Story: Evan “Evo” Yates
Photography: Kevin Bandy
Laptops make good high school graduation gifts, as do gift cards and dorm room essentials. But in 2006, when Tony was in the 12th grade, his uncle gave him something most would give up a scholarship for: a 1978 Camaro Z28. Waiting to customize it until roughly three years later, Tony admittedly gave the ride two sub-par attempts with varying paint and wheel combinations, but the results never stuck, and the whip’s name failed to ring out in the streets. “Everybody kept telling me it looked good,” says Tony, “but I didn’t really like it, so I decided to go all the way in.”
The first step in the Z’s ultimate restoration was the paint scheme. After prepaying for the paint job months in advance, Tony was persuaded by the painter to try something different. “I wanted to just go Kandy red,” says Tony, “but the dude who painted my car convinced me to go two-tone with bowling-ball Kandy and the regular Kandy to switch it up.” After the Kandy coating was applied, Tony was content with the exterior, apart from a proper set of shoes, which he decided would be painted to match and seriously staggered. Tony chose a set of 22-inch Forgiato Quintos, eight inches wide in the front and a robust 11 inches in the rear. The new rolling gear was then wrapped in some serious rubber: Nexen 235/30/22 in front and a meaty 295/25/22 in the rear. Behind the lean five-spokes are upgraded Wilwood disc brakes on all four corners, added not only to bring the beast to a commanding halt but also to fill the ample space between the spokes with something proper.
For the guts, Tony yearned for something eye-pleasing yet functional. “I don’t like anybody riding with me, and I wanted to have room to put the T-tops in the back,” explains Tony. “So we completely removed the rear seat and did all fiberglass and speakers back there.” Maximizing the abundant cabin space, a 3,500-watt db Drive monoblock amplifier was added, pushing two 15-inch db Drive subwoofers, taking clear advantage of the abundant open air. The front bucket seats and interior were also treated in black ostrich-skin leather and finished off with a paint-matching “Z28” insignia in the headrests.
Under the hood, the original motor was completely scrapped for a 502 big block with every chrome accessory Tony could fathom. Mated to the BBC is a brand new 400 racing transmission, properly transmitting the plethora of power produced.
Even though Tony has literally hit the streets once with his new setup—and even then, only for mere minutes—the streets are already buzzin’ about the possible top second-gen in ATL, which comes as no surprise to Tony. “Ain’t nobody seein’ this shit,” he proclaims. “They can’t stop asking for it. Everybody tells me it’s the best Camaro that’s come out!”
Spec The Technique:
Year/Make/Model: 1978 Chevrolet Camaro Z28
Performance: 502 big block; 400 racing transmission by Redline Performance; Wilwood disc brakes
Exterior: Two-tone House of Kolors Kandy Apple Red and Dark Cherry Red; bowling ball graphics by R&R collision (Reddz Customz); tinted taillights
Interior: Black ostrich bucket seats; red Z28 stitching
Ice: Two 15-inch K9 db Drive subwoofers, one A7 3500H.1 monoblock amplifier, one A7 125.4 amplifier; red digital dash; custom fiberglass enclosure by MB1 Motorsports
Wheels/Tires: 22-inch Forgiato Quinto wheels painted to match, 22×8 front, 22×11 rear; Nexen N3000 tires, 235/30/22 front, 295/25/22 rear