HR Featured Car - 2002 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Supercar

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Feb 20, 2004.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Final Phase - GMMG's ZL1: The Last of the Tuner Camaros

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    By David Freiburger
    Photography: Wes Allison

    Not everyone gets thrown the keys to a $95,000 car and told to burn the meats to the core, but I was glad to play catch and deliver some smoke.

    With the key stabbed into the column, the mill cranked just a bit longer than a typical late-model as a committee of sensors confabbed to decide how to light this rumpity beast. Once firing on all eight, there was a vigorous chop through the chambered exhaust, and the corresponding lack of tip-in was made public by the clatter of a stall after not enough rpm to go with the clutch engagement. My bad. But then a First gear brraap! pinned my head to the houndstooth. Wes Allison's Canon 1Ds hung from the end of a bouncy tripod we'd suction-cupped to the fresh paint job, making it over $100Gs in other guys' stuff at my disposal, and with 600 hp under toe. I pumped the brakes and held 'em, then stabbed the Barker Button (so named in tribute to the burnout antics of Dennis Barker at Berger Chevrolet), brought 'er up to 3,000, and fed the pound-feet to helpless Goodyears. At $350-something each, I left about a hundred bucks in rubber on the road by the time we were done. Yeah.

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    It felt like 1969, when a COPO 9560 Camaro with an all-aluminum 427 stickered in the then-ludicrous $7,000-plus zone. In reality, it was a time warp to modern-musclecar land in an '02 Camaro ZL1 Supercar. There was a 427ci mill, but no Rat motor. There was a stick with six speeds instead of four, 4.56s in place of 4.10s, injection where a carb used to live, and rubber anywhere you might have found chrome in 1969. There was Hugger Orange, houndstooth, loudness, and horsepower. Clouds of smoke and grins all around. It was as a modern Camaro should be, but wasn't until GMMG had something to do with it.

    The original ZL1 Camaro was brainstormed by Chevy dealer Fred Gibbs and made into sheetmetal reality 69 times thanks to a sign-off by Chevrolet's Vince Piggins. Legend and exaggerated power claims followed the aluminum-block- powered F-bodies through the years, and the ZL1 name has subsequently been tacked to several modernized versions including Chevy's own 572ci black car that's long been in the Jon Moss Toy Box. Even so, when Chevrolet wrote off the F platform and let the Camaro's 35th anniversary dwindle to a sticker-and-gewgaw package, Matt Murphy and his team at GMMG in Marietta, Georgia, saw the opportunity to step up both the visual package and the power. The company has made such specialty Camaros as the Intimidator SS, the HOT ROD Magazine Camaros, and the Berger SS. The top of the line is the ZL1 Supercar edition upgraded with the Phase III, 427ci, C5R race engine built in Dale Earnhardt Inc.'s shop.

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    Jim Parks knows the program well, having purchased both the prototype Berger SS and the 100th and final Berger SS, a Hugger Orange 435hp convertible, both through madman Barker at Berger Chevrolet in Grand Rapids, Michigan. For what will likely be his final brand-new Camaro, Jim spec'd the Phase III. His car rolled from the St. Therese plant as an Onyx Black Special Service Coupe--as in cop car, not a Z28--with a Hurst-shifted six-speed, leather, tunes, a defogger, and a block heater. Sticker: $25,680.

    Next came the ZL1 Supercar package, including an LS6 engine with an air tube, ported manifolds, and underdrive pulleys; ZO6 wheels and brakes; Eibach springs, "1LE" control arms and Panhard bar, and Penske shocks; and a bunch of serial-numbered badges and dress-up items. Also on the ZL1 ticket were options like the Hugger Orange paint and houndstooth seat covers, plus a $4,000 credit for the take-off parts. Good thing, since we're now at $65,870.

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    But Jim went all the way, coughing an additional $23,995 for the 600hp, 575-lb-ft Phase III 427 race engine
    , 17/8-inch headers, and electric exhaust cutout (big fun). There's also the Fikse wheel upgrade, the Barker Button, and a six-point rollcage to bring the grand total to $95,255. We're guessing there was no zero-percent financing.

    You may ask if any Camaro is worth, say, two Porsche Boxters. It may not be to you, but we're glad it was to someone--and this is number 18 out of 69, so Jim's not alone. In an exclusive group, but not the sole member. Of those '02 ZL1 owners, at least 31 others know the style, the power, and the glory of the Phase III grunt. Besides, don't you wish you'd spent that $7,000 on a ZL1 35 years ago?

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    Jim Parks
    Deforest, WI
    '02 Chevy Camaro, GMMG ZL1 Supercar

    ENGINE
    Type: Gen III small-block, Phase III with GM C5R Race Case
    Displacement: 427ci/7.0L
    Oiling: Stock
    Crankshaft: Callies forged 4340, 4.00-inch stroke, ATI damper
    Connecting Rods: Callies billet 4340, 6.125-inch, ARP fasteners
    Pistons: JE custom forgings
    Cylinder Heads: GMMG Phase III CNC-ported LS6, 2.055/1.600 valves, titanium retainers, Cometic composite head gaskets
    Camshaft: Exclusive GMMG Phase III custom hydraulic roller
    Induction: Weiand aluminum LS1 intake modified by Wilson Manifolds, high-flow MAF housing, carbon-fiber airbox lid
    Ignition: Stock LS6
    Exhaust: 17/8-inch-tube GMMG headers, 3-inch Y-pipe, 4-inch collector, electric cutout with dash switch, GMMC chambered after-cat exhaust

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    DRIVETRAIN
    Transmission: Stock Camaro six-speed, Hurst shifter, white Hurst shifter
    ball
    Rearend: Stock with 4.56:1 gears

    CHASSIS
    Front Suspension: Eibach 1.5-inch lowering springs, Penske PS-7540SA Series double-adjustable shocks, GMMG swaybar, GMMG upper and lower control arms
    Rear Suspension: Eibach 1.5-inch lowering springs, Penske PS-7540SA Series double-adjustable shocks, GMMG swaybar, GMMG lower control arms and Panhard bar
    Steering: Stock
    Brakes: Corvette ZO6 front and rear calipers with ZO6 pads and slotted rotors

    WHEELS & TIRES
    Wheels: Fikse FM/5, 18x9.5
    Tires: Goodyear Eagle F-1, 275/40ZR18

    BODY & PAINT
    Body: GM SS hood and deck spoiler, charcoal metallic grille with '69-style Bow Tie emblem, GMMG numbered doorjamb plate
    Paint: Hugger Orange repaint; hood, roof, and decklid stripe; black painted rear panel with stainless Camaro letters; GMMG and "by Berger" emblems; "In Memory of Fred Gibb and Vince Piggins" deck lettering; HOT ROD Camaro hockey-stick stripe with 427 lettering

    INTERIOR
    GMMG houndstooth-and-leather seat covers, GMMG six-point rollbar, silver gauge faces with ZL1 Supercar logo, cloisonne dash plaque, ZL1 car numbers on front window and rearview mirror

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    The Documentation
    In 35 years someone might want to restore one of these suckers, and when that day comes, they'll want these original window stickers to work from. One's from Chevy, the second is the base GMMG ZL1 Supercar package, and the third includes the Phase III race engine and options.


    Berger Chevrolet
    Dennis Barker
    Grand Rapids, MI
    616/949-5200
    616/437-4300
    www.bergerchevy.com

    GMMG Inc.
    Marietta, GA
    770/592-6261
    www.gmmginc.net

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  2. AlkyHauler

    AlkyHauler Do you feel lucky punk? OT Supporter

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    Dear god I'd sell my soul for that.
     
  3. 330R

    330R New Member

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    it's still just a camaro :o :o
     
  4. Melvin_91GT

    Melvin_91GT New Member

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    :drool:

    I'd never pay that for it, but, an extremely bad ass car nonetheless.
     
  5. zatar

    zatar New Member

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    :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown:

    So Nice.
     
  6. Muricane

    Muricane Active Member

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    That thing got a hemi?
     
  7. Pro Street

    Pro Street New Member

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    bring back the Camaro :wtc:
     
  8. PurEvl

    PurEvl going out gassed and not half assed...

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    and your still just a homo :o
     
  9. Rip The Jacker

    Rip The Jacker New Member

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    i'd rather build my own camaro, but still very cool :cool:
     
  10. AlkyHauler

    AlkyHauler Do you feel lucky punk? OT Supporter

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    Imagine what that will bring at a Barrett-Jackson 20 years from now.
     
  11. 330R

    330R New Member

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    you're
     
  12. PurEvl

    PurEvl going out gassed and not half assed...

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    GOD DAMMIT :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
     
  13. yer mom

    yer mom Pelvic THRUST

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    oh if only... :hs:
     
  14. 330R

    330R New Member

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    you spent more time than me in that thar thread :)
     
  15. AlkyHauler

    AlkyHauler Do you feel lucky punk? OT Supporter

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    :ugh: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
     
  16. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    "427" rolls off the tongue so nicely. :bowdown:
     
  17. 330R

    330R New Member

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    it's funny how ppl took that seriously :mamoru:
     
  18. TireSmokinSRT

    TireSmokinSRT Bring in the stunt cock

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    one of the reasons i loved the newer camaro's was the rebirth of the ZL1 (it was a gen 4 pre LS1 car)....that car was gorgeous...then they redid it with the LS1 front bumper cover....mmmmm

    this>*

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  19. wop

    wop Guest

     
  20. bal

    bal New Member

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    rather have a corvette FRC with those options
     
  21. Bernout

    Bernout OT Supporter

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    HOLY SHIT!!! :eek3:

    This was a production car? I mean, factory built for a customer? Not just a John Moss one-off?!


    :bowdown:
     
  22. BLKDVLGSX

    BLKDVLGSX OT Supporter

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    hmmm i live right by the dealer that sells them :)
     
  23. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Hugger Orange is the best Camaro color ever. :boink:
     
  24. threeclaws

    threeclaws R.I.P.

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    $95k :rofl: no way


    :cool: car but not cool enough to justify that price.
     
  25. (`)(`)

    (`)(`) Guest

    Nice fast car.

    but i dont know about the $$
     

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