Three Times The Factory Power Equals One Tough Camaro SS
The Camaro has been through a lot in its 35-year existence, and this particular 2000 model represents the third year of the LS1 powerplant in an F-body and the seventh year for the fourth-generation platform. But there is more to this Camaro than can be seen on the surface, and for a father and son team it represents the passing of the torch and search for always wanting more.
Kevin Hiner’s first Camaro came while he attended college in the form of a 1967 SS model. Packing the classic 350 small-block, Hiner added a tunnel ram and dual Holley carburetors and eventually carded high eleven second times, a fast street car back in those days. Fast forward quite a few years from college to fatherhood, and Kevin had infused his son Ryan with that same thirst for performance and cool rides. So with the younger Hiner having driver having driver license in hand, a Camaro seemed a natural car of choice, but that’s where the similarities ended Kevin wanted to do a 1969 Camaro with a big-block powerplant, but Ryan argued that a wide variety of those cars already existed on the streets, at the races and shows So Ryan brought a late-model approach to the table and, in the end, the kid got his way. A 2000 Camaro SS was purchased new, and the duo added a few things to the list not offered by the factory to personalize the ride to Ryan’s taste. But it didn’t take long for the simple stuff to change to a more serious search for additional power. “We started out with a heads and cam package and got it into the elevens,” said Kevin. “It just got to where it was never enough.” So with more power on the brain, father and son discussed their options. “We wanted something quicker,” said Kevin. “We sat down and decided we really need to set the car up differently. That was the point where we really took the drive with the car.”
With their goals established, the Hiners visited Wheel to Wheel Powertrain for a bigger infusion of power and all the pieces needed to support it. “We wanted to make 700 horsepower on motor and have an extra 300 horsepower of nitrous,” said Kevin. Wheel to Wheel did their part and returned a C5R-based engine pushing 705 ponies and over 600 foot pounds of torque without a hint of giggle gas, as well as a slew of custom parts throughout the Camaro. They handled almost the entire build-up of the car as it sits today according to Kevin, and even though it wasn’t originally the car or engine Kevin had in mind, the results have changed his views. “(The LS-based engines) have made a believer out of me,” said Hiner. “These motors can make a ton of power and really fly.”
The next stop for the Camaro would find the drag strip, where the Hiners would find out what their ride could driver. Test passes netted a 10.20 at 132 mph, but also showed a few areas where simple changes would chip away precious tick-tocks. So the car was returned to Wheel to Wheel, and changes were made for quicker laps.
Yet after seven years of work the car is up for sale, and some may wonder why after the Hiners have yet to see the full potential of what the car can do. “We really enjoy the projects,” said Kevin,” and we’d like to try a Corvette right now.” But it’s not that cut and dry for the dad who still remembers his first Camaro. “We do have mixed emotions though,” he said. “as it isn’t a situation where the car needs to be sold.” So whether this Camaro stays put to continue the quest for faster times, or goes on to a new home, it represents more than just power and a clean car. It marks a father and son connecting to create a ride that defines their car guy mentality.