Doug Holmes runs an engine shop called Finger Lakes Auto in Auburn, New York. He’s a frequent COMP Performance Group customer who recently shared photos of a personal project. It’s a collection of great ideas and one-off fabricated parts. It’s also a 1968 Camaro with Corvette suspension.
Doug has owned a bunch of Camaros and had this one spotted at a friend’s body shop. The car had been “in progress” for 12 years before the owner finally gave up. Originally a clean North Carolina car that had spent at least the last known decade out of the weather, it was a prime candidate for a cool project, especially in New York where rust runs rampant in classic cars. With the purchase made, Doug had the shop finish replacing the rear quarters and paint the car.
The car’s front suspension set the unintended tone for the Corvette theme. A Wayne Due subframe had already been added, one of the first to utilize Corvette suspension. One of Doug’s Corvette-repairing buddies had the IRS components from an ’85 to spare, and they were grafted in with one-off mounts. A set of 1990 Corvette wheels were chosen to round out the suspension upgrade.
Naturally, a Corvette engine was the only logical option once the direction was set. Doug, an engine builder by trade, located an LS1 block with Dart sleeves and began building a stout engine.
“Eventually, I reached a point where I had more money in it than I would a crate motor,” says Doug. “Since time is money at the shop, I sold and finished it out for a customer and bought a crate engine. The engine went to the Kinsler fuel injection guys who used it in a trick Corvette, and I bought a 2006 Z06 dry-sump LS7.”
Doug was taken with the looks of a Wilson intake manifold he discovered and added it to the crate block. To feed it, he chose a FAST Big Mouth throttle body and used their XFI and XIM systems to control the engine’s functions. Noted sprint car veteran Lee Osborne has a penchant for fabrication and whipped up a custom intake adapter that allows the engine to work with the cowl hood. The functional hood scoop pulls cool air from the cowl area and through a flat K&N filter element inside the hood, for true cowl induction.