Money No Object: Grumpy’s Toy VIII – Find A Badder Second-Gen Camaro, We’ll Wait.


Money No Object: Grumpy’s Toy VIII – Find A Badder Second-Gen Camaro, We’ll Wait.

How do I write this one up without turning into a groveling, slobbering mess of a human being? This isn’t just a 1970 Chevrolet Camaro. This isn’t a re-creation. This is the real-deal, verified and signed, validated and proven Grumpy’s Toy VIII, the July 1970 Hot Rod Magazine cover car, the beast that was ready to give Grumpy’s Toy IV, the 1967-turned-1968 Camaro that he had bought off of Penske Racing, a bit of a rest. This is the car that was wheeled by Dave Strickler. This was the car that was rented out to Bruce Larson. This is the car that went to Richie Zul, and yes, it’s the car that was running 1975 model-year sheetmetal and wore the bigger back window. Even Dennis Ferrara was behind the wheel of this machine. It’s the real deal.

This is the only form of second-gen F-body that, in my mind, trumps the Baldwin-Motion Phase III cars on sheer mechanical violence and bold-faced intimidation. This was Jenkins at work, picking through the GM parts catalog for items like a heavy-duty 12-bolt and the 5.13 gear set with Posi-Traction. This was Camaro SS396 rear leaf spring packs mounted inboard. This was the Camaro fuel tank painted white and fitted with a Carter pump. Why white? To keep the fuel cooled down and to reflect the heat. This was lots of work in the front clip to make sure that the demon lump that Jenkins was going to drop in wouldn’t just twist everything into funny shapes, sub frame connectors, and torque straps on the engine just to make sure that the eight ports of violence didn’t do damage when the lights dropped.

Now, look at the car itself. What’s missing from a street Camaro of the time? Outside, it would be license plates and DOT-legal tires. Inside, that’s the nicest Camaro interior we’ve seen in forever and most of the mods would be considered Day Two stuff. It’s a race car, make zero mistake about that. But this was the origin of Pro Stock, and there is very little about this Camaro that doesn’t equate to any given street-going split-bumper. Then again, very few of those machines are both this clean and this violent. There’s a laundry list of reasons why Jenkins is held in such high standard in the drag racing community. And there are a thousand more reasons why a car like Grumpy’s Toy VIII should get your heart racing, brand loyalty be damned.

Mecum Auctions’ Kissimmee 2020: Lot S146 – 1970 Chevrolet Camaro, “Grumpy’s Toy VIII”


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13 thoughts on “Money No Object: Grumpy’s Toy VIII – Find A Badder Second-Gen Camaro, We’ll Wait.

  1. MGBChuck

    Wow, talk about provenance,one the last of the real car Pro Stockers (next was the famous tube frame Vega). VERY COOL CAR! Hope it goes to a good home

    Reply
  2. Loren

    Not seeing the drooped front end as on Hot Rod cover. Not that it doesn’t look better this way. With all the re-creation and re-re-creation it’s still possibly the #1 car ever I’d like to have in my garage.

    Reply
    1. Angrymike

      I had a 70-1/2 Camaro with a 427 11-1 compression and a 780 Holley. 12 bolt 4:11 gears and a 4speed, let me tell you, that car was fast. I put a L-88 stick in it and I know for a fact it was a 12 second car, if not high 11\’s. When I decided to remove the vinyl top because of bubbling, the rear window popped right out, I guess bolt in frame connectors didn\’t hold up as well as welded ones.
      I miss that beast !

      Reply
  3. Dan

    Nice to see a 70 Camaro with original low back seats (like mine). Everybody always changes them out for later versions. Very AWESOME car!!

    Reply
  4. Bill Greenwood

    I’d love to see that engine put together with modern, lighter pistons (but same compression as in 1971), modern ring packs, etc., while running the sane cam as back then. Then see what she’ll run.

    Reply
  5. Greg ferrara

    My father owned that car in 75,won world championship with it,car was all glass,no interior,Dana rear narrowed,only thing grumpy was roof and top of rear quarters,where all throes parts come from to make it grumpy car,just a roof and quarter on a nother car

    Reply
  6. Roland Tamaccio

    ,,, well, the cam to have, in a one four barrel engine of the era, and the one that Grump\’s shop put in the SS/D, engine for Dick Ogles, was the ZL-1 cam with the last 3 part numbers of 180 or 181, with one of those numbers being the casting number and the other the part number. Bill ran a \”332\” flat tappet Kinetics all of \’71.
    ,,
    ,,, All that non twist stuff probably came later because when Bill had it it took somebody of Bill\’s skill to keep everything adjusted. It was raced in NHRA Pro Stock in 1971, with a 12 bolt, and the Grump endorsed Lakewood slapper bars, can\’t remember if we put a Dana-60 in it late that year . The 12 bolt was much headaches without a spool .

    Reply
  7. Roland Tamaccio

    ,,, oh yeah, I maintained the transmissions after Dutch left, and the shifter is completely wrong. Bill used a Hurst Competition Plus 3 speed shifter, with a seperate lever for reverse .

    Reply

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