Ambition

Ryan and Angel Cashman’s Pro Touring ’69 Camaro

By Nick Licata   –   Photography by John Jackson

Time and time again we read or write a story where we dig back into the owner’s childhood and speak on how that person got into hot rods and muscle cars by building models and playing with Hot Wheels diecast toy cars as a kid. Well, this time we are going to forego that story, but for the record, that’s exactly how things panned out with Ryan Cashman. His story is no different than most, and that’s a good thing because his early exposure to pint-sized hot rods built the foundation that helped create this amazing Pro Touring ’69 Camaro. Unfortunately, this build is not all his. This gem belongs to his wife, Angel.

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002 Custom 1969 camaro

Yep, according to Ryan, his wife was getting a little jelly over all the cool cars he had stacked up over the years, so she felt it was time she had a cool ride, too. We all know the saying “Happy wife, happy life.” Well, by the looks of this ’69 Camaro, we’d venture to say Ryan’s wife is extremely happy.

003 Fully Built 1969 camaro

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As the search began to find a classic ride, Ryan came across a listing on Craigslist describing a ’69 Camaro as a “survivor in good condition.” The ad went on stating that the car had sat in a garage for years. This piqued Ryan’s interest as it was also advertised as a big-block, four-speed car that just needed a little TLC. Ryan and Angel headed out on a five-hour excursion to see the Camaro in person. The car was in black primer and appeared to be in decent condition. Ryan was cool with the primer paintjob as his plan was to get to some weekend autocross events and just beat on it a bit without having to worry about scratching a nice paintjob.

004 Driver Side 1969 camaro

Soon after purchasing the car, Ryan got it running and upgraded the stock tires and wheels along with some other fundamental additions. Ryan and Angel drove the car for a while, but Ryan decided it was about time to paint the car and make it nice. Well, as is the case with most projects, this one looked good from afar but it was far from good. Once Ryan began digging in, he found that what he thought was a rust-free body had plenty of free rust—enough so that most of the sheetmetal needed replacing. “I’m pissed that I paid top dollar and drove for five hours only to find out later on the car was anything but solid,” Ryan says.

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005 Rear End 1969 camaro

Ryan was deep into the car at this point, financially and personally, and his attempt in finding the right shop to help restore the rusty husk didn’t go quite as planned. As it turned out the first three shops were unsuccessful at performing competent work on the car, so it wasn’t until he came upon Octane and Iron, a relatively new shop in his hometown of Magnolia, Texas, that things began moving in the right direction. “When I found Octane and Iron and met with Chuck and Lane Johnson, brothers and owners of the shop, to discuss my vision for the car, I knew it was finally in the right hands,” Ryan says. “They took my idea of a Pro Touring build with some custom nuances to make it unique, and they absolutely nailed it.”

007 Custom Engine Bay 1969 camaro

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Ryan came across an LQ9 that was perfect for the build, as he pulled the big-block for a more modern approach to power the F-body. The Octane crew got busy and treated the mostly stock mill to a Texas Speed Magic Stick 3 camshaft, TSP springs, and TSP pushrods to handle the extra horsepower brought about by the ProCharger D-1SC supercharger. A set of Hedman Hedders headers and custom 3-inch stainless exhaust topped with Borla Pro XS mufflers do their best to contain the pandemonium created by the supercharged engine, but the car’s angry tone prevails at just about any rpm.

021 Custom Hood Vents 1969 camaro

The Octane crew outfitted the engine in an all-black setting, including a Holley Sniper intake, Motion Raceworks valve covers, ProCharger drive system, Fragola fittings, and custom plumbing, then surrounded it in carbon-fiber inner fenders and header panel, creating the appropriate architecture for such a shamelessly menacing powerplant.

011 Red Interior 1969 camaro

A manual overdrive transmission was a must, so in went an American Powertrain upgraded TREMEC T56 Magnum six-speed transmission that offers smooth yet aggressive gear changes via an American Powertrain twin-disc clutch. A PST aluminum driveshaft sends power to a Moser 12-bolt rearend outfitted with an Eaton Truetrac limited slip, 3.73 gears, and 33-spline Moser axles.

025 Red Leather 1969 camaro

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Sticking with the road-handling concept, Hotchkis subframe connectors join the Ridetech triangulated four-link suspension system out back while arming the stock subframe with Ridetech spindles and coilover shocks up front. Ridetech double-adjustable shocks reside on all four corners as do massive Wilwood binders to bring this road warrior down from speed. Transparent Gold Forgeline GA3C deep wheels (18×8 front, 19×12 rear) offer a unique color while at the same time reducing unsprung weight for increased performance. To chop corners, Micheline Pilot Sport rubber (225/40R18 front, 325/30R19 rear) was called for duty.

015 Custom Shifter 1969 camaro

Sublime Heights in Houston took on the interior and treated it to a sea of red Ultraleather that covers the modified factory seats, custom door panels, dash, and custom center console for an outstanding visual treatment. A Racepak IQ3 data system and Vintage Air control panel are housed in a Detroit Speed dash insert also painted red to jive with the whole ensemble. Factory red loop carpet ties it all together for a cohesive performance-inspired cockpit.

020 Custom Taillights 1969 camaro

With the aforementioned sheetmetal in shambles only the roof, trunklid, and dash were salvageable. Undeterred, Ryan spent the extra time and effort required to hunt down factory GM goods. “It was hard to find factory pieces, but I really wanted the car to carry as much GM pedigree as possible,” Ryan relays. “So, I went the extra mile and then some.”

010 Custom Turbo 1969 camaro

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The crew at Octane and Iron hung the fresh metal and custom-fabricated the tail panel to accommodate the custom EVOD exhaust cutouts. From there the car was sent to Rf Customs in nearby Magnolia, Texas, where Bryan and Ray Reitz massaged the original metal to perfection prior to dousing the Camaro in a decadent layer of PPG Magnetic Gray Metallic.

019 Custom Forged Wheels 1969 camaro

Today the Camaro is a far cry from what it was when Ryan and Angel brought it home. They are both thankful for all the hard work and talent put into the car by Chuck, Lane, and the crew at Octane and Iron. “We couldn’t be more impressed with how the car tuned out and are enjoying it more than we ever thought possible,” Ryan says. “Taking the car to daddy/daughter dances with my elementary-school-age daughters, Harper and Charlotte, have been so fun. The car gets tons of attention from the other kids and parents when we pull into the parking lot. Driving the car on date nights with my wife is pretty cool, too. She even lets me drive it on those occasions,” Ryan jokingly adds.

022 Hood Latch 1969 camaro

Ryan’s vintage car-buying experience was one we’ve heard many times before—a hopefully positive experience that turned sour. But Ryan hung in there and refused to give up. After three shops were able to deliver nothing but disappointment, he was determined to make sure Angel got the car she had always wanted. It required the right shop to build a Pro Touring ’69 Camaro with a unique look, and the crew at Octane and Iron did just that. A raising of the bar, if you will.

TECH CHECK
Owner: Angel & Ryan Cashman, Magnolia, Texas
Vehicle: ’69 Camaro

Engine
Type: Chevrolet LQ9
Displacement: 364 ci
Compression Ratio: 10.1:1
Bore: 4.000 inches
Stroke: 3.622 inches
Cylinder Heads: Aluminum cathedral port
Rotating Assembly: Cast Iron crankshaft, Hypereutectic aluminum pistons, 6.098-inch, I-beam powdered metal rods
Camshaft: Texas Speed Magic Stick 3 (0.600/0.0600 lift, 238/242 deg. duration at 0.050, 112 LSA)
Induction: Holley Sniper intake manifold, K&N air filter
Power Adder: ProCharger D-1SC
Accessory Drive Kit: ProCharger
Engine Assembly: Octane and Iron (Magnolia, TX)
Exhaust: Hedman Hedders 1 7/8-inch headers, Octane and Iron custom 3-inch exhaust, Borla Pro XS mufflers, EVOD custom tips
Ancillaries: Ringbrothers hood hinges, Spal dual electric fans, Afco aluminum radiator, 140-amp Powermaster alternator, Motion Raceworks valve covers, MSD wires, Fragola fittings and hoses, custom intercooling piping by Octane and Iron, Rick’s Tanks fuel tank with ZL1 pump, VaporWorx fuel system, Anvil Auto carbon-fiber inner fenders and header panel
Output: 720 hp

Drivetrain
Transmission: TREMEC T56 Magnum by American Powertrain
Clutch: American Powertrain twin disc
Driveshaft: PST 3.5-inch aluminum
Rear Axle: Moser 12-bolt rearend, Eaton Truetrac posi, 3.73 gears, 33-spline Moser axles

Chassis
Chassis: Stock, Hotchkis subframe connectors
Steering: Borgeson
Front Suspension: Ridetech spindles, Ridetech coilover double-adjustable shocks, Ridetech tubular control arms, Ridetech MUSCLEBar
Rear Suspension: Ridetech Triangulated four-link, Ridetech double-adjustable coilover shocks, Ridetech MUSCLEBar
Brakes: Wilwood 14-inch rotors, six-piston calipers front, Wilwood 13-inch rotors, four-piston calipers rear, Wilwood master cylinder

Wheels & Tires
Wheels: Forgeline Transparent Gold GA3C (18×8 front, 19×12 rear)
Tires: Michelin Pilot Sport 4S; 225/40R18 front, 325/30R19 rear

Interior
Upholstery: Red loop carpet, red Ultraleather
Door Panels and Center Console: Custom by Sublime Heights (Houston)
Installation: Sublime Heights
Seats: Modified factory Camaro
Steering: Ididit steering column, Billet Specialties steering wheel
Shifter: American Powertrain
Dash: Stock with Detroit Speed insert
Instrumentation: Racepak
HVAC: Vintage Air
Wiring: American Autowire by Octane and Iron
Insulation: Lizard Skin

Exterior
Bodywork and Paint: Rf Customs (Magnolia)
Paint: PPG Magnetic Gray Metallic
Wheel Tubs: Detroit Speed mini-tubs
Hood: GM
Front Bumper: Stock tucked
Rear Bumper: Stock tucked
Headlights: H4
Taillights: Fesler
Side Mirrors: Stock bullet style
Plating: Speed and Sport Chrome Shop (Houston)

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