Rough Start: Could This Be The Ultimate ZL1 Camaro Convertible?


Rough Start: Could This Be The Ultimate ZL1 Camaro Convertible?

Checking out Copart this morning I came across this 2014 ZL1 Camaro Convertible and wondered if this might not be the best one ever. Okay, you have to squint, but it’s there. Look. What the hell am I talking about? This is quite possibly the most stripped 5th Gen Camaro I’ve ever seen. It might actually be as stripped as a body in white. But it IS a real ZL1 Automatic Convertible. Which means that if you are going racing in a series that requires a VIN, and doesn’t allow kit cars, say Optima’s Search for the Ultimate Street Car for example, this could be the Ultimate 5th Gen Camaro. You don’t have to feel bad about cutting it up. It doesn’t need anything taken off. There are no parts you have to use because they are there. And you haven’t spent real money to buy it so in the grand scheme of things it could be the cheapest fast 5th Gen build ever.

Here’s what I would do with it.

I would make it a roadster, with no glass except the windshield. I would hang a solid axle under it with a torque arm setup, and would likely ditch the front suspension layout for C5 Corvette stuff. All the interior would go in from a donor V6 car, so it looked finished, but there would be NOTHING that wasn’t required to grab points or make it fast. Wiring would be kept to a minimum, with only enough to support Holley EFI, Racepak Data Logging and Instrumentation, plus a bluetooth speaker to count for my stereo. Carbon doors, hood, deck lid, fenders, you name it and we would run it. As long as the budget could support it that is.

Of course the entire thing would be caged, but think about how easy and nice that is when you have no top to contend with! And without all that roof and additional structure, plus other weight I would cut out of it, I’m sure we can make this thing a lightweight. Sure, we’d have to add weight for some competitions, but the beauty of this project is being able to put the weight where you want it when you do need it.

For power, there is really only once choice for me. Boosted, in the form of a turbo or two, LS. Done and done. Build a strong but simple piece that never needs to rev over 7000 rpm and let it eat. This wouldn’t be a “cheap” project, but it certainly would cost less than starting with a nice running and driving SS or ZL1.

We wouldn’t bolt anything on this car that wasn’t lighter than the factory stuff. Nothing.

What would you do with it?


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