A 1988 Camaro Boosted With 1,000 hp by the Hoonigan Crew

By Fuelish Media   –   Photography by the Author

Exceeding the four-digit horsepower mark is not an easy task and comes with a feeling of accomplishment that only a small percentage of auto enthusiasts can relate to. However, there is a way to experience that joy by following through with one single shortcut: Installing GM’s ZZ632/Deluxe 1000 straight out of the crate is all you have to do to outfit your vehicle with a whopping 1,000 hp. This thing is a beast, and it is in fact GM’s most powerful crate engine to date. The 632ci 10.3L big-block behemoth is every gearhead’s dream, and the Hoonigan team was able to lay hands on the very first one outside of GM.

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Recently, the Chevrolet Performance team was looking for an outlet to properly showcase their new big-block bruiser, and they couldn’t think of any better way than to have the folks at Hoonigan be the first to have their way with it. In case you don’t know, the Hoonigan crew represents the epitome of all things intoxicating in the world of automotive excitement. From drifting, to burnouts, to everything associated with living life in the fast lane is what they’re all about, which makes them the ideal group of individuals to put the new ZZ632 through the paces.

002 Full Custom 1988 chevy camaro

The freshly forged collaboration between Chevrolet Performance and Hoonigan reached breakneck speed almost immediately. The proposed project was no doubt guaranteed to deliver a ton of allure and intrigue en route to the finish line, but it also had a substantial amount of looming stress as the Hoonigan team had a constricting timeline to meet. The SEMA Show was officially selected as the project’s slated debut date and this project started only 21 days before the big event.

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009 Custom Front Bumper 1988 chevy camaro

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GM’s third-gen ’88 Chevy Camaro testing mule was chosen to be the vehicle of choice to receive the new big-block, which was not available for delivery until a week after the project began. This presented the first speed bump, but it wasn’t anything a “complete” mock engine featuring plastic 3-D–printed heads and intake manifold couldn’t fix. This solution wasn’t ideal, by any means, but having the faux engine at least allowed the Hoonigans to test-fit the transmission and everything else around it before the real ZZ632 showed up.

013 Custom Fully Built 632 1988 chevy camaro

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When the crate engine arrived, the guys plopped it in and began beefing it up a bit in order for it to withstand Hoonigan-level usage. A water pump and alternator combo designed for a trophy truck application was added to the ZZ632 and a NASCAR-quality 5-gallon aluminum radiator was also added to the mix. Behind the engine is a custom twin-disc-clutch-powered Jerico Performance four-speed dog box transmission along with a near-bulletproof driveshaft and special-ordered 12-bolt Moser rearend.

010 Rear End 1988 chevy camaro

Holding the Moser rearend is a custom rear four-link system complete with all-new tabs and bracketry to make for a well-tailored fitment. At the front end, a BMR Suspension K-member was positioned with Heidts lower control arms and QA1 double-adjustable coilovers were added to each corner. This setup was perfect for a drag car, which this Camaro was becoming more of with each passing day. Of course, the suspension system wouldn’t have been complete without upgraded Baer braking components, 18-inch American Racing wheels, as well as fresh rubber from Falken Tire.

023 Custom Fender 1988 chevy camaro

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Together, Chevrolet and Hoonigan put their collective heads together and came up with a one-off digital body kit that had to be produced in a hurry. To make this happen, the rendering and measurements of the kit were sent over to StreetFighter LA to have it 3-D–printed to meet the time crunch but was later replaced by a kit made by Advanced Fiberglass. Next, the paint and livery were applied to the car, which features a ton of cool Easter eggs built right into the design with the throwback IROC font, the cleverly intertwined Hoonigan logo in the graphics, as well as custom badging that is unique to the car.

018 Custom Rebuilt Interior 1988 chevy camaro

Although the original interior wasn’t in total disrepair, it sure was lacking pizazz. The 30-plus year-old seats were ripped out and replaced with Recaro buckets, a custom aluminum center console was cooked up and installed, and a fully custom digital MoTeC dash was wired up to give the car’s interior landscape a much-needed overhaul. Oh, and check out the new door panels featuring upcycled Hoonigan keychains as the door pull handles.

015 Custom 632 Engine Block 1988 chevy camaro

With only three weeks with the assignment, and only two of those weeks with the actual naturally aspirated engine on hand, the Hoonigan team really delivered on an absolutely killer Camaro that was built to not only survive but thrive on the most violent of on-road abuse that the Hoonigan crew is notorious for.

012 Custom Graphic Side 1988 chevy camaro

Owner: Hoonigan (Dominguez Hills, California)
Vehicle: ’88 Chevy Camaro

Type: ’21 Chevy ZZ632 big-block
Displacement: 632 ci
Horsepower: 1,004 hp
Torque: 876 lb-ft
Cooling: Trophy truck water pump and 5-gallon aluminum racing radiator
Accessory Drive: Custom trophy truck alternator with custom brackets and belt
Fuel System: Holley fuel pump and regulator, Rick’s stainless tank
Intake: Aluminum high-rise single-plane, K&N carbon-fiber air filter,
Exhaust: custom headers, and exhaust
Wiring: Redline Performance wire harness
Battery: Antigravity Batteries lithium-ion battery mounted underdash

Transmission: Jerico Performance four-speed dog box (car was previously automatic)
Trans Mods: QuickTime bellhousing
Clutch: Action twin-disc clutch
Rearend: Moser 12-bolt rear with custom suspension mounts

Frame: Stock
Steering: Rack-and-pinion upgrade
Front Suspension: BMR Suspension K-member, Heidts lower control arms
Rear Suspension: Custom four-link setup
Springs/Shocks: QA1 double-adjustable struts and coilovers with caster camber plates up front
Brakes: Baer 13-inch, six-piston brake kit with custom stainless lines

Wheels & Tires
Wheels: 18×9 and 18×10 American Racing VF503 “D-Window” wheels
Tires: 255/45R18 and 295/40R18 Falken tires

Seats: Recaro retro modern-style seats with red seatbelts
Gauges: MoTeC C1212 digital display
Steering: Ididit column, Unisteer electric power steering assisted in column, Nardi steering wheel
Shifter: Hurst
Misc: Carbon-fiber door panels with original top and Hoonigan key chain as pull, one-off center console, custom brake and clutch pedals

Mods: GM- and Hoonigan-designed body kit (3-D–printed by StreetFighter LA for SEMA Show) current version from Advanced Fiberglass, shaved engine bay, Thermo Tec heat shielding on firewall, custom badging, shaved and painted engine bay
Paint: Strasse Sport Paint
Graphics: 360 wraps stickers designed to look like IROC logo

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