This Months Featured Camaro
Steve Araki's 1968 RS/SS 540 Street Car
By: Brendon Niimi
Steve's car has turned out to be an impressive and clean build. Like every car there's a story to go with it and for that we go back to the 80's. Steve bought the car right out of High School in 1987 in Hawaii Kai from an older woman. The car was an original '68 Rally Sport with a 2 Speed Powerglide Trans, Factory Air Conditioning, 10 Bolt Rear End and 327 SBC. The car was also in it's original color combo in Ermine White and Gold Standard Interior. Over the course of time, Steve repainted the car to a Marina Blue with white Z Stripes and Black Interior. A GM 12 Bolt 4.10 Posi took place of the original 10 Bolt Rear. A M22 Rockcrusher 4 Speed also was installed, as well a built 355 SBC with a Solid Roller Cam. To really give it the Street Car image Steve selected Weld Draglite rims. 15X10 on 275/60/15s out back and 15X3.5 on 195/60/15s in front. The car sat for a couple of years and in 2009 Steve decided to rebuild the car to a whole new level. The '68 was taken apart and the restoration began. First off, he wanted to run more meat in the rear so he had the crew at Pacific Muscle Car install the DSE Mini Tub Kit. PMC (Pacific Muscle Car) also replaced some sheetmetal on the car as well as the bodywork and paint. For paint Steve picked Viper Red with Black Z/28 Stripes in a 2 Stage Base Coat/ Clear Coat. Once the car was shot with paint it was then time for Powdercoating. Mekala Powdercoating out in Kapolei did the Inner Fenders, Radiator Support, Rear End, and Front Subframe all in Gloss Black and shot clear over for additional protection. The freshly painted car was reunited with all the parts that were powdercoated. Steve always craved for a Big Block so he ordered a 540 Merlin BBC Short Block directly from Jegs. For the valve train he put in a Comp Cams .540 Lift/.540 Duration Hydraulic Roller Thumpr Cam with Ultra Gold Aluminum Roller Rockers. For Airflow he chose World Rectangle Port Heads 119cc. He kept the compression low at only 9.5:1. Hooker Competition Headers and a Stainless 3" Flowmaster American Thunder Exhaust System with 3.5" dumps were picked to help direct the escaping gases. To keep everything cool he chose a Be Cool 4 Core Aluminum Radiator with Dual Electric Fans. Steve rebuilt his GM M22 Rockcrusher placing in the new Marciero Gears in place of the original GM. Out back he also bought a Currie Enterprises Narrowed 9" Rear with a 3.89 Posi. The frame is armed and tied with Cal Trac Traction Bars and Heidt's Subframe Connectors. The Rear Brakes are stock 9" Drums, the Front Brakes are from Master Power Brakes which are slotted and zinc washed. Due to the raw power of the 540, a Hydratech Hydraboost system was installed to help slow down the car which hooks up to the AGR Power Steering Box. For the Fuel System a DSE Narrowed Stainless Fuel Tank was selected and then Powdercoated. Steve also dropped the car 2" inches with Master Power Brakes 2" Drop Spindles provided with the Brake Kit and DSE 2" Drop Springs in the rear. The Interior was tastefully redone with Black Recaro Front Bucket Seats, and the rear was recovered in the same material. The Black Standard Door Panels were reused. The headlights are now updated with the DSE Electric Headlight Kit. Instrumentation was updated to a Covan Classic Dash complete with all modern Autometer Gauges and it gives accurate readings. The car sports Centerline Telstar II Rims 15X10 on 325/60/15s in back 15X4 on 195/60/15s in front. Lastly an original 2" GM Cowl Hood all the original Chrome Moldings, Trim, Bumpers and Bumper Guards. This car was completed a year later in 2010 and Steve deserves a huge round of applause that is a lot of work that went into building a car and it was done the right way! It will always turn heads everywhere! Steve is looking at putting some Vintage Air in the car in the future. A huge mahalo to Steven Fujimoto, Daniel Nakamura, Dwight Min and the rest of the guys at PMC for making this dream come true. Also another huge mahalo to Noa Chan and the guys at Mekala Powdercoating for being involved with this project. Photos of the restoration can be found at Pacific Muscle Cars website at pmc808.com.
Check out club pictures at http://photos.808camaros.com/
Much thanks to Mel Sakaba, Brendon Niimi and Ron Freitas for the pictures.
808Camaros is Hawaii's Largest Camaro Club and consists of previous members of the Hawaiian Island Camaro Club, as well as a diverse group of Camaro enthusiasts from restorers to hot rodders and to those who simply appreciate their daily drivers. Membership is open to all Camaro owners of all Generations, as well as non-owners who want to share in the fun.
We will be emailing out newsletters to all members who wish to receive it, as well as cruise information, show announcements and dates, and other import information.
If you are interested in becoming a member please fill out the form under the Club Registration Tab or email your information to 808Camaro@gmail.com.
Club membership is currently FREE!!!!
Our club is also currently looking for donations and sponsors as well. If you are interested in helping out we are always looking for volunteers and additional help to mange the club. Give us a call or just drop us an email anytime.
Brendon Niimi & Dean Pang
UP COMING 2014 808CAMAROS EVENTS:
Pearlridge rooftop cruise nights hosted by bleizn fx
KAPOLei wendy's cruise nights
every saturday night of every month
BOB's Big bear Waipahu town center
Fourth of july show n shine pearl harbor
july 4th 2014 more info at: http://www.facebook.com/july4thshownshine
AIEA HIGH SCHool show n shine & swap meet
RON's performance center show 2014
Windward Mall will be holding it cruise nights on the 3rd Sat of the month in 2014 from 4:30pm to 9:00pm. and it start in March and end in Nov.
June 21, July 19 Aug 16 & Oct. 18