This is Ryan Lowe’s 1973 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28. Lowe has been an active officer in the United States Army for 18 years and has served combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Like so many others serving in our Armed Forces, Lowe is also a hands-on gearhead with a passion for cars.
While hot rodding projects can be challenging even under the best circumstances, Lowe’s limited time and budget while the serving the country made this vehicle a unique challenge. He has worked on the car on and off in his spare time for about 2-1/2 years.
“When I bought it, she was mainly stock with a good paint job and stock interior and an old, dirty 350,” Lowe said. ” I would say it was a good, straight, clean car when I started; however, I’ve still redone everything my way.”
Lowe’s updates include a new small block 383 stroker motor to replace that dirty old 350. The engine is outfitted with Pro Comp 210cc aluminum cylinder heads, a Holley 750 Ultra HP carburetor, and 1.6-ratio roller rockers. An MSD HEI ignition lights the intake charge, and a 2.5-inch exhaust and Flowmaster 10 series mufflers expel the spent gases. A four-speed transmission sends the small block’s 475 horsepower back to a Yukon posi-traction unit with 3.90 gears.
The suspension features Summit Racing lowering leaf springs in back and lowering coil springs up front, giving the Z/28 a 2-inch drop. A Summit Racing 1-inch rear sway bar gives the ride tighter handling around the corners, and a set of four-wheel disc brakes provide the stopping power. Custom Eagle Alloy 20-inch wheels provide a striking contrast to the car’s orange paint. The whole setup is designed for optimum street and autocross performance, according to Lowe.
The Z has been redone inside and out, too. Lowe repainted the car in Hugger Orange and flat black paint and then painted under the hood to match. The interior is also completely custom, including a set of one-off Auto Meter gauges.
“I’ve replaced everything so far except the front suspension and four-speed,” Lowe said.
Those items are in the works. His future plans include a TKO600 transmission, a front sway bar, and tubular control arms.
For now, Ryan Lowe has our admiration–for his service to our country and for his hot rod handiwork.