Anatomy of a Street Racer: 1967 Chevy Camaro SS 396 Clone

Steve Gray’s 1967 Camaro SS 396 is a genuine throwback to the ’80s, exuding a raw street racer attitude that captivates all who see it. Unlike modern science-project cars, this Camaro keeps it simple with a potent big-block/nitrous combo that harks back to a time when grudge racing was an art. There are no extravagant carbon-fiber body parts or high-tech gadgets here—just a street car built for racing in the middle of nowhere.

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The Birth of a Clone

Gray’s ’67 Camaro started as a blank canvas, devoid of an engine and transmission. As an aerospace industry supplier, Gray had the means to transform this car into a six-figure Pro Mod beast. However, he chose to remain true to the old-school spirit and decided on a more down-to-earth approach. He transformed a run-of-the-mill small-block car into a stunning SS 396 clone with attention to every detail.

002 1967 chevy camaro ss396 pit stall

Under the Hood Is the Heart of a Beast

Don’t be fooled by the classic appearance; this Camaro houses a beastly heart. The 454 block, disguised as a 396, packs forged pistons, AFR 305cc aluminum heads, and a specially ported Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake. The powertrain conceals street-racing upgrades, including a Comp roller cam, a nitrous system, and Hooker Super Comp headers. The result is a monstrous 586 horsepower on motor alone, and even more with the nitrous engaged.

006 1967 chevy camaro ss396 engine compartment

It’s More Street Than Race

Gray walks a fine line between street and race in his ’67 Camaro SS 396. The overdrive automatic transmission, posi rearend, and stock-style water pump favor street drivability. The factory leaf springs with CalTracs bars and weld-in subframe connectors enhance stability during launches. Although it’s no full-on race car, this Camaro can still pull off impressive times on the track.

008 1967 chevy camaro ss396 staging lanes (2)

Street Racing … but Not by Choice

Living in an area with dwindling legal racing venues, Gray’s options for legal racing are limited. Southern California’s track closures have left many racers seeking alternative places to quench their thirst for speed. Gray and his fellow racers often venture to remote spots, such as the windmills in the high desert, Chuckwalla Airstrip, or the Tulare cornfields. These hidden gems offer enough space and safety for adrenaline-fueled grudge races.

009 1967 chevy camaro ss396 interior


Steve Gray’s 1967 Chevy Camaro SS 396 Clone proves that true street racing spirit endures, even in a changing world. With a budget-oriented approach and unwavering dedication, Gray has built a captivating street racer that pays homage to the past while thrilling in the present. The need for safe places to race is a rallying call for the racing community, hoping for more opportunities to unleash their passion legally.

013 1967 chevy camaro ss396 front right top


Is the 1967 Camaro SS 396 Clone a real SS model? No, it is a cloned SS model, meticulously designed to resemble the original, with first-generation Camaro options.

How much power does the Camaro’s big-block engine generate? The 454 big-block engine produces a mighty 586 horsepower on motor alone, and with nitrous, it’s even more potent.

What are some of the famous street racing spots for enthusiasts like Steve Gray? Steve frequents places like the windmills in the high desert, Chuckwalla Airstrip, and the Tulare cornfields for thrilling grudge races.

Is the Camaro built for racing or street driving? Gray’s Camaro SS 396 clone strikes a balance between street and race, with an overdrive transmission and posi rearend for street drivability.

Why are safe racing venues disappearing in California? The closure of several racetracks, including Fontana, Riverside, and Pomona, has limited legal racing opportunities, leading racers to seek alternatives.

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