Volume I, Issue 2, Page 33

Story by the MaxChevy Staff
Photos Courtesy of Keisler Engineering


This original Second-Gen RS/SS Camaro (above) is a real head turner and gets great attention wherever it goes. With the original 3-speed manual transmission, the classic was dying for help in the cruising department. The more efficient -- and performance oriented -- Kiesler 5-speed transmission system was just the perfect addition.  

With cross country tours and huge must-see shows all summer long, muscle car owners these days are leaving their trailers in the driveway and taking their machines on the road in record numbers.  And with power ratings under the hood going up as fast as fuel prices, the transmissions that came stock in most of the cars we love are just not up to the challenge of a 100+ mile trip. Which brings us to the heart of this story, the need for an overdrive transmission to help all these enthusiastic drivers cover lots of miles with a minimum of fuel consumption, engine wear and noise induced mental pain.

A 5-speed is a perfect match for a cool street car such as this Second-Gen F-Body.  Big rolling stock and big binders add to the performance of this road warrior.

To show how easy it is to inject a late-model gearbox into a classic street machine we came across this cool donor car -- a totally gorgeous and original 1971 RS/SS Camaro. This hot rod is considered by many to be the finest body ever to wear the legendary Camaro nameplate and this example does not disappoint.  Purchased a year ago to promote owner Terry Anderson’s Performance Products store, this car has been packed with every performance upgrade available.  And to accentuate that performance, no cost was spared in the looks department, as well!

Sunglasses are needed under the hood as every nut, bolt and bracket is chromed or polished to a blazing finish.  Polished Torque Thrust Wheels (17x7 front and 17x9 rear) carry the shine from the hood to the outside world. Aggressive tires with plenty of sidewall give just the right stance to this awesome silver and black beast.   Inside, the car features a factory replacement black interior and a trick Covan Classic dash filled with AutoMeter Ultra-Lght gauges.   A flawless Quartz Silver Metallic paint job with black SS stripes perfectly ties the whole car together.

There’s more than enough power on tap to propel this Camaro from stoplight to stoplight.  The clean 454-inch Rat fits nicely between the silver fenders and the Keisler 5-speed will only enhance its driving pleasure -- and most certainly increase fuel economy.

With a built 454-inch Rat Motor breathing through oval port heads, an Edelbrock Performer intake, Holley 750, and a thumpin’ 630”lift/306-degree duration bumpstick this car has plenty of go-power to match all of its show.  The horses are put to the street through a Chevy 10-bolt Posi hung with a complement of Hotchkis rear suspension components. Hotchkis parts can be found under the front of the car too. Massive cross-drilled power disc brakes at all four corners scrub speed off of this fast mover when the need arises.