COMP Cams was founded upon a winning passion for drag racing, and that drive has pushed the company to the top for forty years. In 1975 Scooter Brothers raced a ’69 Camaro to a class victory at the US Nationals in Indianapolis. The victorious white convertible was prepared by Herb McCandless and powered by an engine built by John Lingenfelter.
Although Scooter wasn’t on the list of company owners when COMP Cams officially opened its doors in 1976, he was heavily involved with the sister company, RHS, which shared and collaborated on technological developments. Scooter eventually joined COMP in 1988 and remains there to this day, currently serving as COO.
Hot Rod magazine developed the idea of doing a “Power Tour” in the late 1990s and participants and companies enthusiastically climbed aboard. COMP Cams decided to build a car that would not only showcase its products, but allow it to participate in the long-distance drives, thus lending a credible company presence and having fun along the way.
In 1998 Scooter’s class-winning Camaro was nominated to be the company’s flagship Power Tour vehicle. The original race car was finally located in Texas, but found to be in rough shape and tangled up in a divorce case.
A suitable replacement was sourced on the burgeoning internet; a solid running and driving car with no rust. It was quickly taken to Atlanta Street Rods in north Georgia for a modernized transformation.
To kick things off, the suspension was converted to coilovers. This was state-of-the-art technology at the time and the days of EZ-install kits had yet to dawn, so everything was built from scratch. Disc brakes were added, along with high-tech BBS wheels. Plans of an “easy cruiser” quickly went out the window with the addition of a high-tech NASCAR SB2 Chevy small block built by John Lingenfelter and a new five-speed transmission.
The car was completed in time to run the second Power Tour in the fall of 1998 and driven from Massachusetts to Florida. After a trailer mishap on the way to another Power Tour, the Camaro suffered a little damage and was taken to Davis Body Shop for a repaint, this time with violet pearl added to the white and new black stripes. The engine was converted to a one-off EFI system and the factory black interior was upgraded with houndstooth inserts.
The car was then driven on several Power Tours through the years before retiring to COMP‘s R&D department, a little worse for wear with collapsed front suspension, minor body damage, and some engine trouble. The car was partially disassembled and then stored under a cover on car skates from 2011 until this year.
COMP will be celebrating its 40th Anniversary in 2016, and the Camaro is being resurrected once again. V8 Speed & Resto is handling the refurbish and the car is slated to be presented to Scooter during a special anniversary celebration.
The Camaro will be built to showcase not only the products of COMP Cams, but many other COMP Performance Group brands as well. It will have an RHS block and heads, FAST EFI, a TCI transmission and more. V8 Speed & Resto is chronicling the build on its website, both in text and video, and we will be doing the same here. Please check back and enjoy the progress as the Camaro returns to the limelight! Join us as we chronicle the progress.
V8 Speed & Resto linkage: