Every once in a while we will run across a genuinely nice car at the dragstrip. Typically, racecars are not ‘show cars’, and for good reason. Racers just want to go fast; heavy parts are scrapped, shortcuts are taken, and usually, the paint and bodies of these cars are not in the best shape. However, this is not necessarily the case at TX2K. There’s always an abundance of beautiful cars at this race, with the majority being high-end street/race machines.
As we were cruising around the rain-soaked pits at the Houston Raceway Park, we stumbled across the 2010 Camaro SS of Larry Dye. With the heavy overcast skies, the car was a little subdued due to the color and lighting. However, upon further inspection, this car was clean, and the attention to detail was second to none.
Larry is a Veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and is currently an IT Systems Engineer out of Houston. He has owned some very high-profile cars in the past, including a custom 2007 Turbo Porsche Cayman, 2018 Mercedes AMG C63S, and a 2011 Lexus ISF. With all of these import cars under his belt, why build a Camaro?
Once I get into something, I tend to go all in. – Larry Dye
Larry said, “In 2009 the Camaro had just been brought back to the market, and I hadn’t had one since my 1982 Z28 back in high school. At this point, I was old enough to afford this expensive hobby; it kind of just happened. Once I get into something, I tend to go all in.”
We can tell you that Larry did in fact, go all in. The one-owner 2010 Camaro only registers 11,800 miles on the odometer — but with the low miles comes a plethora of high-performance modifications that are sure to raise a few eyebrows.
Larry got into racing due to the popularity of the fifth-gen Camaro and the people around him. He states, “I attribute my racing career to the massive car scene that exploded around the new Camaro, and the people that I met ended up feeding my enthusiasm.” Larry continues, “In particular, my best friend Owen Priest, who is a brilliant chemical engineer who also ran a performance shop for almost two decades. He’s the evil genius behind the evolution of my car, though my penchant for perfection has been a major pain in his ass along the way!”
The engine was built by Advanced Racing Dynamics, which started the build with a Dart LS Next block utilizing a 4.125-inch bore and 4.0-inch stroke, for 427 cubic-inches of fury. The rotating assembly was built to be bulletproof with the use of a Callies Magnum crankshaft mated to Callies Ultra H-beam rods and a set of custom Diamond Racing pistons. The compression ratio is a moderate 10:1, which serves the car well on the street or at the track. A COMP Cams hydraulic camshaft was used, with the duration at .050 measuring .232 on the intake and .244 on the exhaust. The lift for the bumpstick is .660 on the intake and .660 on the exhaust, with a Lobe Separation Angle (LSA) of 114.
The cylinder heads for the 427 are manufactured by LSX Racing and are set up for the six-bolt provision on the LS Next Block. The aluminum heads have LS7 ports, Del West Titanium 2.20-inch intake valves, and a set of Manley Performance Inconel 1.61-inch exhaust valves. Larry decided to use the factory rockers with a COMP Cams Trunion upgrade for added dependability. Advanced Racing Dynamics handled the assembly of the heads, as well.
Larry decided to stick with the stock ECU for now. The engine gets its fuel from a set of 1650cc Fuel Injector Clinic (FIC) injectors, two Fuelab HE series fuel pumps, and a Weldon Racing fuel pressure regulator set a 55 psi.
For the induction side of the engine, a Precision Metal Craft intake takes care of the air distribution to the heads. The intake features LS7 ports and short runners. A stock LS2 throttle body and a stock Mass Air Sensor (MAS) were also used in conjunction with the intake manifold.
The fifth-gen still has the stock ignition driving the engine, including the stock coils and plug wires. Larry is running a set of NGK plugs in the 427.
The Camaro has its share of power adders, including a nitrous system and a pair of turbos. The nitrous system is a Cold Fusion single nozzle unit that is jetted at 75 horsepower to the get the Camaro rolling off the line. It also acts as a liquid intercooler as it drops the air intake temperatures when activated.
A twin-turbo system was a custom-built unit that uses the factory exhaust manifolds and 2.5-inch piping for the hot side. A pair of Hybrid 63/66 Precision Turbo ball bearing turbos cram the air into the 427, while dual Tial 50mm wastegates deplete the boost at anything over 28 psi. A 3-inch downpipe gets the exhaust gasses out of the turbos and to the atmosphere. The cold side consists of a custom Griffin intercooler, dual Tial Q series blowoff valves, and 2-inch piping.
Larry ditched the factory six-speed transmission in favor of a custom 4L80E transmission built by Advanced Racing Dynamics. A 3800 RPM stall speed Circle D Specialties billet 265mm Pro-Series torque converter connects to the engine with a Raptor SFI-rated flexplate. To keep the 4L80 cool when the Jake’s transbrake is activated, Advanced Racing Dynamics added two auxiliary transmission coolers.
The rear end and suspension in the Camaro are just as clean as the rest of the car. The Independent Rear Suspension (IRS) was also removed from the vehicle and replaced with a Moser Engineering solid axle conversion with a Fab 9 housing. The axle has a Wavetrac differential, 33-spline axles, and a set of 3.70 gears. A set of AFCO racing Big Gun X Twin Tube shocks dampen the rear of the car, while the AFCO 14-inch 150-pound springs keep it at the proper ride height. The front of the Camaro employs a set of Strange Engineering fifth-gen COPO shocks for a smooth landing when the car returns to Earth after a hard launch.
Larry liked the look of the Weld Alumastar forged wheels – 17 x 4.5-inch wheels were used on the front and hide a set of Baer Extreme 6S brakes and are wrapped with a set of M&H Racemaster frontrunners measuring 4.5 x 28 x 17. A set of Weld Alumastar forged 15 x 10-inch beadlock wheels fit the bill on the back of the Camaro, with a set of Mickey Thompson ET Street Radial Pro 275/60R15 or 315/60R15 tires depending on the class rules. Wilwood rear brakes are used to slow the car down on the street and the track.
The body is currently the original color of Cyber Gray with metallic black stripes/accents that were added. Other body modifications include Oracle LED side mirrors, turn signals markers, ZL1 front end,, carbon-fiber hood, carbon fiber trunk lid, GM ground effects on the side and rear of the car, and roof panel was swapped for non-sunroof version. S&T Auto Paint out of Katy, Texas took care of the paint and bodywork.
With this much work and effort put into the Camaro, it was only natural for Larry to get creative on the interior, as well. He decided on leather seats with carbon fiber inserts, suede headliner and pillars, Fesler two-gauge pillar pod, LED accent door panels and dash, model badging stitched in headrests, Drake Muscle Car billet pedal covers, a boost gauge, air/fuel ratio gauge, and a shift light. For added safety, Larry added a mild steel roll bar, five-point harness, and a fire extinguisher.
The Camaro has run a best 1/4-mile at 9.45-seconds at 148 mph with a 1.54 short time. The engine makes 1,300 horsepower and 1,300 lb-ft of torque to the tires.
Larry has some more modifications on the way for the fifth-gen, too.
“It’s been an ongoing project for ten years, and we’re about to take it to another level. We are planning to remove some weight and then add a Holley Dominator EFI, a Rossler Turbo 400 transmission, CO2 boost controller, parachute, upgrade the roll cage, and do some wiring work to the rear of the car. We want wheelies and an 8-second timeslip.” When asked what his favorite thing about the Camaro is, Larry said, “I love the ridiculous power, the color, the overall look.”
We do too!
Larry would like to thank his wife for putting up with this expensive and addictive hobby, and his buddy Owen for fueling his hobby and making the car go fast. He also thanked all of his friends for coming out to see him race and work as unpaid pit crew.
The amount of time and attention put into this Camaro is impressive, and the result is phenomenal. This is one of the few cars that we’ve seen that would be just as at home at a racetrack as it would be in a car show. We expect to see Larry well into the eights very, very soon.