There isn't much that needs to be said about the Camaro. It's an iconic muscle car with aggressive retro-styling and crazy horsepower potential. But what if you didn't want to use GM's stock powertrain and wanted to make your own insanity-fueled dragster from scratch and on a budget? Friend, you've come to the right place.
For the uninitiated, a COPO (Central Office Production Order) Camaro is the rarest model that Chevrolet has ever produced. It's NHRA-certified, has a suspension that takes very well to hard launches, and has some weight saving options, like a rear seat delete. It also costs $55,000 and comes with no engine or transmission in its "body in white" trim. And every single one has been sold. So you probably can't buy one. Fortunately, this 2011 Camaro SS rolling chassis is more than $40,000 cheaper and ticks all the right boxes.
This vehicle was a theft recovery, missing its seats, engine, transmission, and wheels. Instead of seeing it as a large bill to return to stock, think of it as a custom project with the monotonous teardown completed. Install some racing seats, a Nelson Racing engine with a stout TH400 trans with some short gears, and you're ready to show anything on the strip the business end of your taillights.
Other than the missing parts, the car looks to be in good order and it would be a fine project for anyone that wants a strong, contemporary, rust-free frame to start a quarter-mile eating powerhouse. What engine would you put in it? At this price, the only limit is your imagination.
For more projects that need finishing, check these out:
Tavarish is the founder of APiDA Online and writes about buying and selling cool cars on the internet. He owns the world's cheapest Mercedes S-Class, a graffiti-bombed Lexus, and he's the only Jalopnik author that has never driven a Miata. He also has a real name that he didn't feel was journalist-y enough so he used a pen name and this was the best he could do.