The story of Paul Pickering’s 2000 Chevy Camaro SS — a low slung, distinctly American 2+2 packed with a rumbling V8 and a stick-shift tranny
— is a story of performance car ownership that’s a little different than most.
Typically, the father teaches the son how to spin the wrenches to make improvements on a project car they build together. For Paul, it was his son Kevin’s purchase of a 1999 Camaro SS that got his wheels rolling. In fact, Paul was so impressed with Kevin’s car that he decided to get one of his own. So in the spring of 2004, the search began.
Ultimately, Paul found a lightly used, Bright Rally Red 2000 Camaro SS. The car had been treated to a Lingenfelter Performance 383 stroker conversion good for about 500 horsepower — and a few extra points on your blood-pressure reading when you stab the throttle.
Paul and Kevin travelled to many F-body events around the country testing the limits of the Camaros. From daily driving and drag racing to car shows and open road racing, the duo did it all.
One of Paul and Kevin’s fondest memories is driving the red Camaro SS in the Silver State Classic Challenge in the mid-2000s. They finished first in 2007 with the closest average speed of 120.0009 miles per hour while blasting to speeds of more than 170 mph in the long Nevada straights.
During an event at Memphis International Raceway in 2016, a valve spring broke and severed the valve, which caused it to fall into the cylinder and damage the 383 stroker beyond repair. Paul replaced the fatally wounded 383 with a larger and more powerful 408 c.i.d. LS2 capable of low-11s in the quarter mile natural aspirated, and high-10s on the juice.
FAST SPECS: Paul Pickering’s 2000 Chevy Camaro SS
- 408 c.i.d. LS2 stroker
- Eagle forged rotating assembly with Manley pistons; 11.4:1 compression
- Polished, ported, and milled LS3/L92 heads with Ferrea valves, PAC Racing valve springs, and titanium retainers
- Custom grind camshaft (239°/246° advertised duration; .629″/.615″ gross lift; 114° lobe separation) and LS7 lifters
- FAST 102mm intake manifold and throttle body; 60 lbs./hr. fuel injectors
- Custom billet EFI fuel rails with AN lines
- GM LSX 200 hp ZEX wet nitrous kit with purge kit and bottle heater
- Short block assembled by Hollywood, FL-based Revenge Power
- Engine tuning performed by Cresson, TX-based G-Speed
- Hooker Super Competition ceramic coated headers; 1 7/8″ primaries
- Borla dual exhaust with four sound adjustment plates
- Custom-built Tremec Magnum 6060 by Texas Drivetrain Performance
- Steel flywheel and twin disc clutch system
- McLeod master and self-bleeding slave cylinders with lines
Chassis, Steering, and Suspension
- BMR Suspension tubular K-member, A-arms, adjustable long torque arm, and transmission relocation X-member with driveshaft loop
- UMI Performance tubular weld-in subframe connectors, cross tower brace, and lower control arm relocation brackets
- Eibach lowering springs
- QA1 adjustable shocks
- Energy Suspension stabilizer bar kits
- Baer bump steer adjustable tie-rods
- Adjustable lower control arms and panhard bar
- Six-point cage with pivoting side arms and camera mount
- Wilwood Dynalite Pro disc brake system
- Earl’s Performance Hyperfirm brake line set
- Hurst Line Lock kit
Wheels and Tires
- Chrome-plated Corvette Z06 wheels
- Street/Road Race Tires: Nitto NT01, 275/40ZR17 front and 275/35ZR18 rear
- Drag Race Tires: Mickey Thompson ET street drag radials, 315/30R18
Body and Paint
- Custom paint with painted-on 35th anniversary Camaro SS stripes
- Rear wheel wells modified to fit larger tires for drag racing
- Carbon fiber hood with custom hood latches
- Front spoiler, billet grille insert, and stainless steel trim by RK Sport and Specialized Stainless Inc.
- New-style headlight assemblies with Halo lights
- Paint by Dean Werges at Specialty Auto Body, Warrenton, Missouri
- Corbeau race seats custom matched to factory SS interior by Upholstery Unlimited
- 5-point racing harnesses
- Granatelli Motorsports 200 MPH gauge set
- Innovate air/fuel ratio gauge
- Custom nitrous and line lock control panel