Lakeside's Z68 Camaro "G" Machine
"Street Machine of the Year" top 5 finalist
Every year, in July, a "Street Machine of the Year" is selected from a field of many. Rod builders from all over the United States compete for this coveted award. This year there were more street machines running for the crown than any year previous. Street machines are judged for fit, form and function, how well the car sits and new for this year each participant is required to run their entry through a slalom course. Although elapsed time is not a prime consideration, styling points are given for speed and agility.
Kevin and Karen Alstott of Fort Dodge, IA decided that it was time to turn their nearly stock 68 Camaro into a street machine to compete for this coveted award. They turned the car over to Roger Burman and the Lakeside Rods & Rides crew for a complete frame-off restyle and restoration. Their decision came as no surprise as the Alstotts have had numerous rods built by Burman and crew that are amongst the finest in the world.
Roger and the Alstotts selected all the aftermarket components to transform their once stock Camaro into the "G: Machine it has become. An aftermarket sub frame, frame ties and targa bar were all purchased from Detroit Speed and Engineering and then modified and assembled to the frame. The targa bar ties the roll bar to the frame which really helps rigidity of the structure. Boze custom wheels were selected and installed. The front measure 18" x 7" and the rear 20" x 10". In correspondence with the wheels, sticky Pirelli tires were selected and their sizes consist of 225x35x18 for the front and 325x25x20 for the rear. A 355 Chevy small block is mated to a TCI 700R4 transmission.
Many body mods have been performed to this hot rodded Camaro by the Lakeside crew. The front and rear pans have been lowered 2" to accommodate the extended rocker panels. This modification, along with the D.S.E. 1" drop sub frame mount really gives this car a very nice stance. Z06 brake ducts were employed and made fully functional with tubing aimed at the brake components. The wing was handmade and welded to the body. Speaking of welding pieces to the body, the rear bumper was narrowed and then welded to the rear of the car to give it a smooth and appealing look. 1970 Camaro taillights were modified to fit and assembled to the back of the car also. The gas tank was narrowed so the exhaust could be plumbed around it and the quadra link rear suspension. To finish this modification off, a custom pan was fabricated to conceal the exhaust and gas tank.
This is just some of the work performed to this body. This "G" machine may be one of the most heavily modified Camaro's of its kind ever. The paint, PPG black, was shot by the Lakeside crew and along with the copper accents, this car exhibits a look all its own. We (J & B Microfinish), handmade the rear license plate frame from ½" billet plate and we also made the brake and gas pedals with a unique milled non-slip surface machined into the top to ensure proper operation once this car hit the slalom course. Speaking of the slalom course, Roger piloted this Camaro to a 17.2 second run on Friday. This time was recognized as the quickest run of the event for Street Machine of the Year participants. As a result of this and other judged parameters, the Lakeside Z68 was awarded a "Street Machine of the Year Top 5 Finalist" award.
Rounding out the interior detail, Classic Instruments supplied Roger with the gauging. The flat black and copper leather goes nicely with the outside detail of the car. With this much performance on tap, Roger and the Alstotts decided not to incorporate a wild audio system. As Roger put it "no audio, all motor".
Gone for the most part are the days of "Pro Street" and wild blower motors that once graced fairgrounds in Du Quoin, Springfield and Indianapolis. Today's street machine has taken on a different personality. These G machines are more of a Trans Am or road race car, able to run good in both straight line assaults as well as left and right turns. With the success this trend has fostered, look for more of this style in the future.