Where is ‘the’ place to be for collector car enthusiasts and hot rodders? Ask around and you’ll get a bushel of answers, but most regard southern California as the Mecca of hot rodding. True, it’s hard to beat sunny So Cal for cruising weather and car-related activities, but there is a quickly-growing movement in southern Arizona. Thanks to the weather, auto auctions and an increasing number of retirees in the area, the car culture is exploding in the desert.
Riding the shockwave is Brighton Motorsports in Scottsdale, just six hours from the coast. We brought you a sneak peak of this Camaro back in our pre-SEMA article in 2010. At that time, the convertible was enjoying a mad thrash of activity getting ready for its debut in Vegas, complete with then-new VHX analog gauges from yours truly. Fast forward a year, and the new has worn off but none of the nice; the Brighton Camaro is one of the best looking first-gen convertibles we’ve seen. Laid over the arrow-straight Brighton Ranch Paint and Body handiwork, GM LeMans Blue has never looked so good, trimmed with a silver bumble-bee stripe on the nose.
The full custom interior is very tasteful; dare I say that, if you didn’t know better, this office could be mistaken for original equipment in 1967. Upon further scrutiny, the custom console holding billet cup holders, power window switches and a JVC/ Boston Acoustics sound system and bowing to the shifter, you’d know you were looking at an expertly built interior.
Moving this beauty is a one-of-427 all-aluminum 427 crate motors, built to pay homage to the supreme 1969 ZL1 engine. Custom Holley EFI feeds the monster while a Tremec TKO 5-speed keeps the brute force coming to a stout 12-bolt. F-Body fans recall that this car is of unibody construction, and a convertible would not enjoy fighting the thrust of a 500+ horse-big block. To keep the doors from chipping the quarters after a few spirited drives, there are fully-welded subframe connectors, a Heidt’s 4-link out back and a coordinating Heidt’s coil-over front subframe complete with rack & pinion steering. With a chassis as solid as the drivetrain, disc brake rotors like pizza pans were attached to each corner and receive instructions from a set of Baer 6-piston calipers. Now the ‘Whoa’ matches the ‘Go.’ The last piece in converting the potential energy to kinetic is a set of 18” & 19” Asanti wheels wrapped in Bridgestone RE050 tires.
If this second look at the Brighton Camaro is just too much for you and has inspired you to build your own ultimate drop top, don’t bother! This one is for sale! For the price of an average house, this rolling piece of art can be yours. With a five-gear and alloy big block, you know it’s perfect for those long, empty Arizona highways. See the USA in your Chevrolet!