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SP Rides: Born To Run

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BY MICHAEL KITCHENS

Name: Joshua Lewis
Age: 39
Occupation: Retired Policeman
Hobbies: Cars, Golf
Year, Make, Model: 1968 Chevrolet Camaro SS RS
Color: LeMans Blue (White Lemans Stripes) Original numbers matching 350 (in garage)
Engine: 383 Stroker Chevrolet small block fully machined, and clearanced, Keith black pistons, Edelbrock performer RPM series internals, intake and 800cfm carburetor, Griffin aluminum radiator with electric fans, Dynatech long tube ceramic coated long tube headers, Magnaflow exhaust to custom 2.5” pipes, factory power steering
Transmission: Muncie M-21 transmission, Hurst competition shifter, Stock Chevrolet 12-bolt rear end with Motive 3:73 gears and Moser axels.
Interior: Stock original interior with factory console and gauge package.
Suspension:  Replaced and retrofitted drop leaf springs, springs, tubular control arms
Wheels/Brakes: Boyd Coddington Junk Yard Dog series 18” Wheels, Factory disc brakes front, drums in the rear, factory power brakes, 225/45 front and 255/40 rears

Joshua Lewis was practically born into his love of domestic muscle cars.  Since he was a toddler, he has been immersed in car culture. His father was heavy into Corvettes while he was growing up, attending car meets and ogling over Corvettes.  Josh views it as a passion, one that he will hopefully pass on to his own kids.  And what better way to impress your kids than with a pristine 1968 Chevrolet Camaro. 

This RS SS is a rare breed…found by chance while cruising in southern Washington state.  This wasn’t an online or newspaper find.  He spied a slightly dusty Camaro half-covered poking out of a man’s garage.  After a thorough visual inspection, and although the owner wasn’t interested in selling, this ride was already set in Josh’s heart.  He stayed in touch and within a year’s timeframe, this gorgeous beauty was his.

Although the vehicle had been repainted a little over 15 years ago, unlike the robotic-machined cars of today, vehicles from the 60s were so mass produced on the daily by physical labor that many were put out with gaps and wavy body lines.  Most off-chassis restorations straightened out these kinks, so an original vehicle is easy to spot. This baby had all the original numbers matching when it was picked up and shipped over.

That’s important to Lewis. All of the modifications done to this vehicle are bolt-ons only.  All of the original components have been kept…nothing was cut or heavily modified and can easily be reset to the original specs.  However, Josh’s objective was to build a clean, beautiful ride that was both fun and reliable.

The paint was already immaculate, so key to this build was the fresh motor. It’s truly one of the highlights of this amazing machine with a throaty rumble that echoes mightily.  All of the custom work was completed in the “Bat Cave” of Glenn Kuniyoshi with the Team GKR crew.  For Josh, it was a first, because he was there every step of the way, putting this baby together piece by piece.

The original engine has been replaced with a 383 stroker small block that has been fully machined and clearanced.  Oodles of goodies, such as, Keith Black pistons, Edelbrock Performer RPM series internals, as well as all of the necessary reliability improvements including a new Griffin radiator and electric fans.  The resulting growl and rumble from the long tube headers and Magnaflow exhaust is epic.

In addition to the engine, the suspension, as well was upgraded with quality parts to help improve modern performance such as, new drop leaf springs, tubular control arms and more.  A Muncie M-21 transmission has also been mated to a Hurst Competition shifter to put power down to the sweet Boyd Coddington Junk Yard Dog Series 18” wheels with 225/45 front and 255/40 rears.

With tons of improvements, the ride now evokes a proud bearing of confidence, allowing Joshua to fully enjoy this experience with very little worry.  This car truly brings a smile to his face, which is just perfect.

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