Watch How This Iconic Chevy Camaro Drag Car Relives As Before

classic car Restoration is one of the best entertainment programs for gearheads. It’s satisfying to see an old runner revisit modern roads, and – if it’s a sports car – compete with its more contemporary counterparts on the dragstrip. But unlike normal restoration videos, the most popular restorations involve cars that have a known history. This can be anything from a nice old Woodie wagon pickup truck to a very popular high powered muscle car.


Recently, we watched the Vice Grip Garage YouTube Channel and caught a glimpse of an abandoned ’74 Camaro race car with an incredible racing past. A knowledgeable auto mechanic and YouTuber, Derek, walked us through the rugged-looking Camaro, before diving into its internal components, making a few replacement parts. It received a powertrain overhaul, and a few other internal components that fired it up and gave it another chance at the racetrack.

After being idle for about 2 decades, this classic Chevy Camaro is back taking pictures at the Freedom Factory racetrack.


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This Chevrolet Camaro is a multi-award-winning racing car

By now, we all know the Chevrolet Camaro as Chevy’s most powerful muscle car. And it’s clear that the vehicle has come a long way, especially if you look at it as it is today. Well, this abandoned Camaro isn’t all that different. At first glance, it appears to be in terrible shape, with patches of paint and visible rust spots all over the body. Plus, the used tires, low stance and overall condition point to the fact that this Camaro hasn’t been used for a long time. According to Derek, the car has been out of the game since the early 2000s – back in time when De Soto Speedway was in key days.


Despite its rusty body, its appearance really does give the impression of a 1974 Chevrolet Camaro. This year’s model is part of the second generation line produced by General Motors from 1970 to 1981. But this isn’t just any Chevy Camaro. This unit has the United States flag painted all over its body and a “13x” sticker on the door panels, which tells us this was previously a race car. By the way, the door panels are both welded shut. This is typical of most race cars. Door to panel welding turns the car into a more refined one-piece vehicle, which makes the car more aerodynamic on the drag strip.


Actually, there is an interesting story about the car. This Camaro is one of the many cars that raced in the early 2000s around the De Soto Super Speedway in Bradenton, Florida. The Camaro classic had its last hurray around the period 2000 to 2005 and remains parked alongside the other classics. After a long absence from the famous racetrack, Cleetus McFarland, a popular YouTuber, bought Speedway and restored it to its former glory.

Derek took a closer look at the interior of the Chevrolet Camaro and noted that it had several areas of rust, including the hood, quarter panels, and roof. Some parts, especially the floor, showed signs of excessive corrosion, breaking almost completely.


Surprisingly, the Chassis faced less rust damage and most of the heavy-duty frame was intact. Under the hood, the classic Camaro has a small block engine, which Derek recognizes as a 5.7 liter L82 V8 engine, based on the casting number “3970014” on the back of the factory cylinder head. Aside from dirt and dust, the engine looks unharmed.

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What It Takes To Revive A Classic Camaro Race Car

Apparently, James the owner already has plans to refresh the classic racing car. He went ahead and bought some spare parts for it. Among the parts he purchased were a distributor, performance valve cover, fuel pump, multiple vents, a high-performance intake manifold, and a new Z-bar header.

To check if the starter would respond and start the engine, Derek added a 650 CCA battery, replacing the old and rusty battery. As a rule of thumb, the best battery’s CCA rating should be close to or greater than the engine displacement in cubic inches, so this new battery is more than enough to get the job done. For a machine that has been inactive for years, a little coaxing is needed. He added some oil directly to the engine to lubricate the cylinders, pistons and rings. After one more shot at the ignition, the engine started.

He then removed the header bolts, replaced the spark plugs, and added a new fuel system and composite gasket. The project was then taken to the garage, where it received new tires and tuning work. After that, the machine let out a powerful roar, signaling its rebirth. Camaro ran a loop around the Freedom Factory to seal his revival once and for all.

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