photos by: Brandon Burrell
This Sinister Camaro is a Rolling Test Bed of Power
In the last fourteen years that F-body production has ceased, the love for the cars hasn’t wavered or waned. The way we build them today may be quite a bit different, but with enthusiasts like Kyle McWhite in the foray, the popularity will remain constant for years to come. Of course we’re not talking about another average, everyday, bolt-on Bright Red Metallic F-body, here, either.
Because as you can see by the images featured, quite a lot of work has gone into this car to differentiate it from the hordes of head/cam cars of year’s past. Under that matte black body is a boosted, iron block 6-liter based LSx with just under 900 hp to the rear tires. No, she’s not housing a snail in the engine compartment, but what lies beneath is even more interesting. As many of you know, it’s normally quite difficult to squeeze a Roots-type supercharger underneath the cowl of a 4th-generation F-body.
However, our friends at Hawks Motorsports have figured a way around this little formality, and fit the very Camaro that you’re looking at on this page, with a Magnuson TVS 2300 blower. Before we get into the juicy tech details of Kyle’s Camaro, we must first reflect back on the journey he has taken with his car.
“I picked up this car back in January of 2006, six months before I graduated high school,” Kyle tells us. “Prior to purchasing it, I had owned a ’96 V6 Camaro with an automatic — it’s the car that turned me on to Camaro and F-bodies in general. I had to beg my Dad to help me get it because I needed a co-signer art the time.”
He continued, “Finally, he gave in and picked it up one day while I was in class. Before he gave me the keys, he told me if ‘I knew it was that dang fast!'” He was nervous about handing over the keys to a young and inexperienced driver at the time, but I think I’ve earned his trust since then. That was one of the first and best memories I have of this car.” Kyle has since taken his Camaro from a bone stock, 13-second car to what it is today, from the ground up.
Starting with the engine, the OEM 5.7L LS1 has seen exit left and has been replaced with an LQ4 iron block foundation, stuffed with a Wiseco crankshaft and pistons, attached to a set of Eagle connecting rods. A pair of Mast Motorsports 245cc cylinder heads sit on top of the block, while LS7 rocker arms side inside of the ported castings. When paired with a custom-ground Hawks blower cam further compliments the long-block, the combination is perfectly suited for the highly-boosted supercharger. The combination of a 4.030×4.00 bore/stroke provides a grand total of 408 cubic-inches
The outside oxygen is fed through a K&N filter, 2-Bar MAF and a 102mm Nick Williams throttle body, limiting restrictions as much as possible. Expelling the spent exhaust gases, are Kooks 1-7/8 inch diameter long-tube headers and X-pipe attached to Hawks’ own Sinister 4-inch exhaust system. For those that don’t know, Hawks has branched out recently, offering one-off performance components to their customers under the Sinister label. Kyle’s car has quite a few Sinister components on his car, as he’s not only a customer, but he’s an employee of Hawks Motorsports as well. Needless to say, he picked the brain of Mr. Bruce Hawkins himself more than once.
Both fuel and spark have been upgraded as well. GM LSA coil packs, MSD wires, NGK TR6 plugs, Walbro 255 in-tank pumps (x2), 1000cc injectors and a Trick Flow regulator, providing 43.5-psi. round out the details on the business end of the powerplant.
The trick to getting the Maggie to squeeze under the overhang/cowl of the Camaro, with a slight modification to the cowl, was a unique combination of a 1-inch spacer from Hawks, in addition to a Left Coast 32 inlet. Other features include Hawks-derived intercooler with twin SPAL fans — which is needed when you’re cranking out 16-psi. It definitely provides an alternative to adapting to a centrifugal blower or a turbo kit if you’re looking for boost.
Sitting squarely behind the blown 6-liter, is a Tremec Magnum T-56, Mantic 9000 twin-disc clutch and a Mantic flywheel. A 3-inch chromoly driveshaft connects the T-56 to the Hawks 8.8-inch rearend. Stuffed with 3.73 gears, Moser 31-spline axles and a spool this Camaro is ready for action, with no weak points to speak of.
Keeping the car glued to the pavement is a section of suspension parts from the Hawks/Sinister brand; including a Panhard bar, torque arm and rear LCAs. A pair of stock sway bars reside inlace, although Sinister subframe connectors tie the unibody together. Aiding in both handling and traction are a set of Eibach springs, Lakewood rear shocks and KYB AGX struts.
Rolling stock consists of stock 17×9 Camaro SS wheels up front, and Weld Racing Vitesse in 15×10-inch diameter out back, wrapped in Nitto NT05 and Mickey Thompson ET Street rubber, respectively. Much-needed Wildwood six-piston SLR brakes and stock binders out back bring the car to a halt on demand.
On the inside, it’s pretty much standard-issue 1999 Camaro Z28 on the inside, while the only notable addition inside the cockpit consists of an AutoMeter/Spek fuel pressure and boost gauges, a rear seat delete, along with two Corbeau racing seats up front. For anyone who knows how unsupportive the stock bucket seats are in these cars, knows how beneficial the suede Corbeaus can be.
And last but not least, the original black hue that was applied to the car when it left the factory is still there, albeit, under a layer of matte clear coat from PPG. There are one or two body mods, including a Hawks SS-style rear spoiler, a VFN Sunoco hood and rather noticeably, the rear quarters have been widened for a wide-body look, and to house those massive rear rollers.
The overall treatment to the exterior, interior and under the hood all lend a peak as to where the 4th-gen hobby is going, as well as where the next generation enthusiasts are taking them. If Kyle’s car is of any indication, we think the 4th-gen cars will continue to remain relevant and popular well into the next decade.
- CAR: 1999 Chevrolet Camaro Z28
- OWNER: Kyle McWhite
- ENGINE BLOCK: LQ4 6.0L block
- CRANKSHAFT: Wiseco; K1
- PISTONS: Wiseco
- CONNECTING RODS: Eagle
- CAMSHAFT: Hawk Motorsports; Sinister blower cam
- CYLINDER HEADS: Mast Motosports 245cc, LS7 rocker arms
- COMPRESSION RATIO: 9.0:1
- INDUCTION: K&N filter, Nick Williams 102mm throttle body
- POWER ADDER: Magnuson TXS 2300 w/Hawks 1-inch spacer and Left Coast 32 inlet
- BOOST: 16-psi.
- IGNITION: LSA coil packs, MSD 8.5 mm wires, NGK TR6
- EXHAUST: Kooks 1-7/8 inch diameter long-tube headers and X-pipe, Sinister 4-inch exhaust
- FUEL DELIVERY: Walbro 255 in-tank pumps (x2), 1000cc injectors, Trick Flow regulator, 43.5-psi.
- OILING: Melling pump, stock pan
- TUNING: Hawks Motorsports; stock ECU tuned by CWB
- TRANSMISSION: Magnum T-56
- CLUTCH: Mantic 9000 Twin-Disc
- SHIFTER: Hawks billet short-throw
- DRIVESHAFT: 3-inch chromoly
- REAREND: Hawks 8.8-inch; 3.73 gears, Moser 31-spline axles, spool
- SUSPENSION: KYB AGX shock (front), Lakewood drag shocks (rear), Eibach springs (front and rear), Hawks/Sinister subframe connectors, Panhard bar, torque arm, rear LCAs and stock sway bars
- CHASSIS MODIFICATIONS: Driveshaft safety loop, subframe connectors
- BRAKES: Wildwood six-piston SLR (front), stock drilled/slotted rotors (rear)
- WHEELS: Camaro SS ten-spoke (17×9, front) Weld Vitesse (15×10, rear)
- TIRES: Nitto NT05 (275/40/17), Mickey Thompson ET Street-R (325/50/15)
- HP/TQ.: 860/800 (on 16-psi.)
- BEST 1/4-MILE ET: Unknown
Rick Seitz is the owner and founder of GMEFI Magazine, and has a true love and passion for all vehicles. When he isn’t tuning, testing, or competing with the brand’s current crop of project vehicles, he’s busy tinkering and planning the next modifications for his own cars.