What: 2002 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 SS
Where: Stringer, Mississippi
Already a drag racer for years, Kirk Thornton has spent plenty of time behind the wheel of a dedicated drag car…but after having a son, like so many of us, things start to take higher notches on the priority list. Add in a nasty backfire that scared his young son half to death, followed by a “Dad, I love you and don’t want you to get hurt” Kirk knew it was time to tone it down a bit.
Starting with a 2002 Camaro that resembled more of a derby car than a street car, Kirk was turned onto the F-body by a friend and after the exchange of $500 bucks, a tow home and a good bath, he knew this was the car that he could build and balance the love for his family with his passion for speed.
Getting started with suspension, Kirk swiped the credit card and decided to install a full UMI adjustable suspension system complete with their K-member, control arms, Panhard and torque arms, and attached it to a Quick Performance 9-inch rear with 3.70 gears sporting 35-spline Mosier axles suspended with Viking shocks to help get the power to the ground. In front of the suspension was a RPM Stage-6 4L60E transmission fitted with a ATI 3800rpm converter in order to blend performance with good street manners.
Powering the ’02 4th-Gen is a 6.0L LS with Wiesco 12.5:1 slugs, Custom Perkins Camshaft, shaved and polished 243 heads with grunion upgrades. A LS6 intake with 36lb injectors help deliver fuel, and a set of Texas Speed stainless headers help her breath. Now not being a dedicated track car Kirk left the AC, Power Steering and cruise control all intact so the car would be functional as well and fun to drive on longer outings.
The Camaro sits on 1320 Wheels 17×4.5s in the front and deadlock 15x10s in the back fitted with Mikey Thompson drag radials…upgraded voters and brakes help bring things to a stop. After all the go-fast, fun stuff was done, it was time to make it pretty…Kirk had the car painted the factory silver and added the VFN hood and a few other exterior goodies to make her as fun to look at, as it is to drive.
Now Kirk’s Camaro may not be the fastest f-body out there, and it may not be the nicest, but Kirk deserves the credit that even though he hung up his race suit to put family first, he did not loose his passion for speed and his passion for having a nice ride to hit the street with…now we can only hope the drag race bug bites his son some time in the future, and maybe we will see this silver bullet fire from a different gun?