One growing trend in automotive racing is 1/2-mile events. Some of the more popular for airstrip races is put on by SHIFT S3CTOR. The company hosts events all over the U.S. And while the common denominator at most of these races consists of modern high-powered supercars, domestics, and imports, we can’t get enough of American muscle cars at the events. When 1320 Video posted a clip about this ’69 Camaro at the 1/2-mile race, they certainly had our attention.
Josh Kalis is a well-known professional skateboarder and owner of one of the baddest 1969 Camaro street cars that we have seen. What’s interesting is how Kalis came into ownership of the first-gen Camaro. Kalis tells Kyle Loftis, owner of 1320 Video, that a guy owed him some money and couldn’t pay. Not knowing much about classic cars at the time, Kalis said he would take the ’69 Camaro roller that the man owned to cancel out a $16,000 debt. However, when Kalis tried to sell the car, he quickly figured out that it was a rust bucket and not worth what he thought.
After being offered $2,500 for the worn-out Camaro, Kalis decided to keep it. And with the help of the previous owner, he learned how to replace sheet metal and weld. In just seven months, the ’69 was transformed into a show stopper that was unveiled at the SEMA Show in 2009. Over a decade later, Kalis still owns the car, but instead of hitting car shows, he prefers 1/2-mile racing.
Kalis loves BMWs and European styling, and you can see subtle nods to this style used when building the Camaro. If the front splitter, side skirts, and rear diffuser aren’t enough to convince you, then maybe the center-exit exhaust and custom widebody will. Under the hood sits a twin-turbo LS powerplant than makes an impressive 1,350 horsepower on VP C16 racing fuel. The car has a host of high-end parts, including wheels from HRE, Wilwood brakes, Nitto tires, Recaro Kevlar racing seat, Sparco steering wheel, and Garret turbos, just to name a few.
While Kalis loves the Camaro, he says he doesn’t like going over 175 mph anymore. He still uses the car on the street and takes his daughter to school. He also says that he enjoys wrenching on it and watching it make passes at the events. He also wants people to experience riding in the classic muscle car, which is evident as Loftis videos from inside the cockpit. With one of Kalis’ friends behind the wheel and Loftis in the passenger seat, the pair managed to hit 188 mph in the 1/2-mile.
It’s no secret that Loftis has been in his share of fast cars over the years while filming for 1320 Video. After riding in the 1969 Camaro, he seemed quite impressed at how effortless and smooth the old muscle car got up to speed. And we have to say, we are too.