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Seen at SEMA: 1971 Chevrolet Camaro

Events, SEMA  /   /  By Norman Woo

1971 Camaro “The ProfeSSor” by Lakeside Rods & Rides

Chevy’s Camaro, a popular muscle car that can be found on streets from coast to coast. Clean examples of first generation model are fetching big money but little credit is given to the 2nd generation F-body. The ubiquitous GM sports coupe manufactured from 1970-1981 has rich race (IROC, NASCAR, Trans Am, Grand Am GT) and movie history. Having a more refined suspension that its predecessor, the 2nd gen Camaro is a solid foundation for a hot rod build.

Racing through the halls at SEMA this year, we stopped dead in our tracks at the Mothers booth upon discovering a ’71 Camaro owned by Dave and Karen Leisinger. We spoke to builder Roger Burman, of Lakeside Rods and Rides (Rockwell City, Iowa), who was happy to feed us the details that went into this custom masterpiece.

Lakeside Rods 1971 Chevrolet Camaro | 2013 SEMA Show Lakeside Rods 1971 Chevrolet Camaro | 2013 SEMA Show Lakeside Rods 1971 Camaro at 2013 SEMA Show
The car is finished in PPG Cyber Silver (2010 Porsche color), contrast stripe is PPG Super Blue. At first glance the car appears to have 2 tone paint, but the center stripe is created by spraying a stain flat clear coat over the silver base color. The Super Blue stripe masks the transition.
Lakeside Rods 1971 Chevrolet Camaro at 2013 SEMA Show

8.2 liter LSX engine with 900 dyno’d horsepower and 720 lb-ft of torque that is guaranteed to smoke the tires into shreds. Warren “ProfeSSor” Johnson, veteran NHRA Pro Stock driver built the engine. His signature is displayed in the engine bay as well as on the helmet inside.

Lakeside Rods 1971 Camaro at 2013 SEMA Show Lakeside Rods 1971 Chevrolet Camaro | 2013 SEMA Show Lakeside Rods 1971 Chevrolet Camaro | 2013 SEMA Show
The 4.11 rear end is tied to the custom aluminum driveshaft mated to a Gearstar 4L85E transmission.
Lakeside Rods 1971 Chevrolet Camaro | 2013 SEMA Show

Smaller 5-inch headlights with brake cooling intake vents were installed in place of the stock 7-inch lamps. The smaller headlights give the fenders a more muscular appearance and adds emphasis to the bold front grill.

Lakeside Rods 1971 Chevrolet Camaro | 2013 SEMA Show Lakeside Rods 1971 Chevrolet Camaro | 2013 SEMA Show Lakeside Rods 1971 Camaro at 2013 SEMA Show
Every body panel has been extensively modified. Even the door skins got a small treatment with shaved door handles.
Lakeside Rods 1971 Camaro at 2013 SEMA Show

The new carbon fiber/glass composite hood is narrowed by 5 inches that sits between reformed steel fenders.

Lakeside Rods 1971 Chevrolet Camaro | 2013 SEMA Show Lakeside Rods 1971 Chevrolet Camaro | 2013 SEMA Show Lakeside Rods 1971 Chevrolet Camaro | 2013 SEMA Show
Boze forged 8×18 front wheels with 245/35/18 rubber; 12×20 rear wheels with 245/35/18 shod with Michelin Pilot tires. This arrangement looks and fits perfectly. The massive modern radial tires are set inside the fenders much like a 1970’s car with bias ply tires.
Lakeside Rods 1971 Chevrolet Camaro | 2013 SEMA Show

The C-Pillar features functional vents that feed cool air to the rear brakes.

Lakeside Rods 1971 Chevrolet Camaro | 2013 SEMA Show Lakeside Rods 1971 Chevrolet Camaro | 2013 SEMA Show Lakeside Rods 1971 Chevrolet Camaro | 2013 SEMA Show
The roof has been chopped and the windshield is raked back – a detail not obvious at first glance. One-off laminated tinted glass was created for the front and wider back. The glass is flush with the bodywork with the rain gutters removed. The rear appears longer due to the deep inset rear lights that feature machined turned trim.
Lakeside Rods 1971 Chevrolet Camaro | 2013 SEMA Show

Most modern performance cars have plastic engine covers. This motor is crowned with a 35 pound sculpted steel bonnet that is beautiful as it is functional. The internal plenum channels fresh air to a cone air filter underneath.

Lakeside Rods 1971 Chevrolet Camaro | 2013 SEMA Show Lakeside Rods 1971 Chevrolet Camaro | 2013 SEMA Show Lakeside Rods 1971 Chevrolet Camaro | 2013 SEMA Show
No A/C, no heater, no radio, no airbags, no headrests. Simply pure driving exhilaration!

The more we examined the more we were impressed. Brockmeyers design combines the retro and modern in measured quantities. Furthermore, Lakeside Rods & Rides build execution is immaculate. We could only imagine what the car would look like in motion. A modern musclecar masterpiece indeed.


In the musclecar marketplace, we give the 2nd generation F-body (Camaro/Firebird) strong BUY rating. From the split front bumper to the later urethane bumper models, take your pick. They are readily available, but most need some restoration. Fortunately parts are plentiful in the aftermarket and eBay Motors is handy resource to find the one for you.

Across the nation there are car lovers building their dream cars, if time and resources allow start building yours. Share your garage queen or project on the eBay Motors Garage!

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2 Comments on "Seen at SEMA: 1971 Chevrolet Camaro"


Guest
1 year 8 months ago

Absolutely a wonderful execution of old school muscle meets the new millennium!

Guest
Norman
1 year 8 months ago

Very well put Ed. From the Boulevard to the Drag Strip to a Road Race, this Camaro is a Winner!