A Display of Power Hooked a Young Hot Rodder for Life

Text & Photos By Richard Prince

Mark Anthony grew up in a family full of auto mechanics, so cars were an important part of his life from the beginning. He credits a neighbor, however, with his obsessive devotion to 1969 Camaros in particular. “I was in the driveway, working on my minibike, as usual, when a guy from around the block went past my house doing a wicked burnout with his 1969 Camaro race car. I was just a kid, but from that moment I was hooked!”

Back in 2009 a friend who knows about Mark’s love for 1969 Camaros turned him onto our feature car. “The original owner put it into a barn with only 27,000 miles on the clock,” Mark recalls, “and it sat there for more than 30 years. Unfortunately, it was directly beneath a hole in the roof, so it got very rusty, but it was a completely original RS still titled to the first owner, so I thought it was worth saving.”

Mark brought the car to expert restorer Steve Wider at High Grade Auto Body in East Meadow, New York, and when he was finished, Wider had replaced 95 percent of the car’s body. All of that metalwork changed Mark’s plans for the car. “Given its low mileage and originality,” he explains, “I initially planned to keep the car stock, but after we had to replace so much sheetmetal I decided to hot-rod it.”

For the first go-around, Wider painted the car Hot Rod Black and replaced the original 307 with a Hilborn-injected 383 stroker. At its first outing, a Goodguys event in Charlotte, Mark saw others autocrossing and decided to completely rebuild his Camaro for that purpose. To that end, Wider replaced the stock underpinnings with Detroit Speed hardware, including a hydroformed subframe, dropped spindles, tubular control arms, JRi coilovers, splined antiroll bar, rack-and-pinion steering up front, and a complete QUADRALink system out back.

Stopping power comes from a Baer Extreme+ Brake System, featuring six-piston calipers and 15-inch drilled rotors. To stiffen the car’s structure and make it safer, Crazy Don’s Chassis Works in Island Park, New York, installed a 12-point rollcage.

For propulsive power, Mark turned to Chris at Big Power Racing in Bay Shore, New York. An LSX454, modified with a ProCharger supercharger and Precision Metalcraft intake, replaced the 383 stroker. The engine is backed by a TREMEC six-speed and 3.70:1 9-inch rear.

Once Mark decided to go all-out with the car’s engine, drivetrain, and chassis, he saw no reason to keep its exterior and interior stock. He had High Grade rework the entire body, including widening the rear, tucking the bumpers, and fitting a Ringbrothers carbon-fiber hood. When it was finished, they shot the car with a Chip Foose Glasurit color called Butterscorch Pearl.

For an interior with as much punch as the exterior, Mark sent the car to Bux Customs in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. The artisans there completely reworked Recaro seats and fabricated numerous parts, including the door panels and dash. Just about every surface was covered with high-quality leather.

Mark has successfully autocrossed his beautiful Camaro, and has even done a bit of road racing with it. He’s also accumulated scores of trophies from shows up and down the East Coast. The most enjoyment he’s gotten from the car, however, has come from simply driving it. “I take it out all the time,” he explains, “and have a lot of fun driving it. The car’s performance is incredible, and it makes me feel like I’m 18 years old all over again!”

TECH CHECK
Owner: Mark Anthony, Bellmore, New York
Vehicle: 1969 Camaro

Engine
Block: LSX454, iron block
Displacement: 454 ci
Compression Ratio: 11.0:1
Bore: 4.185 inches
Stroke: 4.125 inches
Cylinder Heads: Aluminum, Chevy LSX-LS7
Engine Work: Big Power Racing
Horsepower and Torque (at crank): 685 hp at 6,400 rpm; 715 lb-ft torque at 5,400 rpm
Rotating Assembly: Chevrolet 4340 forged steel crankshaft and rods, Chevrolet forged aluminum pistons
Valvetrain: Chevrolet Performance hydraulic roller camshaft (0.648/0.648-inch lift, 236/246 deg duration at 0.050); investment-cast roll trunnion, 1.8:1 ratio rocker arms
Induction: Precision Metalcraft intake manifold, Precision Metalcraft FI rails and GM LS7 injectors, K&N air cleaner
Power Adder: ProCharger D-1SC supercharger
Ignition: AC Delco
Ignition Controller: Chevrolet Performance and 58X reluctor wheel
Exhaust: Kooks 2×3½-inch headers, Flowmaster mufflers

Drivetrain
Transmission: TREMEC six-speed
Clutch: Tilton
Rear Axle: 9-inch
Drivetrain Work: Steve Wider, High Grade Auto Body

Chassis
Front Suspension: Detroit Speed hydroformed subframe, Detroit Speed tubular steel upper and lower control arms, Detroit Speed 1 1/8-inch sway bar;
front springs: JRi coilover shocks, 550-pound springs
Rear Suspension: Detroit Speed QUADRALink, Detroit Speed ¾-inch sway bar, JRi coilover shocks 250-pound springs
Rollcage: 12-point chromoly installed by Crazy Don’s Chassis Works
Chassis Work: Steve Wider, High Grade Auto Body

Brakes
Baer Extreme+ six-piston calipers, 15-inch drilled and slotted rotors front and rear
Wilwood master cylinder

Wheels & Tires
Wheels: (Front) 10×19 Forgeline FS3P;
(rear) 12×20 Forgeline FS3P
Tires: Michelin Pilot Super Sport 305/30R20 (rear); Michelin Pilot Super Sport 275/35R19 (front)

Interior
Front Seats: Recaro reworked by Bux Customs
Rear Seats: Bux Customs
Upholstery Material: Leather
Dash: Bux Customs Leather
Safety Belts: Sabelt
Door Panels: Bux Customs Leather
Steering Wheel: Momo Competition
Audio System: Kenwood eXcelon
HVAC: Vintage Air with A/C Edge compressor
Interior Work and Installation: Bux Customs

Exterior
Paint- and Bodywork: Steve Wider, High Grade Auto Body
Body Modifications: Quarter-panels flared, rear tubs, smoothed rear valence, custom vents in rear quarters, Ringbrothers taillights and door handles
Paint: Glasurit-90 Butterscorch Pearl
Hood: Ringbrothers carbon fiber
Bumpers: 1969 Camaro bumpers tucked into body and painted body color

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