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This 1971 Camaro “Company Car” Built by Eddie Motorsports Is Impossible to Ignore

Built to show off products from Eddie Motorsports, this Camaro became something much more

© Robert McGaffin

By Jason Reiss, Robert McGaffin, HOT ROD

Growing up in Portugal, Ed Borges of Eddie Motorsports didn't even own a TV. He certainly didn't own a 1971 Camaro or a couple of businesses. But in 1969, his family made the move to the United States, and his course was charted, even though he didn't realize it at the time.

"I've always loved fast cars and have been a fan of F1 and rally racing since my family came to the U.S., and we got a TV set where I could watch racing on Wide World of Sports," he says.

© Robert McGaffin

Fast-forward to adult status. Ed started Eddie Marine—a company based around supplying parts for the high-performance marine industry—and the beginnings of his obsession with hot muscle cars started to take shape.

"One of the first things I ever splurged on was a '71 Mustang Mach One, back in 1994," he explains. "I gradually restored it through the years, and when I started Eddie Motorsports in 2009, it was the first car we built a line of billet parts for."

© Robert McGaffin

Added Borges: "Being in the industry and going to Goodguys shows and SEMA, I really started to see what guys were building. Seeing our parts on so many high-end builds really got me excited about the possibilities. It's one of the things that continues to drive me to create and build great aftermarket billet parts."

With visions of the showstopping builds from other shops like The Roadster Shop and the Ring Brothers in mind, Ed was motivated to develop more parts for Eddie Motorsports, and that's where this Camaro enters the picture.

"Those guys have the advantage of having someone else write the check for all of the R&D they do to develop parts for their builds," Borges says. "I like to try to build a production bolt-on part that looks like a custom one-off part—like something those guys would build—but a part that is affordable and easy to install."

© Robert McGaffin

With the desire to begin creating second-gen Camaro parts for Eddie Motorsports—and an internal desire to own one personally—Ed and his team set out to locate a suitable starting point for the project. It didn't take long, and the work began on the restoration. Of course, like so many projects, it was almost immediately derailed because the body wasn't as clean as they believed it to be. They ended up replacing the roof and the rear valance thanks to the rust monster, but other than that, the body was mostly straight and just needed a good massage to get its lines back in shape.

Borges says builder Bob Frontino—a part-time employee of the company—has a wealth of experience and a meticulous nature, which brings the monumental tasks of designing and assembling a car like this down to a manageable level.

© Robert McGaffin

One of the interesting things about Borges is that he doesn't just own the two aforementioned businesses, but also Eddie Machine and Fusioncoat, which offers sandblasting and powdercoating. With all of these capabilities under one roof, building a car like the Citrus machine becomes a simpler task.

The car was fully disassembled, soda blasted, and then the chassis was brought back to Fusioncoat in Rancho Cucamonga, California, to be finished in matte black to protect it from the elements and provide a neat, clean appearance.


Bolt-On Pro-Touring Suspension

The front suspension consists of a set of Classic Performance Products tubular control arms, CPP Corvette-style drop spindles, and QA1 adjustable coilover dampers. In the rear, CPP multi-leaf springs provide a 1.5-inch drop, and CPP's anti-roll bar and QA1 adjustable coilovers are also in place. Steering is handled through a CPP steering box and ididit column. CPP four-piston calipers are actuated by a Wilwood master cylinder to squeeze 13-inch brake rotors at all four corners and bring the car to a stop.


ZZ502 Big-Block Powered Camaro

The Camaro is equipped with a 9.6:1-compression big-block engine—the ZZ502 crate engine from Chevrolet Performance Parts, to be exact. It houses a forged crankshaft and connecting rods and is topped with a pair of 110cc oval-port cylinder heads. A custom COMP Cams hydraulic-roller camshaft actuates the COMP aluminum roller rockers to open the 2.250-inch intake and 1.880-inch exhaust valves. Eddie Motorsports dropped a set of its cast aluminum valve covers featuring Citrus Green metallic paint with custom billet aluminum accents in place, with a matching billet air cleaner atop the Holley 750 dual-feed carburetor. The Eddie Motorsports S-Drive Plus 8-rib belt drive systems shows nicely, with its polished appearance and clear Fusioncoat finish. Doug's headers clear the exhaust through a Flowmaster 3-inch exhaust and 40-series mufflers.

© Robert McGaffin

The power runs through the ubiquitous manual transmission for these types of builds: a Tremec TKO 600 five-speed manual gear changer, outfitted with an American Powertrain Science Friction Stage-1 Super Street ceramic clutch and billet steel flywheel. The American Powertrain Revolution shifter mechanism benefits from the Eddie Motorsports billet aluminum shifter. A simple, efficient 12-bolt rear is under the car, with an Auburn Gear posi unit and 3.73 ring and pinion inside.

Boze Tach wheels measuring 18x8.5 inches up front and 18x10 inches in the rear are wrapped in Nitto NT555 tires, with 245/40s on the steering end and 285/40s on the drive end of the car.

Inside, the stock dash was replaced with one from National Parts Depot, then filled with an Eddie Motorsports billet/polished, clear-coated dash, and AutoMeter Black Diamond gauges. A Classic Auto Air HVAC system keeps things cool when the sun beats down on SoCal in the summertime. Raul's Auto Trim finished the interior to perfection. Other Eddie Motorsports items developed for the interior include the billet aluminum door handles, along with the shifter boot and bezel.

© Robert McGaffin

No custom build like this is without its difficulties, though. And even with those challenges, he'd do it all over again. The two-year build was an exercise in patience.

"Even though this is the second frame-off restoration I've done, the time required is still tough for me to handle," Borges says. "Anyone who knows me knows I am not the most patient person in the world, so biding my time, watching the project crawl along drove me nuts. With my business, when things aren't progressing the way I think they should, I'll dive in and make things happen. With this Camaro, I learned again that there is no way to move along a custom build."

© Robert McGaffin

One item where Borges went against the grain is with the car's exterior treatment. He had a serious hankering for the custom-built front splitter from D & Z Customs, so one of those was fitted to the car's nose. The standard '71 Camaro sheetmetal remained in place, with the exception of the steel hood; it's from Classic Industries, and it features a 2-inch cowl induction bump along with an Eddie Motorsports billet aluminum hood latch and polished hood hinges. Other exterior pieces developed by Eddie Motorsports include the billet aluminum grille insert, the billet aluminum fender braces, and the billet aluminum cowl vent with bright clearcoat finish. Classic Industries front and rear bumpers were installed along with United Pacific LED taillights. Paul Smoot of PSI Auto Body in Ontario, California, then covered the body with PPG's Citrus Green Metallic pigment, topped with the company's Glamour Clear.

© Robert McGaffin

This Camaro isn't exactly the type that hides amongst the crowd at car shows, though. It's loud. It's in your face, and it most certainly stands out. With the big-block engine, slick-shifting five-speed, and modified suspension, it gets up and goes in a hurry. But most important, it serves as a rolling billboard for Eddie Motorsports' line of second-gen Camaro products.

"Besides the fact that it is really fun to drive, the car gets a ton of attention," he says. "I am glad I went with the green that I did. I haven't seen anything else like it. And love it or hate it, you have to appreciate it."

See more at: HOT ROD

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Autos Magazine: This 1971 Camaro “Company Car” Built by Eddie Motorsports Is Impossible to Ignore
This 1971 Camaro “Company Car” Built by Eddie Motorsports Is Impossible to Ignore
Built to show off products from Eddie Motorsports, this Camaro became something much more
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