MadMike's 1973 Z28 Camaro
The Maciolek Family's 1973 Z28 Camaro

Above : View on March 2003. Still under construction.
Click picture to view full size

Jump to: Drive Train Specs | Interior Info | Exterior Info | Bodywork photo gallery | Misc Photos

Welcome to 2002 and the 3rd or 4th version of this page. Now that I'm able to work on this car again and I have something to show, I figured I'd reorganize the various sections to make reading about it a little more interesting.

I bought my 1973 Z28 back in November 1997. I got nostalgic and was wanting an older car like I had when I was younger - my 1970 Rally Sport. I had turned my 1980 Z28 into a drag car and wanted something for street use. One requirement for my new car was it had to be a Z28 and it had to be a 4 speed. Well, this is what I got. This car looked pretty good upon quick inspection. It's required a bunch of work and a lot of parts (not to mention a whole lot of money).

Originally, I was going to restore this car and have it be a nice driver, but then I thought about the situation I was in and decided I should put my drag racing stuff into this car, and turn my 1980 Z28 back into a "regular" street machine. You can read the whole sorry story by clicking the Background & Restoration Story link here. I wasted a fair amount of time and effort. I started out with a Restoration Plan I just didn't stick to it.

At first I wasn't sure I'd be able to drive this car on the street the way I was setting it up, but I'm associated with Joel Rosen and have known about his (Motion Performance) cars for many years which were streetable (sort of), and I've met a few people who can drive tempermental monsters on the street occasionally. While most drag cars are automatic transmission jobs, I think the 4 speed will add to the fun, excitement and versatility of the car. Regardless of how I try and hide stuff, this car will be a ground pounding monster.

Primary Original Options: Z28 - Special Performance Package, N40 - Power Steering, J50 - Power Brakes, U14 - Special Instrumentation, F41 - Special Suspension, Z21 - Style Trim Group.
Also: AK1, D35, D55, D80, D88, Z54.

Most of the above information came from my observation and some detective work. I've modified this car to suit me and how I intend on using the car. This includes adding/removing some options (power steering) and making the car look how I want it (Rally Sport Nose). Notice how I don't call my car a "Rally Sport". It looks like one, but it's not - it's "just" a Z28.

fender Dannys racecar Nose view

My 1973 Z28 Drivetrain Specifications:
When I bought my 1973 Z28 it didn't come with an engine. I had a couple extra engines laying around so that wasn't a big deal. Also, since the original engine is missing, I don't have to worry about screwing up an original piece. Once I decided I was going to drag race this car, I pulled the 454 out of my 80Z and got it ready to drop into this car. This car came with a close-ratio Muncie (the original trans) and a 12 bolt rear end with 4.88 gears.

The engine is patterned after a typical Super Gas/Super Street (9.90/10.90 index) engine. Since I'm not after maximum ET, I don't have fancy cylinder heads. I hope to hit 11's. Estimated horsepower is 600 (ha ha, probably low by 50). Turn the key bitch and lets see what happens.

Engine: 468 CID Big Block Chevy. TRW 12.5:1 forged pistons, steel crank, dimple rods, LS7 Cylinder Heads w/Manley Race flow valves, TCI Rattler dampner.
Other Views: Mini-Starter | Low view of engine | Roller Rocker | front of engine

Transmission: Original M21, Muncie Close Ratio 4 speed, Hurst shifter with a brake line-lock, Lakewood Scattershield. Hayes 2750 # pressure plate & clutch. Boxed shift fork. GM flywheel.
Installed Views: Installed | Drivetrain | rear view | Rear view

I wanted a 4 speed mainly for the fun factor, even though I'm going to primarily be drag racing this car. I can shift. Also, in order to be able to drive on the street, having a clutch rather than a 5000 rpm stall converter in an automatic will make this easier.

Rear End & Suspension: 1970 12 bolt posi (coded COZ), 4.88:1. Competition Engineering subframe connectors & traction bars, 11/16" rear swaybar. Solid aluminum spring mounts, 112# rear leaf springs. Rear view
Wheels, Tires & Front Suspension: Click to view: Moog steering linkage, Moroso drag springs, Gabriel gas shocks. Power Steering replaced with manual steering box. Energy Suspension subframe & control arm bushings.
Wheels & Tires vary, from the full drag setup which is Weld Drag lite wheels with Goodyear Front Runners & MT ET Drag 26 x 10 x 15" Slicks, or the factory 5 spoke wheels, w/235 60 x 15 Goodyear Eagle gold letter tires up front and the slicks on the back.

Exterior Information
Attention Kmart shoppers - while it doesn't look like it - this thing is pretty fxxkin screwed up
View as Obtained
This car is a 1973 Z28 coupe. This meant it came with a full front bumper, with the nerf bars no less. The car had been repainted several times and was still pumpkin orange. I can't stand orange. There was signs of rust here & there, especially underneath the car. The stripes were painted incorrectly. Since I was going to go through everything I didn't let this bother me.

Original Paint Code 97: Medium Orange with white stripes.
Exterior Options: Z21 - Style Trim Group, D35 - dual sport mirrors, D80 - front & rear spoilers, D88 - sport stripes

I'm painting the car artic (or pure) white, with modified black stripes. I'm using a L88 Fiberglass cowl induction hood, not only because it looks cool, but a stock hood won't close with the intake/carb/air cleaner setup I have. You can see everything barely fits under the L88 hood. I was originally going to paint the motion stripes on the car, but I'd like to keep things simple and like the look of the dual stripes down the back. I'm not sure how I want to do the front (hood) stripe, if I want to do the dual stripe or the single stripe out of the hood scoop. To keep people guessing, I'm putting a 1971 Z28 rear bumper on the car. Also this car has an early 70's style spoiler emblem, not a decal. Replacing 1/4 panels
Currently replacing 1/4's

When I got the car, the exterior body looked fairly decent. Upon closer inspection I noticed there were the typical problems (noshitsherlock). Michalangelo had sculpted the rear 1/4's, and some of the bondo was splitting, cracking and rust was coming through. Since the car is mainly a drag race job I figured I could do a quick fix on it and use the car, but upon further review, I'll replace the 1/4 skins and make everything solid.

I put a lot of the bodywork photos into an easier to view gallery.
Bodywork photo gallery

Interior Information
I'm going to keep my interior as stock as possible. I was originally going to put drag seats in but I'll keep the stock seats and install the 5 point harness. I was also going to change the interior color to black, but I'll stay with dark saddle. You'll notice some of the interior components in the car are black. Eventually these will be dyed to saddle. Most of the original saddle interior plastic was dry-rotted or broken.

I waited until I had the car jambed out (painted the door jamb area) to being installing the interior. Now that I got that done, I'm able to begin putting the interior where it belongs and fixing things that need attention. Some of these are: sort out the wiring, install the instruments, find a couple parts & clean everything up nice.

Currently installing the interior
Putting Interior In
I'll wait until I'm finished painting the car before I install the door panels permanently. The roll bar makes working inside the car difficult. You can see that the rear seat area is technically useless. If you could get into the back seat area, it would be dangerous to sit in that area while the car is moving. One lazy shift and your face would eat that cross bar.

Original Interior Code 778: Dark Saddle standard vinal.
Interior Options: N40 - Power Steering (removed), J50 - Power Brakes, U14 - Special Instrumentation, AK1 - seat belts, D55 - console, Z54 - Interior Decor and Quiet Sound Package
Note: The guages are from a 1971 Z28, so the tach reads up to 8000 RPM. Very nice.

I put a deluxe package tray in the car. I made several templates and fitted the templates tight around the rear bars and when I was happy with the fit, I transfered the final template to the package tray and installed it. It looks pretty nice and is tight around the rear bars. I sealed the floor up.

Interior Photos
Interior as obtained | Interior view with dash removed | Underdash wiring, pedals - while replacing dash & steering column
New steering column & wheel | Interior View (6/20/2000) | Dash & Guages
Carpet: Installing carpet | Rear Seats | Console installed | Done for now

Roll bar installation:
Installing roll bar | Another view | Installed | Rear view | trunk view | side panel clearance | roof view

1973 Z28 Photos
Various points in time:
November 1997 (fresh off the trailer) | August 2000 (still torn up) | September 2000 (still outside)
Front view in December 2000 (finally inside) | Rear view
January 2001 | May 2001, Everything's up in the air - literally | June
December 2001: Back home from the shop | side view | Beginning the bodywork

January 2001 Photos - Serious Assembly time:
Yes, we're kicking ass and taking names now. Here I am all loaded up and ready for my ride down to Jeff & Suzette Georges speed shop ( Thunder Performance in Acworth Georgia). I just got rolled into the shop. I'm about to have all sorts of nifty stuff done! I spread all the various pieces parts all over the shop floor so I could see what I had to do. Where do we start? Some assembly required. Bitch. Those expensive Husler Headers don't fit. We just found out that regardless of what we do, they won't fit the GD car. Phone Barnett performance for a set of Hooker Comp's. Jeff is welding some patches on the floor and preparing to install the roll bar. Quitting time - the bitch above better not leak on me. At least it's cozy inside.
old engine view

Misc Assembly Photos:
Suspension Assembly: Compressed drag spring | Installing spring & (Peter Brown's hands) | Front wheel installed | The rearend is sitting there waiting for the subframe connectors to show up (no rush).

6/20/2000 Photos: Interior view with dash removed | Underdash wiring, pedals - while replacing dash & steering column
New steering column & wheel | Interior View | Removing stock front spring | Rear view of car | Rear of car - notice headers (that didn't fit).
Dan the King | Funky Paint but the body is getting solid
TPI Debacle: [Engine bay 9/15 | Engine bay2 9/15 | Engine bay3 9/15]
New Arrival: Right Rear | Front End in place | Right Front | scattershield & subframe | Right Side | Right Side - close up | peek-a-boo | Back End | Side of 1973Z | 73Z interior | 73Z & 83Z | My new 1973 Z28 ]

Last updated: 3/01/2003
Rewritten: 11/24/1999
Author: MadMike Maciolek
Email: [email protected]

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