1974 Chevrolet Camaro Z28
From Detroit land-yacht to street bruiser, this 1974 Camaro has undergone an extensive transformation since it hit UK shores. With lots of unique custom touches and in-depth resto-mod work, Ravenworks has helped to create this Osaka-inspired muscle car.
When the owner (Graham) picked up this old Chevy, it had fallen into a state of disrepair. None of the clocks worked, it was leaking fuel, the transmission didn't want to select gears and most of the interior was missing. The engine ran, but not well. Unsurprisingly, the car kept breaking down and was in desperate need of some work. Graham soon found what most classic car owners discover - none of the garages local to him were willing to even take a look at the car. With nowhere to plug in a diagnostic tool and the only wiring involved for the headlights, current mechanics were as confused by the old V8 as the owner was. Graham not only wanted to be able to drive the car safely, but customise it with his own unique style, heavily influenced by Japanese street car culture with an American pro-touring twist. He stumbled upon the only place able to fulfil that vision - Ravenworks.
The images above show the condition of both the interior and engine bay. Shortly after the top right image was taken, a coolant pipe burst showering the engine in rusty coolant. It was time to get the project underway and with several large parts orders from the USA and Japan, the work to bring this Z28 back to its former glory could finally begin. Starting with the most dangerous things first - the fuel system (from front to back), suspension and tyres along with some opportune items like the factory Z28 ducktail.
With the parts in transit, it was time to work on existing areas on the car. The Super T10 was taken apart, hydro-blasted, inspected and re-assembled along with the Hurst shifter by our close friend Josh at Blackstar Motorsport. It didn't take long for the deliveries to start rolling in from the US (within days!) and so the mammoth task of rewiring and rebuilding could start. Out came the old fuel tank along with the pump, filter and all soft lines. Undaunted by the scope of the work - all journeys start with the first step and ours was to make the car safe.
No stone was left unturned. For every old and rusted part that came out, in went new and improved components including poly-bushed and uprated suspension. Everything that needed to go back on the car was treated to our in-house coatings. The 3.73 was replaced with a 3.42 to make the car more drivable in the UK. Interior parts had been sourced and replaced, the clocks rewired. The Edelbrock carb was rebuilt and tuned. Ceramic brake pads went in. From a neglected project to a capable street car, completed within a modest budget.
For most people, this would be the end of the story. A rare classic rescued from the clutches of time. But for us, all this work was just to get the car to a stage where it was now a capable platform to modify from.
Now the fun could really begin.
With a design brief to work to, an aggressive 'snow plow' splitter was mocked up in card and then fabricated out of steel in-house by Godspeed Customs. The bumpers were removed, lightened, coated and tucked back on to custom brackets. Gone were the old halogen headlights and replaced with new ultra-bright LED units (coupled with orange halogen parking lights for that menacing glare). The interior was customised also, temporarily using the old steering wheel while an ultra-rare unit was sourced from Japan. Our partners at EDA and STG were brought in for performance tuning and a custom exhaust system creating.
With a brief hiatus from work while the car was thoroughly tested by the owner, the Camaro was brought back in for the owners biggest undertaking yet - he wanted the engine to come out, be inspected for wear and then go back in freshly sealed from top to bottom.
We told him we could go one better than that.
Out came the tired 350 and the headers that had been on the car for years. The engine was cleaned, inspected, repaired and resealed using all new Felpro gaskets and ready to back in just as Graham wanted. But here at Ravenworks, we don't like half-measures so (with customer permission first obviously!) the block went into the paint bay. The headers were ceramic coated in satin black with the block itself going Chevrolet 'Victory' red - a modern twist on the traditional Chevy orange. All ancillaries were dipped and coated too.
With the engine reassembled and ready to go back in, the final test was a visit to our friends at EDA for tuning on their in-house dyno.
We won't divulge the peak figure, but with a healthy output significantly above factory power, all that was needed now was for it to go back in the car - in the freshly cleaned and painted engine bay.