by Pat Goss
Lots of folks would love to have a classic car like this one. But, they don’t like the way the older cars drive. So, to tell us how to get around that, we have Tony Fleming… from Flemings Ultimate Garage. Tony, welcome back to Goss’ Garage.
TONY FLEMING: Thanks Pat. Thanks for having me.
PAT GOSS: Alright, now what are we looking at here. What’s special about this car.
TONY FLEMING: Well from the outside it looks like an ordinary 1968 Chevrolet Camaro. And that might be great for some people, but some people don’t love the idea of a car that drives like an old car. For instance, they made a lot of power and they sounded great but they didn’t have great brakes. They didn’t handle well.
They’re missing a lot of features of today’s modern cars. So what we’ve been able to do is take some of those components from today’s modern cars, mate it to the older car – so you get the best of both worlds.
PAT GOSS: Alright, so steering. What’s different about the steering?
TONY FLEMING: So you can either get things like fast ratio steering, or you can get modern rack and pinion steering that’d you’d find even on today’s minivan, which makes a great driving experience.
PAT GOSS: Alright and performance wise, this car has what?
TONY FLEMING: A very modern drivetrain. A lot of times we’ll pluck them out of new Mustang’s or Camaros and things like that. And because the engines are all aluminum, the transmissions are overdrive, you get in the car and it just rides and handles so much better.
You can take it on the highway for a cruise, having that overdrive ability.
PAT GOSS: And also, amenities like air conditioning, power windows and so on?
TONY FLEMING: Even things like back up cameras and heated seats are kind of installed in these cars and they’re not a lot more money to do. A car like this could typically be had in the $60,000 range for a really cool car or you know, all the way up to $100,000 – depending on how exotic you want it.
PAT GOSS: Sounds like a good solution. What are these called?
TONY FLEMING: These are called restomods, short for restored, but modified.
PAT GOSS: Tony, here we’re seeing one of the major parts of this conversion.
TONY FLEMING: This is actually the big pieces that makes it a restomod. For instance, here we have an all-aluminum engine, with fuel injection, and some modern conveniences. This makes about 450 horsepower, right, reliably. It starts when it’s cold, starts when it’s hot, it doesn’t really care about the weather like a carbureted car might.
PAT GOSS: And underneath it, we’ve got modern brakes and tires?
TONY FLEMING: For sure, we’ve got some really big brakes. In fact the reason this car has bigger wheels and tires on it is because we had to make room to make the brakes fit. So these are like 50% bigger than the original brakes and the tires are three times as wide as what would’ve come on from the factory.
PAT GOSS: So all in all, looks old, drives new.
TONY FLEMING: And looks great going down the road.
PAT GOSS: Tony, thank you. And if you have a question, or a comment, drop me a line. Right here, at MotorWeek.