Name: 1969 Chevy RS Z-28
Year(s) Produced: 1968-1969
Class: Sports car
Body Type: 2-door notchback coupe
Engine: 301.6 cui, GM Chevrolet V8 302 (original engine)
Power: 290hp @ 5800 RPM
0-60mph: 7.6 seconds
Top Speed: 129 mph
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Length/width/height: 186 in./ 74 in./ 51.1 in.
Wheelbase: 108 in.
Base Price: US$3,185 (NADA)
Highest Price: US$35,800 (Hagerty)
Bruce Kimmen from Harrision Township, Michigan means business when it comes to manufacturing cars for the dragway. Owner of Heads Up Racing in Mount Clemens, Kimmen is known throughout the US for his supercharged Chevys and for setting an all time record in Memphis when in 1999, his 1969 Camaro rated at 6.83 seconds for a quarter-mile at top speed of 211 mph. Kimmen rightfully earned his place in a Flowmaster listing for having the quickest ‘street legal’ cars in the country.
Now, Kimmen is set to impress once again together with his 1969 Chevy RS Z-28 Camaro in the upcoming turbo-charged Detroit Autorama slated from Feb. 26-28 at Cobo Center, Detroit. A speed guy and gear head for more than 40 years, Kimmen has a special affection for this pure muscle beast. “I’ve had five or six of them (Camaros),” said Kimmen. “I love the ’69 for some reason. It just appeals to me; it has nice lines.”
This black beauty of a Camaro emblazoned with hotrod flames has a 547-cubic-inch engine that belts out an outrageous 1,400 horse power. It is so powerful that Kimmen has to equip it with a wheelie bar and parachute. Kimmen’s Camaro will be on display along with a 700-horsepower ’77 Corvette, a 550-horsepower ’67 Camaro and an off-road, high-performance Jeep.
Kimmen have been tirelessly building and adding on the beastly ’69 Camaro for almost 10 years. “She runs good and she definitely gets your attention,” he said, “If you’re going to stick your money into it, it has to be something you love.”
Similar passion for automobile muscle will be featured and displayed at this year’s 64th Detroit Autorama which has been dubbed as America’s greatest hot rod show, featuring 800 of the most impressive custom sports and muscle cars in the region. As one of the largest and oldest custom car shows in North America, the annual showcase attracts throngs of visitors all across the U.S. and around the globe.
The highlight of the Autorama is the awarding of the prestigious and highly prized Ridler Award for hot rodding. For the past 53 years, the Ridler Award has been presented to the most outstanding new custom car shown and unveiled for the first time. Because of this, the show attracts the most excellent custom car builders in North America vying to claim the coveted title.
“It’s extremely gratifying that Detroit Autorama is the home of America’s most important hot rod award,” said Peter A. Toundas, president of Championship Auto Shows Inc. and Autorama show manager. “This is the Motor City, and Detroit is where hot rod/custom car shows started, so we make every effort to let everyone know about this important heritage.”
Kimmen surely has his eyes set for the Ridler Award and having other cars contending for the same, it will surely be one show that will overwhelm the senses.
Autorama is open noon-10 p.m. Feb. 26, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Feb. 27, and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Feb. 28. With appearances on the Celebrity Stages include Farmtruck and AZN from Discovery Channel’s “Street Outlaws” noon-5 p.m. Feb. 26; Olivia Holt, Lindsay Watson from Disney’s “I Didn’t Do It,” 1-3 p.m. and 4-6 p.m. Feb. 27; Horny Mike, from History Channel’s “Counting Cars,” 1-4 p.m. Feb. 28; and WWE’s Daniel Bryan 1-4 p.m. Feb. 28.