1989 Chevy Camaro IROC-Z – More Modern Muscle
With the rapidly increasing popularity of next gen muscle cars like Shaun Norton’s 1989 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z, the aftermarket companies have fully embraced the muscle car evolution. The love for these boxy yet sexy machines with a relatively cheap price tag is tangible. It’s no wonder you’re seeing more and more next-gen American iron show up at your local cruise night or track day.
Shaun is the proud owner of this Camaro IROC-Z which he purchased with the heavy influence from his girlfriend (now wife) Mindy 18 years ago. She happened to be driving by a Chevy dealership in Minnesota and without today’s instant technology she had to explain to him what she had seen, convincing him it was too cool to pass up.
A deal was made and Shaun and Mindy were the proud new parents of the Bright Blue Poly IROC Z. To say this car had all the bells and whistles, well would be an outright lie. The Camaro started life as one of the worst-optioned IROC’s according to Shaun. No T-Tops, no power windows, no power seats, no fancy stereo, a 2:73 open rear end with drum brakes on 15″ wheels. The good news is Shaun is a mechanic by trade giving him a perfect opportunity to bring the Z into the modern world with gratuitous grip and hopped up horsepower.
The anemic 305 TBI was tossed in the dumpster for a 2002 5.3L LM7 with an LS1 intake and all the goodies to go along with it. Shaun then added a 70MM turbo to make it a little feistier. The factory 700R4 was tossed aside for a 4L60 with 4L65 hard parts. Now that the go-fast goodies were up to Shaun’s satisfaction it was time to upgrade the suspension and stopping distance.
Underneath, he uses ground control weight jacks on all four corners as well as strut housings. Koni struts control the ride while Founders Performance control arms, adjustable panhard bar and lower control arm help make those twisty Colorado mountain roads that the Norton’s call home a joy to drive.
A set of STR Racing 514 wheels wrapped in Hankook tires give the Camaro IROC Z the grip it needed. Stopping power is a combination of Baer C4hd 13″ two-piece rotors with Baer C4hd calipers with custom-made hubs up front as well as modified O.E. spindles to fit the brake and strut housings. In the rear, Shaun retrofitted 11″ 4th Gen Camaro brakes to bring things to a halt.
Being that Shaun did all the work himself in his garage, there’s always something to improve upon. This was also the first time he’s played with a turbo so it’s not as efficient as he’d like. So, redoing the exhaust side of the turbo as well as an E85 speed density tune is also on the list of future mods. Shaun also builds custom and stand-alone LSX wiring harnesses on the side – A new endeavor aptly named MULLETMACHINE Motorsports (@mulletmachinemotorsports). If you’re in the market, look him up!