One-Off Chevrolet Camaro Z/409 On Sale For $195,0008
Back in 2009, Hot Rod magazine concept artist Steve Stanford rendered a concept car that is said to be inspired by five timeless Chevy classics, including the ’61 “Bubble Top” Impala, ’62 Impala SS409, ’57 Bel Air, ’65 Corvair, along with ’66 and ’67 Corvettes. The image inspired one builder to recreate the rendering in real life. And that’s how the Chevrolet Camaro Z/409 was born.
The build began with the purchase of a 1969 Camaro, and was completed after an investment of 5,000 man-hours and $520,000 U.S. dollars. Seven years after its inception, the Chevrolet Camaro Z/409 debuted at the 2017 Grand National Roadster Show. It has since appeared at several other renowned car shows, including the Sacramento Autorama and Portland Roadster show, and has won a number of awards, and now it’s on sale for $195,000.
Part of the appeal of the Chevrolet Camaro Z/409 is its smooth, rounded rear roofline and curvaceous quarter-panels. The creation of the flush-mounted rear glass required the build team to send a custom mold to Finland. This sort of effort was typical for the build, as the Camaro is essentially a collection of these one-off touches, including recessed waterfalls cut into the decklid in order to accommodate 1961 Chevy emblems. Other changes include flush-mounted rear taillights, redesigned front and rear valence panels with recessed aluminum ribbed plates and integrated rocker moldings.
Down low, the Camaro flaunts a one-off set of five-pin aluminum knockoff-style wheels wrapped in red-line tires. The wheels required custom adapter plates, which were made from original Corvette knockoff wheels and factory stainless center caps.
On the inside, a 1961 Chevrolet dashboard was shoehorned into the cabin, complete with an original 1961 steering wheel, SS 409 Sun Tach and factory-style air-conditioning ducts, and a 409 4-speed shifter arm surrounded by a resized chrome shifter console. The look is completed by custom door panels, quarter-panels, and a very presentable rear package tray.
409 Cubic Inch Goodness
The 409-cubic inch engine is what gives the Camaro Z/409 its name. The dual-quad 409, which features the classic “Camel Hump” heads, was bored and stroked to 472 cubic inches. It wears original-spec Carter Carburetors and a 1962 date-coded aluminum intake. The work-over yields an output of 498 horsepower with 466 foot-pounds of torque.
The hefty engine is backed by a Turbo 400 transmission, meaning the build team had to adapt the aforementioned 409 4-speed shifter arm to accommodate the more modern transmission.
To back that performance, the Chevrolet Camaro Z/409 is fitted with Wilwood disc brakes at all four corners, a complete Heidts subframe, a set of subframe connectors and a 4-link suspension. A thunderbird steering rack was also added, plus mini tubs in the rear.
The GM Authority Take
The chiseled, 409-cubic inch V8 is the heart of this beast, but it’s the combination of that performance, along with the customized and refined interior and exterior components that create a unique overall experience. And while we’re sure that driving the Chevrolet Camaro Z/409 is a fantastic experience, we can’t help but wonder how much better that experience would be with a stout Tremec T56 6-speed or a period-correct Muncie 4-speed manual transmission.
Indeed, this Camaro does appear to be a true work of art, but we’re not so sure we’d spend Ferrari-level money on it. Would you? Tell us in the comments section.
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Looks like something you might see on Counting Cars where they appear to specialize in rebuilding cars from the 60s and 70s.
Danny wouldn’t screw up a Camaro that bad !! That’s fugly.
Oversized Corvair with a vette hood. Did I say Whiskey Tango Foxtrot ?
I’d definitely take a ls3, ls7, lsa swapped camaro over a old 409 that is alot heavier and less efficient than a LS! this car looks gay from the new rounded curves and those whack wheels. 195k? what a joke!
$195 for sale, the guy put $520 into it ! Some people have more money than brains
Grafting the back third of a Corvair roof and rear windshield onto a ’69 Camaro isn’t my idea of what looks good, but then it wasn’t MY half-mil this car reportedly cost to build. I will, however, give the builder(s) credit for going over and above the usual LS engine swap, something that’s already been done to death.
Nancy Reagan was correct. “ just say no to drugs“
Comments are full of heavy haters….. you don’t have to like the look or the build to appreciate the dedication and meticulous time spend to create this Camaro. Its body lines are not to my taste, however I do like the front end but I can see the monumental effort it took to make this muscle car. Hat is off to you sir its bad ass in its own right. Love the color. Keep building what you love and pay no attention to the negative noise others love to voice. Hater gonna hate and doer are gonna do. If ain’t got nothing good to say then try saying nothing at all.