While new-car manufacturers try to honor the past by styling Mustangs and Camaros to mimic the originals, Doyle Thomas and Rutterz Rodz beat them at their own game with his 1970 Camaro. The Texas-based car owner and Tennessee shop stuck mostly with the original body design on his vintage F-body but utilized some of the best late-model drivetrain and suspension parts available to create a ride with classic style and 21st Century handling.
The stock body was massaged and painted at Rutterz Rodz but retains its original shape. Work included straightening body lines, fixing gaps, widening the wheel wells, adding a custom floor, and more. The optional Rally Sport front end treatment was also restored, while using original-style front and rear spoilers enhanced the vintage look. Rutterz applied the BASF Arctic White paint and the rally stripes, which are a custom mix of silver and blue.
Power comes from a GM Performance LSA 6.2-liter supercharged V8 that sports stock-style ’70 Z28 valve covers. Hooker long-tube headers feed the exhaust gasses through 2.5-inch pipes and Borla mufflers. The Tremec T-56 manual transmission is hooked to a Ford 9-inch rearend supported by a Detroit Speed Engineering Quadra Link suspension. Rutterz assembled the power train and installed the Detroit Speed front clip and 14-inch Wilwood six-piston disc brakes on all four corners. Wheelsmith supplied 18×10- and 20×12-inch one-off billet wheels that mimic original Z28 wheels and host Diamondback Michelin blue-stripe tires.
The interior is a stylish mix of modern with a healthy respect for the original design. The stock dash incorporates a custom carbon fiber insert by Rutterz Rodz that houses a set of custom gauges from Classic Instruments. The steering wheel is a GM contour grip in blue. The custom shifter rests in a stock console. The stock Camaro seats were reshaped and covered in leather by the crew at Paul Atkins Interiors in Hanceville, Alabama. The rear seat – such as it is in Camaros – was reworked into more of a luggage storage platform and covered in the same blue leather to match the color used in the 2013 427 anniversary Corvette.
Doyle says he built this Camaro to mimic a ’67 Nova he had a few years ago. Crafted to perform and to be driven, the finished project respects the classic look of the 1970 Camaro while updating it to 2018 standards. The goal to make it look like Chevy built a 1970 ZL1 Camaro with 2018 technology and performance was accomplished. And then some.
Photos by Damon Lee