Custom Camaros, both retro and modern, dotted the 2006 SEMA landscape
Chevrolet Camaro – Best of Show: With the impending resurrection of the Chevrolet Camaro, muscle car fans are coming out of the woodwork with custom creations showcasing craftsmanship that is out of this world. Whatever your tastes, there seemed to be a Camaro at the SEMA show to suit your desires.
Choosing our favorites was difficult because virtually all the custom Camaros at the 2006 SEMA show displayed outstanding craftsmanship and design. Most designers kept the look and feel of the original cars while perfecting the construction and modernizing the components.
We have been bombarded with images of the soon-to-be Camaro from Chevrolet, but that didn't stop the crowds from gathering at the Chevy display to admire the lines of the Camaro concept car. We can't get enough, either, so it landed in our seventh position.
This 1969 Camaro has a modern edge in design and the drivetrain. Under the hood is a General Motors LS-1 with a six-speed transmission and a BeCool radiator. All this is brought to a screeching halt with a set of Wilwood brakes.
Chevrolet has high expectations for the Reggie Jackson Camaro, like 10-second quarter-mile times and cornering ability to rival the Corvette. With over 600 horsepower coming from a 454 cubic-inch LSX engine, the quarter-mile estimates might be obtainable but cornering ability to match the Corvette from a 1969 Camaro chassis? We will take a wait-and-see position.
This Camaro drew a crowd all day but was almost passed by because of the primer finish. After closer inspection, the craftsmanship of the work on this Camaro was beautiful and the engine was also tweaked for performance. The 373 cubic-inch V8, according to one of the staffers at the booth, has the capability of 1200 horsepower but will be detuned to 750 horsepower for street use. This Camaro features twin turbos, headers and all-aluminum hardware.
Seems 1969 Camaros were the choice of customizers at this year's SEMA show. This beauty, a '69 Camaro SS, packs a ZL-1 aluminum 427 producing a mind numbing 600 horsepower and is linked to a five-speed transmission. Keeping it glued to the road is a full suspension from a C4 Corvette.
One of our top picks of the show – and the Camaro we have the least information on – is this stunner which was located in the Icon TV and Critical Mass booth but no information on the car was available and there weren't any reps on the floor when we visited. Take our word for it though, the workmanship on this car – from the paint to the engine – was top notch and deserved more attention than it got.
At half a million dollars a copy, the Baldwin Motion Camaro is virtually impossible to top when it comes to style and craftsmanship. With the 540 cubic-inch big block V8 pushing just over 700 horsepower and the exclusivity guaranteed by a production run of only 12, maybe $500K isn't such a high asking price after all. The Baldwin Motion Camaro is based on a 1969 model and utilizes a custom crafted full-tube chassis and a five-speed manual transmission.
Photos courtesy of Ron Perry