From laws that put our passion of modifying cars in danger and engaging younger generations, to putting on the industry’s biggest trade show – SEMA plays a huge (if not the largest) role in the automotive industry when it comes to many things.
Back in 2007, the SEMA Board of Directors established their “SEMA Cares” sector. SEMA Cares works directly with charities that reflect the values and interests of the automotive specialty-equipment industry – and provides them with either donations or other generous opportunities to incorporate our passion for vehicles into activities and fundraisers.
Most recently, the SEMA Cares crew has teamed up with WD-40, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, and other key partners to build an awesome 1967 Chevrolet Camaro. But why, you ask? All to be auctioned off at the prestigious Barrett Jackson event in Scottsdale that’s approaching later this month. Proceeds are going to Childhelp – an organization that helps victims of child abuse across the country.
The team managed the project 100% in-house at the SEMA Garage in Southern California. They worked on it for over a year, with the goal of a creating not only a contemporary driving experience and unique look, but also paying great tribute to the car’s authentic heritage.
It all started with an LS3 crate engine that was donated by Chevy Performance. From there, other SEMA members and companies threw in a bunch of parts. With a Vortec supercharger, K&N intake, Rotofab carbon-fiber plenum cover, Fragola fuel fittings, Magnaflow mufflers, an Art Morrison Enterprises frame, and more – the team set out to enhance the Camaro’s already fun driving characteristics.
SEMA Garage Vehicle Product Data Specialist and Camaro project lead, Luis Morales, explained, “You can’t just drop that engine into a stock ’67 Camaro. It won’t work. The chassis is not built for that kind of power and torque. So we rebuilt the entire chassis, front to back. The entire frame of the car is aftermarket—all to fit the engine and transmission.”
The car’s exterior was wildly modified thanks to LGE-CTS and PPG paint, then accented with a custom rear spoiler and spoon-style door handles from Kindigit Designs. Roadwire and Distinctive Industries contributed the custom leather seats and seat rails. The finishing touches – trim pieces, brake pedals, and more – came from Camaro Central and Classic Industries.
“We wanted to build a street car with performance you could take to the track and looks you could take to a show,” Luis said. “You basically have [the engine that] comes in a 2010 and later Camaro SS, and it’s supercharged. We put sound deadening throughout the interior. And then there’s the fact that it is running on a C6 Corvette suspension. You have a very classic look to the car, with the comfort and power of a new car.”
Per the press release, the SEMA Garage team has grown attached to the car. That’s an indication of the sense of mission, detail, and quality that the staff felt should be built into the car.
“It’s not just somebody seeking sponsorship, where they get to keep the car and have fun with it. This has more purpose to it. We build it, showcase it and auction it, and all of it goes to charity.”