Who said buying an invisible project vehicle was a bad idea? David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan say it all the time, but they usually include a version of “do what I say, not like me” somewhere as they go to their final invisible purchase. But this is Roadkilland with this most amazing project vehicle everything is going as usual: say hello to the ultra-wide, no more than 70s 2nd generation Camaro to the Roadkill Fleet!
We know it’s beautiful. Yes, that is (as close as it makes no difference) three full feet of tire section in the rear. No, it’s not a pro street build. No, that doesn’t make it a pro touring build either. What is this shining example of 1970s ingenuity?
The best the guys can guess is that it’s not just Freiburger’s latest automotive infatuation, but also an IMSA look / Mullholland racer from 1970 or 1971, Camaro that got the works. And it’s good too! Usually on RoadkillOne such custom job is a bunch of booger welds and bondo, but this Camaro is more than just this Badonkadonk.
Well-made and well-engineered fiberglass body, a neatly laid out interior with legitimately cool custom details and actually safe safety equipment, side pipes and just so much stance. Go away, Tesla. Do you want poise? Freiburg has an attitude. With all the exposed rear tire aside, the big draw for Freiburg residents was the vintage blow-through Holley twin turbo small-block Chevy for which the side tubes were originally built.
It’s okay, say it slowly: twin-turbo, blow-through Holley, small-block Chevy. The side tubes still look cool, but they just hang there. The Camaro came with two engines and currently has a naturally aspirated engine small block Chevy under the one-piece, hydraulically operated fiberglass front clip. Finnegan agrees the twin turbo has to break in again, AS.
IMSA style: The original Pro Touring cars
Before Pro Street and Pro Touring were ubiquitous in the hot rodding world, if you were a muscle car enthusiast and wanted to turn corners well, you built and styled your car like a Trans Am or Can-Am racing car. The 1970s was the heyday of private teams and factory-backed operations, moving from wheel to wheel at insane speeds – and in cars that anyone could buy, like Chevy Corvettes and Camaros and Ford Mustangs.
Any wonder where the “AAR” in the famous AAR ‘Cuda came from? It stands for All American Racers and was Dan Gurney’s street car racing operation that he started with Carroll Shelby in 1964. The 1970 Plymouth AAR ‘Cuda was a dealer-only special built to celebrate the on-track success that Dan and the All American Racers had with the’ Cuda in Trans Am Racing.
Increasing the track width of a car, especially in the rear, and maximizing the area of contact between the tire and the driving surface is the easiest way to improve cornering ability, and the racing car engineers of the 1970s took this to the extreme and made the track width as wide as possible could increase and mount the largest tires allowed by sanctioning bodies. In connection with the burgeoning aerodynamic technologies of the time and the lax rules for keeping the original body parts, a simple, old Camaro of the second generation suddenly turns into a broad, mature, spoiled and spoiled track monster.
Pacific Coast Highway and Laguna Seca Raceway: Badonkadonk Camaro’s natural habitat
Southern California’s auto culture isn’t all deuce coupes and drag racing. When the ultra-wide Camaro was built by Freiburg sometime around 1979, its design was the epitome of the Mulholland * crowd – car enthusiasts and road racers who were more interested in tackling the turns than conquering the quarter mile.
It is fitting that Finengan and Freiburger are bringing this IMSA GT racing car north along the Pacific Coast Highway to one of the world’s most iconic street circuits: WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Salinas, California. A global epicenter of auto culture, the scenic coastal hills surrounding Monterey Bay are home to Monterey Car Week – a bucket-list event for even the mildest car enthusiast – as well as the famous racetrack.
But that would not be the case Roadkill when Freiburgers and Finengan can drive carefree on the spectacular two-lane asphalt strip along the California coast. Freiburg wanted his widebody Camaro to be gorgeous, but it’s not. The worn linear actuators take minutes to lift that heavy front clip and – unlike a Roadkill Project vehicle – the guys can’t just remove RJ Bosscher’s work to give easier access to the very poorly running small block Chevy.
Who cares?! As Freiburg always says: “Don’t do it right, just let it go”, then go out and drive. Freiburg is hpy to follow his own advice there. If he and Finnegan didn’t leave Tucson until the Camao ran perfectly, we’d never find out if Finnegan could set fire to those 18-inch wide rear tires like Freiburg’s ceiling caught on fire if the Camaro could manage a corkscrew, or even have one Show for that matter!
* Editor’s Note: Mulholland Drive is a narrow, winding, and very technical road in the foothills north of Los Angeles that has been notorious for decades as a source of illegal road racing and lavish driving.