cars have the big meats on the back. I like the Pro Touring look, but Pro Street with the big, fat tires is what I really love.
For Rick, it’s also about family time. When he goes to car shows, he’ll drive this Camaro and his daughter will drive his blue car. “We go cruising together,” Rick said. “My wife and I like car shows, but it’s my daughter and I that go cruising together.”
For more pictures, check out the gallery below.