Chevrolet Camaro Custom SS572 Convertible
Chevrolet introduced big block engines to passenger cars in 1958 with the 348. Enlarged to 409 cubic inches in 1961 and refined as the Mark IV 396 in 1965, it was first applied to a mid-size car in the Chevelle SS396 of 1966. Available with either 325 or 350 brake horsepower, it was Chevrolet’s first muscle car.
When the Camaro, Chevy’s pony car, came out in 1967, it had the same wide range of engines as competitor Mustang, from a 230-cubic inch six to a 375 brake horsepower 396. During the golden age of Detroit muscle, 1968 to 1970, this was the largest engine available in a Camaro, although big Chevys could be ordered that year with a 390 brake horsepower 454. With the availability of big blocks in sizes to 572 cubic inches, it is natural to wonder what a super big block Camaro would look like.
In fact, it would look like this: beginning with an original sport coupe chassis, a new Camaro convertible body was added. For power, a 572-cubic inch crate engine was selected, and neither effort nor expense were spared in creating what might be called an SS572.
As one might expect, lifting the hood reveals a big block engine whose red valve covers proclaim “572 Chevrolet.” There is much polished aluminum and modern features, like a serpentine belt drive and power steering, brakes, and air conditioning. Big-bore Lemons headers take care of the exhaust. Painted black with white SS stripes, the car is immaculate with excellent contours and paint. The brightwork is very good but restrained, as the car is a bit of a sleeper. Only chrome American Racing 18-wheels with Nitto Extreme tires give it away, although a close look at the “572” front fender emblems and the cowl hood reveals that it means business.
The cockpit is upholstered in white with black piping, a theme reprised on the console. The black-on-white Auto Meter gauges, with red pointers, reveal the car’s vital signs, and a tilt column adjusts the leather-rim aluminum sport steering wheel. A modern stereo system is provided for entertainment and power windows for convenience. The white vinyl top is covered by a soft white leather boot when lowered.
The requisite white SS badges appear on the grille and rear valence. Underneath, the car is exceptionally clean. Technology is wonderful. With the wide array of components available today, any car can be built up to suit an owner’s desire. This excellent “SS572” is testament to that idea, but it is done beyond show condition and show quality, and as such, we encourage close inspection.
620 bhp, 572 cu. in. OHV V-8 engine, three-speed automatic transmission, coil spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with coil-over-shock trailing arms, and four-wheel power hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 108.1 in.
Part of the RM Auctions event for John Staluppi in December, 2012.
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Teddy Pieper