Wow, this slick 1971 Chevrolet Camaro RS represents a ton of go-fast performance for a competitive price, and we’ll throw in the fantastic good looks for free!
This is the kind of muscle car that always catches people off-guard, because despite the rather flashy paint, onlookers are typically not ready for 454 cubic inches of pure thunder under the hood. You’d better believe it’s potent enough to scare the neighbors, yet it’s still civilized enough to take them around the block to show off.
A quick look at this early 2nd generation bruiser and you immediately see the components that made these cars so darn popular – including an RS front end with the split bumpers and blacked-out wide-mouth grille, the chin spoiler, and those killer black racing stripes atop the hood and decklid. There’s also a slightly oversized cowl-induction hood and a familiar ducktail spoiler out back, all of which make this car look pretty serious about the business of going fast. That vivid silver metallic paint is a close facsimile of Cortez Silver and that’s a very popular color that always looks good on an F-body, especially with a set of black SS stripes running down the center providing contrast. That deep chin spoiler makes the car look long and low, but it’s nice to see that it’s keeping with the period look and hasn’t been treated to any questionable modern “upgrades” (lets leave the airbrush work at Six Flags, okay painters?) in the appearance department. Despite some minor imperfections, the driver-quality paint shines up rather well (the biggest ‘cosmetic issue’ would be the lower quality of the paint on the passenger’s side rear quarter, which doesn’t exactly match the rest of the car), the sheetmetal is solid, and the gaps are pretty much exactly like what GM was producing then. Brightwork and chrome are in very good shape, glistening up against the silver finish, and all the clear glass and tight rubber look to have been attended to at some point not long ago as well.
By the looks of things inside, this Camaro’s interior was fully made over when the car was restored a few years back, keeping everything that was good about the original design while adding a few enhancements that make it a lot of fun to drive. The black vinyl upholstery looks great and only shows minor signs of use and age, an ideal match to the exterior color combination, and the durable upholstery wears like iron and is very grippy, so staying behind the wheel is easier than in a stock car. The dash is original and full of factory instruments in their original arrangement, although a trio of white-faced auxiliary units were added under the dash to keep a better eye on the big block under the hood. There’s also a cool horseshoe shifter in the center console (encased in an aftermarket bezel that adds a splash of bling inside), an aftermarket A/C system that’s blowing cold, and a Kenwood AM/FM/CD/AUX stereo with new speakers to match. Black carpets are the right choice and are further protected with Z/28 scripted floor mats, there’s a black perforated-style headliner above to match, and the surprisingly spacious trunk was finished with black carpets as a final detail.
OK, OK, we’re getting to the good stuff, don’t worry. The engine is a thundering 454 V8 big block swapped in from a later-model GM (it decodes to a 1991, 5th generation 4-bolt main big block), and it fits inside the Camaro’s ample engine bay like it was born there. With plenty of horsepower on tap and a healthy torque curve strong enough to pull a Redwood out of the ground, it’s got a loping idle that’s impossible to disguise and it pulls the muscle car like a freight train. It’s nicely dressed with a chrome Edelbrock air cleaner and a set of matching chrome Edelbrock valve covers, and there’s and Edelbrock intake and big 4-barrel carburetor up top to help build horsepower. Long-tube headers help with the already impressive torque curve and bellow through a pair of Flowmaster mufflers that sound amazing. A TH350 3-speed automatic transmission delivers the power to a 10-bolt rear end, and with highway-friendly gears inside this car really feels impressive on the street. Classic American Racing Torque Thrust ‘Old Style’ wheels look great on just about any classic car and are wrapped in staggered 235/60/15 front and 245/60/15 rear Cooper Cobra white-letter radials at all four corners.
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Location: Fort Worth, Texas, United States