Some of you have asked for me to share my build story. Many might say it’ just another custom built Camaro however it was more than that for me.
Sub Chapter 1 – My build story.
I (OR SHOULD I SAY “WE”) embarked on an adventure this past winter. I know some have been there and done that but this is a dream of mods I only looked at online and wondered if I would get there. IF it wasn’t for Stingray Garage and what they brought to the table this would not have been realized. So First - THANK YOU!!!! Tommy Z (“TZD” or Z as referred to in the story line).
I am going to summarize the details and the Journey from mid-November 2011 (and back a little further) to present day. (I am not a writer C5’ers so I will do my best to outlay the story)
Sub Chapter 2 – Back in time.
The Journey started about 2 years ago at C5Fest 1, a time and place I will never forget on many levels. Along with meeting many great people, friends, manufactures and suppliers, I meet one important person, “Z”. We talked for a bit about my future mod plans and he only asked that I contact him to give him a chance at my build when the time came. Timed passed and I talked to him and others about different mods. Everyone was very helpful from all aspects and I can’t say enough about the people, suppliers, sponsors and manufactures in and around this community of Camaro enthusiasts. C5’ers are awesome to say the least.
Last summer I started investigating and looking more seriously at custom wheels and power adders. Thanks Kyle after being around and hearing your monster in Bay Harbor I was on the more power bus. I asked a lot of C5’ers questions on what they had, what they liked or didn’t like. I talked with many suppliers and manufacturers but my build was going to be around appearance first and reliable power adders. I had suppliers looking all over for just that right set of wheels. I just couldn’t find the one thing that said “yes”, that belongs on my car. With not finding anything that appealed online and after hearing and reading about some of the horror stories with what happened to PQ, out of frustration I stopped looking for a bit. I say frustration as I realized this was something I could not do myself and do it right. A little time passed and I decided to turn to a designer - I starting talking to Z. It paid dividends!!!!!!
Chapter 1 – Lets do this!
When I contacted Z around Thanksgiving of 2011 he asked if I would be interested in what he called an “Auto Show Build”. I was like “yea I want to be able to show it whens its done” . He was like no I mean a big “ASB”. Tell me more I say. He says “I’ll send you a rendering of what I am thinking. A few weeks later he sent me what he was calling the Auto Show Build. I liked the concept rendering he did needless to say, I liked it a lot. I would be lying if I said I was presented an opportunity with this build that I could turn down. Things fell into place and agreed to move forward. So Z started putting it all together on paper and really started to get after it. Some others involved, they would come to find out they had their work cut out for them but no more work than Z himself. Z and I agreed on the following mods and we moved forward with my custom build over the winter and spring. It involved Stingray Garage, RDP Motorsports, Xplosive Performance, Pfadt, Pirelli and Double DMods to name a few suppliers. The list of mods to be added to some things I had done already included and like all good disclaimers “are not limited to the following”
Body by TZD:
a. Ram air hood
b. Chin spoiler
c. Rear spoiler
d. Rocker panels
e. Custom front fenders
f. Rear diffuser
g. AAC LED Side markers and after burner lights
h. Custom Paint job, IOM and Gloss Black
i. Black Custom Badging
a. Whipple Supercharger 2.9 Black (Thank you to Steve and Scott at RDP Motorsports)
b. Magnaflow Center exhaust. Square tube tail pipes
c. American racing headers - long tubes
d. Rotofab Carbon Fiber CAI
e. Dyno Tune
f. Custom engine cover to accent the SC’er
Suspension and wheels:
A. USW Custom Driven Wheel - (IOM, and black) 22” front 9.5” rear 11”
B. Pirelli Scorpion tires
C. Pfadt Stage 2 package
D. Drilled and slotted rotors - Hawk pads. (Thank you to Bob at Xplosive Performance)
A. Pioneer AVIC 940BT Touch screen Head Unit with steering wheel integration (Thanks Dennis at Double Dmods)
B. Scosche Dash Kit
C. Painted Dash trim
D. Ace Custom steering wheel
E. Roadwire Custom Interior – IOM and Black Suede Leather
F. Racing pedals
So with all the above the car takes on an entire new appearance that started with me looking for wheels, a power adder and a conceptual rendering. I am not disappointed at all. The car not only has “show” it also has some go with the Whipple SC. It Dyno’ed out at 583 RWHP @ 524 Max Torque on its 8th run in 85* weather.
Chapter 2 – Z forgets what sleep is – and so do I.
The car was first picked up on 1-9-12 and needed to be complete for his first showing Feb 8th. Reason being, the Auto Show Build Z spoke of was going to be the CHICAGO AUTO SHOW!!!!!!
Z worked his tail off in the weeks to follow January 6th, suppliers and vendors for the most part came through with what they had promised. He got the majority of what he needed to do the job in time and he went after it. He changed parts, added parts, removed birds from my front grill (not sure how I missed that) and painted and polished like a mad man. Z wrapped up what was probably his 4th all night’er and loaded up and headed for the show Feb 6th. I must add, I learned a lot about patience, car builds and custom parts in the weeks leading up to the show. No real pics sent to Rico of the build. But Z was keeping track and tacking them himself of the build and the progress. Just text and email back and forth …….Z would say “everything is going well Amigo”
Chapter 3 – Will someone wipe the drool of that guys face?
I took the opening weekend of the show off and headed out to Chi town to see the car. Z had sent me a couple teaser part pics during the build to keep my interest. Besides I asked him to send me something, I could hardly stand it. At the Chicago Auto Show, although not 100% complete, the car looked incredible. I had not seen it since he picked it up in my driveway in January. Needless to say I needed to lift my jaw off the ground of the convention floor. I actually forgot about the fact the car wasn’t sitting on the right wheels. I just stood there in disbelief that that was my car sitting there. MY family and friends joined me and some came from Kentucky. It was awesome to share the experience with them. I took photos, answered questions, did I mention I drooled on myself. I hadn’t done that for 38 years!!!!!! Damn! The car was more than I had imagined. The show was great – a lot of people saw it, they loved the car, I loved the car and I knew it would only get better when it left.
Chapter 4 – Let’s go to more shows.
The chapter title says it all. It wasn’t finished when it left Chicago in February. It did a little winter tour. Via enclosed trailer of course. It left Chi Town and went to Wisconsin for a tire and wheel show for a few days. I guess Pirelli had seen the rendering as well A few weeks ago Z took it to South Bend for some exposure.
In the mean time we were still patiently wanting to finish the build and awaiting the arrival of what I Jokingly called “the Unicorns” – a custom wheel from a not to be named company as they did not come through. USW stepped up and we changed wheel platform. More on that later.
The plan is to attend more shows though the summer and also get trailered to C5 Fest 3 with Z’s other cars. Hitting one in Cheboygan this weekend, and the St Ignace car show.
Chapter 5 – Ok Z, where are the wheels?
The concept wheels planned for the build by Unicorn breeding company?? I guess there just wasn’t enough time to build them and get them on the car for the show. The car was unveiled with a nice set of Foose rims. I think Z tried to sell me on the Foose when I was there however we both knew the build needed a more custom platform. I decided to hold out and try my patience waiting for the wheel. Well after waiting on the Unicorns and not hearing from them my patience ran out. I was waiting no longer. We decided to look for a great wheel from USW. Biz came through and we had the wheels shortly after ordering.
Chapter 6 –Done.
The last week or so Z had been putting the final touches on the car and delivered the car back to me June 8th. I drooled again when I say it. Pictures had just not done it justice. The stance, the sound, the appearance, all incredible. It was like getting a new Camaro again. Heck it is. The last time I saw the car was back in February in Chi town at the show. Even from that pic to now the car is different. Its a lot of fun to drive as well.
Chapter 8 Thank you
Again, Thanks Tommy, Steve, Bob and Dennis and all of Z’s guys. You guys are very knowledgeable, answered all my questions, put up with my hounding and provided a great end product. Only thing left now is to put them to the test. Another guy I need to thank, and he deserves a lot of credit as well is Tommy’s painter. I don’t know his name “yet” but he worked just as hard and did a magnificent job to bring this monster to life.
Chapter – 9 Pics