Now we are going to get to the heart of the matter: The first thing I did was to make a perfusion of Lookeed. What a pleasure when I saw at once the liquid coming out from the calipers!!!! Right away I dismantled some pieces and made my first discovery: 4 calipers (JL8 option) had pirolite inserts found in Trans Am racing camaro to prevent any heat transfer. But the way these calipers were made led to a lack of waterproofness. Maybe a spy was sent by Ford to ruin the work ?
For there was a piston made out of aluminium with a comparatively smaller diameter; it had the same type of oil seal than the one we can find on an automatic gearbox. This generally induces to put a compression spring. This leads to two phenomenons: the first one is that when the car is stopped the oil seal, because of its design, has a very weak pressure on the cylinder side so that it lets greater quantities of outside dust in; consequently, the cylinder life reduces, the liquid comes to dampen the outside part of the gear which corrodes the cylinder. “That heralds Nobel prize!”
To prevent this effect, the cylinders should be adjusted and waterproofness should be perfectly reinforced between the stirrup and the cylinder liner; anyway, real waterproofness will only be efficient by adding an o’ring seal which resists to breaks liquid (Viton)... "and not Vitton bag!"
As a security measure, I changed the Racing break pads which were new and replaced them by a set of three of them which were among the extra pieces. Secondly, the rims which were 7.5 x 15 instead of 7 x 15 she as originally. And as I was repairing the train of gears I decided to check what type of axle Uncle Tom has.
But the written instructions which should normally be on the passenger’s side can’t be found; therefore I opened the rear part to check the type, the state and its ratio. At this point!!! Good news: oil is clear and without any depot. What a scoop!!!

The self-locking differential was in perfect state and the ratio is 4.11 though this one seems different to me. After having made research in the records the self-locking is the same than the one which fitted the Trans.Am running in 1969 with greater springs. We mustn’t forget that Tuerlinx also owned a Trans.Am Camaro between 1967 and 1970.
Moreover a Panhard bar maintained everything together. On the front side, I noticed that the camber is exceptional but in fact totally appropriate to the running of the car on circuits.
Now let’s get to the speed gears : a Muncie, model number 3885010 with the following ratios : 2.11, 1.58, 1.22, 1 that differs from original ratios such as 2.52, M20 and 2.20 first, 1.64 second, 1.28 third, 1.1 fourth of the M21 and M22. I specify that the speed gears had not been transformed. Nothing to do on this one, not even changing a seal…
The flywheel is a real “Swiss cheese” ideal for accelerations to get out of a turn. The flywheel is in good state though from origin. The shifter is fixed on the transmission support bracket. No comment…
The steering gearbox too had a few differences. In the boot, there was a manual casing though the frame was fixed on an automated casing with a shorter ratio; none of the 396 models are fitted with this type of casing. But given the weight on the front of the car, the change was utmost necessary, because it made the car more competitive. Such modification had been made on the Trans.Am in the U.S.A. since 1967 or 1968. There was only the biceps winch put at the start.
The shock absorbers: 4 B.R.S.; adjustable of which 2 were from origin; twice harder than the classical ones; no restoration needed…Don’t you believe it? It is to be taken into account that the Chris model won the challenge B.S.R. in 1972 which explains the fitting of the shock absorbers on the car.

Let’s check the gailer: When I got the “monster,” this piece was dismantled and so, that allows me to preserve all the pieces in the same state than 25 years before. The forged crankshaft had its original mark but it was limit state. I sent it to Turin in Italy, with the pieces to have them rectified, nitrided, and then balanced by Borgo.
Special race bearings were added. The wheel and the damper were bronzed and their screws nitrided with the crank. The compression dome piston TWR 11.5 from origin is fixed loose and balanced to one gram and will be put again as it is. The connecting rods, for security reasons, will be replaced by an H model, able to run up to 7500 rvs.
The block stamped hi perf with four Germans on each bearing will just need “glaze breaker” to adapt to the new ZGS segments. The mechanical camshaft with no reference has evil lift, equalling off road n° 3959180 model. The tappets are edge-orifice because they limit oil going up in the engine.
The oil pan lacked and is therefore replaced by a road race Moroso, which oil pump is in good state. The aluminium cylinder heads are a feature of this block: the option L89 has adjusted running partly polished; the valve seats have three angles and one more on the valves. I sent them all with the crankshaft so that they can be identically rectified.
The springs washers, and GM spring cups will be replaced by new ones, same model. For after all the forces exerted on them during the races, pressure gaps have been noticed. The aluminium intake manifold and the rocker arms are adjusted too and cleared.
The Holley carburettor is the same than the one on the ZL1 and only needs new seals. The ignition too is not an ordinary one; it’s an optional transistorized model n° 1111258.
All these elements lead us to acknowledge that this car is not a beginner’s one.
Hell !!!!! there is a smell of rubber burning !!!!!!

And after having checked the sizes during mounting the pieces, the engine awaked after having slept for 25 years and made humming, making the ground vibrate like a Nascar 358. Nothing to compare with a classic block because it take its turns like a small engine without inertness.
After an adjustment we decided to make a tour. Eric, a long time friend of mine, was there to help me in case a problem aroused. With Eric by my side, we move off and our first feeling is that the engines don’t draw any weight at all, as if the car didn’t have its weight…
At the bottom of the street, I drove into the main road. First gear, second, and at 2500 turns, I shouted:
“The clutch is slipping!!!”
“Is it?” he answered
“Yes, the speedometer is reacting as it does when accelerating in neutral and the car doesn’t speed anymore”
“Surely, it comes from the tyres” he said
“No, I don’t think so, I would feel it; furthermore, they are 255 width. Ok, you get down and see me starting up again”
I started up normally and stopped 20 meters farther
“What do you think then?”
“The back wheels are slipping”
“Are you sure? Because I don’t notice anything”.
I am rather a “biker” from the deep of my heart….Therefore I had my first car only when I was 21… , it was a Mustang 67 v8 horsepower 225 with which I have learned to behave on the road like a good offender. Moreover, it had the ball joints so worn that it took 3 lanes when it runs straight. A that time there were no compulsory technical controls, imagine that?
Tuerlinx was lucky to be able to “glide” as he did it during the races. Today, I’m not interested any more in races… It is enough to see what happens on motorways. It’s nearly the same thing… I am eager to go on a circuit to put everything in order.
“Can you imagine to what extent the car will perform when I would have soldered the accelerator to the point my big toe aches?”
I will have to learn how to handle it for sure!!! Because the sensation given by the engine as soon as it starts, that it has no weight to draw it overwhelms you with its diabolical violence; it makes you mad; the word “reasonable” doesn’t exist any more when you are behind its wheel. What a pleasure to drive this Camaro!
Its exhaust sound gives the impression to reach 10.000 rpm, and the explosion of the engine speed surges to heaven whatever the ratio is. It is rightly fit for this type of performance!!! Of course, its brakes aren’t as efficient as on a contemporary sportscar and don’t take the turns as a Berlinette, but on circuits such as le Castelet or Spa… That’s terrific to have the opportunity to make exciting drifts!!!
Chris and the spectators must have enjoyed it a lot!!!