(By Kaleb Kelley) – A few months ago, our crew at Classic Car Liquidators decided to look into giving a car away. After some research and preparation, we started our Win A Classic Sweepstakes giving a car away every three months. We’re going to build a fairly popular car or truck every three months into a daily drivable, mild ProTouring ride. We started off with the classic everybody wants, a 1969 Camaro. If you want to win this ride, sign up for our Gearhead membership at www.WinAClassic.com
When we first decided on the Camaro, I decided to hit up Bret at RideTech to see if we could try out their new Street Grip system. This is a full suspension system for the car that comes in ONE box. As they say, “One Box, One Solution!” No freight charges for this stuff! They simplified the approach to modernizing how your car rides and drives in this one box. You’re 40+ year old car won’t feel the same.
The kit for the first-gen Camaro is one of the simplest kits they make. For example, the kit for C10’s includes a panhard bar, drop spindles, and a C notch. When you open the box, you’ll find a well-organized, carefully packaged kit. As with most things, your eye is drawn to the largest thing in the box, in this case it is the composite leaf springs. Along with these, it comes with a set of dual-rate front coil springs, four adjustable MonoTube shocks, a front sway bar, taller ball joints, and a whole bunch of Delrin bushings!
The rear suspension is centered around their composite leaf springs. The key to there is the weigh savings. They save 50 pounds in unsprung weight compared to factory leafs. This not only improves the handling, but the ride quality as well. The higher torsional strength of the leafs diminish the spring wrap you’d find in factory-style leaf springs. Along with this are the billet leaf spring eyelets and Delrin bushings that help to give the car the proper stance out back and the bushings provide years of stiction-free reliability. RideTech also includes a set of their tuned adjustable Fox shocks. The shocks are the brain of your suspension and a proper set of shocks can make or break a car’s performance.
In the front, the larger diameter front sway bar controls body roll better than the factory unit. Back in the day, the technology of tires limited manufacturers heavily on what kind of cornering loads and how much grip a car could have. We don’t have that problem today with a proper set of radials. Following the trend from the rear, the front comes with quite a few Delrin bushings as well. The important ones are on the upper control arms. Instead of a set of tubular upper control arms, RideTech used a taller ball joint to correct the flawed geometry from the factory.
The bread-and-butter of this kit is their dual-rate springs RideTech developed with Hyperco. The initial soft spring rate allows the car to transition small road irregularities easily without sacrificing the cars handling. These dual-rate’s transition to a firmer spring rate when you get heavier cornering loads or larger bumps to control the bump and body roll. This is an incredible help to general ride quality and handling. For example, a ‘60’s Cadillac rides like a dream thanks to many factors, but especially their soft spring rate. When you turn hard in one of these cars, you’ll get some crazy body roll. Also, a car with extremely firm spring rate wouldn’t transverse the small irregularities in the road like these dual-rate units do. These alone seem to make a large difference in the car.
It took roughly 6 to 7 hours for our mechanic Jeff to take off the old suspension and throw RideTech’s kit on. I attempted to do a time lapse on the install, but the camera ran out of battery and half of the install didn’t get recorded. Regardless, this is a quick weekend job that can transform your old car into a well-handling performance car. I’ve driven this car on farm roads, the highway and through rough parking lots and have zero complaints. The entire package works well and we’re glad RideTech let us try it out. Expect a lot of the vehicles we sell at Classic Car Liquidators to have this system in the future.
We just finished the car barely in time to give it away in a couple weeks. Here’s a little outline of what we’ve done. First off, it was a hideous copper color originally, so we had it sent off for paint. It came back with a gorgeous Hugger Orange paint and a black hockey stripe. After that, we spent time making sure the motor was sealed and running properly. To shine up the 350 small-block, we installed a set of Billet Specialties valve covers with a matching air cleaner. This really made the engine pop when you opened the hood. Along with this, we installed FiTech’s throttle body fuel-injection. It was fairly simple to install, but took a little bit for it to learn the right tune for the car. An important part of these self-learning systems is driving them not only often, but in different situations. This way they learn how to respond no matter how you’re driving. A big help to making the fuel injection work right was their Fuel Command Center. Our low pressure mechanical pump feeds the fuel to the sump tank in the Fuel Command, the reservoir fills up and delivers 58psi fuel to the throttle body. It works surprisingly well and is a brilliant concept. We plan to fuel inject the Sweepstakes cars in the future, but we’re itching to try out Holley’s Sniper EFI.
The car already had Wilwood Disc brakes on the front with 12” drilled & slotted rotors and 6-piston calipers, so we ordered a set of 12” for the rear with 4-piston calipers to finish it off. The car has been gone through all the way to make sure it’s ready for whoever wins this car in a couple weeks to be able to drive it everywhere.
Part of driving it everywhere means they have to be ready for any temperature. That’s why we installed an Old Air system to make sure they had cold A/C and a warm heater whenever they needed it. New Vintage Gauges topped off the interior for us giving it a classic look with modern performance. We had a set of 17” CCW Classic 3-piece wheels, so we put them on the car to give it a modern twist to the classic muscle car we all love.
We started doing this to have fun building cool cars and give people who normally may not have the funds to purchase a classic muscle car like this. If somebody doesn’t want to take the car because of the taxes they’ll have to pay, we created a $25,000 cash option. We’re going to keep this going and do it once every three months, so stay tuned! We’re excited to partner with great companies like RideTech to make these cars fun to drive.
The Sweepstakes works pretty simply. If you go to WinAClassic.com and sign up for our membership, you get three entries every month into the pot to win the car. When the time comes, we give the Sweepstakes company all of the information and they randomly pick a winner out of all of the entries we’ve received. We normally pick 10 days after the end of the Sweepstakes to make sure that any mail in entries are received. This first one ends on December 31st,, so we’ll be picking a winner on January 9th. We can’t wait to give away the first car and we’re thinking about doing a ’71 C10 for the next build! Stay tuned Bangshifters!