I'm proud to annouce our August ROTM Winner. Doug may be gone from us, but he will never be forgotten.
Here's the story behind Doug's 1974 Type LT / Z28
Some folks reading this may not know that the former Western Michigan Camaro Club president, Doug Warren, owned a 1974 Z28 Type LT that he bought brand new. Back in "the day" this car was undoubtedly one of the cleanest and coolest Camaros around. Factory Midnight Blue Metallic with a custom tri-color hood graphic and pin striping. Lowered, IROC front spoiler and American Racing 200S wheels, she was all set up for the Solo II racing events at Grattan Raceway and other venues that Doug enjoyed entering.
Turns out that the day he took delivery in July of 1974 was an eventful day. To quote Doug, Sometimes you don't realize what a profound effect a decision you make will have on the rest of your life". You see, the following year Doug joined forces with a few other local Camaro enthusiasts, and they founded the Western Michigan Camaro Club. So without buying this very car, the WMCC likely would not still exist today. The shows and events that WMCC host and help with, would not exist in their present form. More importantly, instead of the wonderful friendships that we have, most of us would never have met. All of which makes you realize that this Z is the single most important car in WMCC history! Which in turn makes it part of Camaro history itself.
So what has became of this icon? In 1985 Doug bought a new IROC-Z Camaro. A year later he hatched a plan to turn the '74 into an all out showcar. One to compete with the countries finest. During the winter of 1986 the Z was completely disassembled and put on a home made rotisserie. Likely not something many people had 20 years ago. The firewall and undercarriage were detailed and painted in a '78 GM bright blue metallic to contrast the dark blue body finish. At only 48,000 original miles the L-82 motor was torn down and rebuilt. It was balanced and blue printed. A larger cam was installed. The heads were ported, polished and port matched.
For you see, life has a way of catching up to you. Things happen that are completely out of your control. Doug became very ill and ultimately had a liver transplant in 1990. And suddenly it seems, there is never enough time, never enough money, never enough space. I think most of us know this feeling. The proud '74 Z28 Type LT sat on the rotisserie, much the way it did in 1986 for 20+ years. But the project was never far from Doug's mind. I have known Doug since 1996. Every year he haD talked about getting the project going again. In 2005 he even started buying parts again, including a T-56 six speed tranny. But again, things happen and projects are moved to the back burner.
so this brings us to the next phase Project DZ74!!!
Doug's Z28 1974 was a piece of Camaro history that need to be brought back to the glory that it was intended to be.
The Western Michigan Camaro Club, in conjunction with sponsors Berger Chevrolet, GMMG, and Parks Automotive, and many members of WMCC committed to giving Doug a helping hand in bringing this project to completion. Plans for the car had changed a bit in the last 20+ years. Plans now call for serious suspension upgrades, 17" wheels and the 6 speed. In addition to showing the Z, it would be driven, a lot! That is what WMCC does as a club... we drive our cars. We attend several events each year that involve 1000 miles or more including Hot Rod Power Tour. Doug was also excited about the prospect of returning the car to Grattan Raceway for some "hot laps".
I'd like to add that when we announced the project at our February 2006 club meeting, that Doug was completely shocked; as he had NO idea any of this was being planned. A few club members and even Doug's own daughter had been conspiring against him. We talked to our sponsors, arranged for some of the work to be done and arranged for storage to free up room to work on the car. All before we asked Doug to let us help. How could he say no?
Think of it as "Overhaulin" except we didn't do it in 7 days and the owner had complete input and control over the car!
We finished the Doug's Camaro for the most part in 2009, we still had many things he wanted to do to it (Air conditioning & Fuel Injection just to name a few things) but at this point at lease he could take it out and enjoy it.
Unfortunately we lost Doug in Dec of 2010. Doug was a great friend and will always be missed.
so a little about the car...
It has Approx. 50,000 original miles, never driven in the winter.
Original L-82 350V8 with a Comp Cams 268H cam, Edelbrock Performer intake manifold, Crane Magnum roller tip rocker arms. Balanced, blueprinted, bored .030 over for 355 cu. in. now. Street ported heads and port matching on intake side and exhaust side. Aluminun radiator with dual electric fans. Cyclone AR-1 headers with HPC coating. Pypes stainless steel exhaust with transverse muffler and X pipe.
Global West tubular upper and lower control arms, QA-1 adjustable coil over shocks. Global West solid aluminum sub-frame mounts and Global West weld in sub-frame connectors. Chris Alston Chassisworks G-braces. Hotchkis Sport rear leaf springs. Team III "minilite" wheels. 17X8 F. & 17X9 R. BF Goodrich G-Force TA KDW tires.
T-56 6 speed transmission, aluminum drive shaft, 3.73 gears. SSBC disc brakes front and rear. Fully detailed undercarridge.
Paint by Berger Chevrolet. IROC (race car style) front spoiler........... and built with "a little help from his friends".