The automotive world doesn’t talk about girls who love classic muscle cars. It can be misinterpreted and construed. However, there are lots of female owners who’ve become famous through their V8 ownership, such as “Chevy Chick” Laura and her 1973 Camaro called “Olive.”
Laura knew what kind of car she wanted. Not a first-generation Ford Mustang, because everybody gets that as their first muscle car; it’s too stereotypical. Instead, she focused her attention on the 2nd-generation Chevrolet Camaro.
She fell in love with these slightly later muscle car models that have a unique body design, even though they come from the 1970s, which is not traditionally the best muscle car vintage. Laura found this one for sale on Autotrader and it slowly turned into this build, the focus of today’s AutotopiaLA highlight video.
The Camaro didn’t look too different from what it does today but it was pretty stock in the power train department. It had a re-built 350 motor, which she kept and drove for the next three months. Also, the 73 Camaro came from the start with this stylish front clip which triggers people to say that it’s a 1971 model. Another subtle upgrade: the 1970 rear spoiler.
The Camaro looked fast from the start, so people were trying to race “Olive” at the lights, but the 350 just wasn’t cutting it. That’s why Laura decided to do an engine swap and all the necessary upgrades that come with it.
The replacement motor arrived in the form of a 454 LSX. It’s apparently stock for the most part, but it does put out just under 600 horsepower to the rear tires. The Tremec T56 seems like a natural choice to handle this kind of power and still be fun (manual). Considering this is a 1973 Camaro, we’re not surprised this has a suspension upgrade from Speedtech, since they’re so popular. This includes the front subframe and torque arm in the rear.
Brakes have become the main talking point of Autotopia videos. This Chevy now has Wilwood-powered brakes with ventilated and cross-drilled rotors.
Laura learned how to drive on her dad’s old army surplus Jeep. Her first legally-owned car was a 2000 Volkswagen Beetle, followed by an old Nissan 350Z. The RWD performance bug bit after that.