Ringbrothers’ 1000-hp ’69 Camaro Hits the Streets of L.A.

YouTube/Jay Leno's Garage

At this point in the saga of the LS engine, and with the rising popularity of “restomod” muscle cars, a 1000-horsepower Camaro is nothing new. But a 1000-hp Camaro built by Ringbrothers, roaring around the streets of L.A. with Jay Leno behind the wheel, and one of the Ring brothers sitting shotgun? We’ll brew an extra coffee just to spend 15 minutes watching that video.

A hugely respected name in the world of custom cars, Ringbrothers is based in Spring Green, Wisconsin, and was started by Mike and Jim Ring in 1989. “We used to restore cars,” says Jim, “and it got boring for us because you’d go to a show, and there’d be seven of them just like what you did.”

Safe to say that this Camaro is not your typical ’69.

Ringbrothers stripped the body panels from a stock 1969 Camaro and got to work on the widebody kit you see here: The shop built a precise image of the car using Computer-Aided Design software, machined all the molds for new body panels, and then laid carbon-fiber by hand into those molds. Together, Jim estimates, the quarter panels, roof, fenders, doors, hood, and trunk lid probably weigh about 150 pounds.

Ringbrothers 1969 Camaro Strode

The chassis received a makeover that was almost as thorough. If you pulled the panels off the car, Jim says, you’d recognize the inner structure of a stock Camaro, but everything from the rocker panels down is all hollowed out. The bottom of the car is flat, now, thanks to the installation of twin floor pans. Jim guesstimates that the whole thing weighs 3600 lbs, which might surprise you … if you hadn’t opened the engine or peered into the interior.

A hand-built roll cage runs along the top of the windshield inside the cabin—a remarkable subtle integration. “I’m not banging my head!” Leno says.

Leno is sitting in one of a pair of bucket seats upholstered in orange-tan, pleated leather. The same material swathes the dashboard, the console, the door cards, even part of the door sills and every exposed bit of the fuel tank commanding the trunk. The Camaro in the 1960s could never justify such luxury—nevermind the Ringbrothers-specific steering wheel, covered in crushed carbon fiber. The placement of the Dakota Digital gauges nods to the original design, however, and the cue-ball shifter is another retro touch.

Ringbrothers 1969 Camaro Strode engine wegner whipple supercharged

Neither the transmission nor the engine, however, is retro in the least—except in the number of cylinders. An LS3 built by Wegner Motorsports, another Wisconsin shop, the 376-cubic-inch mill is topped with a 2.9-liter Whipple supercharger and backed by a Tremec T-56 six-speed manual. It exhales through a Flowmaster 44 SS exhaust with headers custom-built by Ringbrothers. Six-piston brake calipers by Baer at each corner bring everything to a halt.

The wheel and tire package, as you can glimpse in the video, is appropriately beefy: The HRE wheels measure 19×11 inches at the front, 20×12.5 at the rear, and are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires.

Even with the modern rubber and the engine’s boost turned down to make a much more tame 500 hp, the driveline is a joy. Leno guesses the car weighs just 2800 pounds, a sleight of hand that has much do to with the free-revving nature of the motor and the placement of the weight low in the car’s chassis. As controllable as it is, the car’s lack of driver aids will keep you on your toes: “You are the traction control,” says Leno, who adds that going sideways is all part of the fun to him.

Ringbrothers 1969 Camaro Strode wheels brakes baer HRE

Our favorite part in the video is when Jim tells the story behind the name of the car: The customer who commissioned the Camaro from Ringbrothers is a dear friend of Kevin Hart, the comedian and muscle-car aficionado known for his collection of restomods. In 2022, word got out that Kevin Hart was bringing a 1969 Roadrunner built by Salvaggio Design to SEMA. As usual, Hart had named it according to his usual horror theme: Michael Myers, the central character in the Halloween franchise. Hart’s friend decided to embrace the fact that both had commissioned high-horsepower restomods, and named his Camaro after the only character that Myers can’t kill: Strode, his sister.

Give the video below a watch, and let us know what your favorite part is in the comments below!


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    The interior looks nice mostly, not a fan of that steering wheel. It does not look great. The exterior looks good for the most part. I wish they did more than all that ribbed orange for the engine/supercharger area.

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