Words and Photos By: Brandon Flannery
The 1969 Camaro has long been a popular car. A new wider, sleeker appearance and a recessed grille made it an instant hit with buyers. Chevrolet’s interest in Trans Am racing and an abundant choice of engines made sure it performed as good as it looked. To this day, it’s still a serious player both on and off the track.
In 1975, Scooter Brothers of COMP Cams was actively involved in drag racing and won his class in a white convertible Camaro. In the early ’90s, a new concept called the “Power Tour” promised to blend fast cars with long road trips in a show of dependability for builders and merchants alike. COMP Cams was immediately on board and knew the perfect car to use.
Unfortunately, Scooter’s old race car was deemed unworthy after finding it in Texas. Pressing on, a suitable replacement was located and built into a beacon for the day’s technology. Coilover suspension, four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock, and a rowdy NASCAR-style SB2 small-block topped with a custom fuel injection system made the COMP Camaro a Power Tour favorite for many years.
As with all things, time took its toll and in 2010, it was parked, a little worse for the wear, with a legacy of “road warrior stories,” from triple-digit speeds with the top down and celebrity parking lot donuts to falling halfway out of a show-bound trailer at speed — caught only by the header flanges.
For several years, the stalled project slumbered under a cover in the R&D area, engineless and halfway through a suspension upgrade. With the 40th anniversary of COMP Cams on the horizon in 2016, thoughts of re-vamping the Camaro were shifted into high gear.
V8 Speed & Resto was asked to bring the Camaro back to life and create a fitting product showcase for the COMP Performance Group. With their expert help and eye for quality, the Camaro emerged better, safer, and faster than ever before.
Long known for their Pontiac prowess, Butler Performance has branched out to include Butler LS, specializing in LS engines. Since they handle high-profile clients like Big Chief from TV’s Street Outlaws show, COMP was in good hands.
Butler filled an RHS LS Race Block with Diamond pistons, a Lunati rotating assembly, and a COMP Cams cam and valvetrain package, naturally. They capped the RHS LS7 heads with a FAST LSXR intake and a 102mm Big Mouth throttle body. See the “engine” section for the details. It was backed with a TCI Automotive converter and 6X transmission.
Work on the Camaro began at V8 Speed while the engine was at Butler. The chassis was upgraded with a Heidt’s Pro-G pro-touring style front clip and bolt-in four-link rear. Wilwood brakes and one-off wheels from CCW‑ followed.
After the stance was set, it was off to paint and body for a custom white paint job with buried racing stripes and a neww Haartz cloth top. One-off badges for the fenders and tail panel were whittled out of aluminum for the finishing touches.
Inside, the cabin was kept close to stock with a simple black vinyl interior and houndstooth inserts. Dakota Digital gauges were put in the factory locations, and a retro-looking head unit was added, but connected to an upgraded sound system. The center console was modified to fit the new Outlaw Blackout shifter from TCI, and the front seats were replaced with a more supportive set of sculpted buckets from Distinctive Industries. Other tricks like a one-off air filter under the hood, a Billet Specialties steering wheel and pedals, and Eddie Motorsports billet door vents, hinges, and marker lights reward the eye for looking closer while not attracting too much “over-the-top” attention.
When the dust settled and the car emerged, it was better than ever. The FAST EZ-LS ignition and FAST XFI Sportsman engine management were “super tuned” by Rodney Butler and David Page. Their dyno numbers of 690 hp at 6,700 rpm and 619 lb-ft of torque at 5,100 are enough to keep this Camaro road-trip happy for many years to come. Once again, the COMP Camaro is the pinnacle of technology and a proud showcase for many of the leading COMP Performance Group products. Look for it at an event near you.