The Pro Street style is one of the coolest things to happen to classic muscle in the last three decades or so. Since its inception, the Pro Street movement has brought about a whole new type of muscle that is designed to intimidate. When done well, a build like this takes an already tough, already badass muscle car, and emphasizes its strengths while redesigning any weaknesses. The weaknesses we’re referring to here, are things like stock suspension, thin tires, and low-preforming engine options.
Rick McLeod's '67 Camaro embodies what it means to be Pro Street.
Characteristics of a well-built Pro Street car include things like blowers, rollcages, fat tires, nitrous, custom paint, lots of chrome under the hood, and pretty much everything else that shows up on Rick McLeod’s 1967 Camaro. Rick lives in Bremerton, Washington, and his ’67 Camaro is just about as Pro Street as it gets. This car is special for more than just its build, but also because it’s a forerunner to all that we know of the genre today.
Rick’s car was first modified back in the early ‘90s, but since then, has seen quite a few changes. But, it retains much of the original looks and style that made it one of the coolest cars on the road then and now.
The paintjob is clearly an early '90s custom style, but it's a stellar throwback, and one of the coolest color combos to come out of the decade. It holds up really well to the passage of time.
Finding The Camaro
The Camaro is a great platform for this kind of build. They are smaller and lighter than a lot of the other serious muscle cars of the era. They have always been a popular car to modify, so plenty of replacement and direct-fit aftermarket parts are available.
I had a good canvas to start with and I added my own personal touches to it – Rick McLeod
Rick bought this car a little over a year ago, after finding it in California. “I had a good canvas to start with,” Rick explained. “And I added my own personal touches to it.” When he bought the car, it was so low to the ground that the oil pan and exhaust would hit, so it was barely streetable. “The previous owner wanted to build a car that would travel the quarter-mile in under 10-seconds. He got there, and he was done with it.”
Rick is all about Chevy, and has a collection of badass cars: two Pro Street 1967 Camaros, two Pro Street 1966 Chevelles, an 8.61-second 1969 Camaro race car, and his dad’s 1964 Impala convertible. “I’m a Chevy guy,” Rick told us, “I’ve also always been a Pro Street guy. I think it’s the look. It says muscle, it’s all about the muscle. I like power and I like muscle. It’s who I am.”
The build on this car represents a simpler time in the Pro Street movement. There are no major body modifications, and a lot of the custom touches are subtle, like the wing-window mounted mirrors and the body-color wiper blades.
Rick is always looking on Craigslist for other Pro Street cars. He keeps his eye on the market, in part to keep track of what’s worth what, and just to see what’s out there. He was cruising Craigslist one night when he caught sight of this car in Orange County, California. Rick made an offer and was turned down. But, two months later, he got a call from the seller and he accepted Rick’s offer.
The build is a throwback and we’re loving all the nostalgia it brings up from the early years of Pro Street.
Pro Street Perfection
The first thing that catches your eye – after the color, graphics, and big sneakers – is the engine mounted into this badass piece of nostalgic perfection. This is the kind of car that draws a crowd wherever it goes.
The engine itself is a thoroughly built small-block 350 cubic-incher with a roller camshaft, H-beam rods, an Eagle crankshaft, Ross pistons, and Dart 1 aluminum heads—all capped off with twin Demon carburetors, a blower, and a 300-shot of nitrous. The power is then run through a Turbo 400 transmission with a 3,200-stall converter and a 9-inch rearend with a spool and 4.56 gears.
The engine is topped with a unique scoop that really helps to define the look of the car. Rick found it on eBay, and knew it was something different, so he snapped it up as fast as he could. It was designed for EFI rather than carburetors, so he had to get an adapter for it to fit his setup. But it was totally worth it. The car came with a decent intake, but this one is way cooler.
The car came with stock upper and lower control arms and springs that had been cut to lower the front end. “It was slammed to the ground,” Rick said. “But that wasn’t part of the original restoration.” He didn’t like how it rode when it was setup that way, so he swapped the stock stuff for Heidts front control arms and QA1 adjustable coilovers. It also has Wilwood disc brakes all the way around, a Ron Davis radiator, and an electric water pump.
We could look at this car all day. If you feel the same way, well you're in luck! There is going to be a full gallery at the end of this article.
Rick also replaced the old fuel cell in the back with a newer 20-gallon unit and relocated the battery to the side of the trunk. The previous builder had put the battery on the back side of the cell and you had to pull the cell to get to the battery. “It was a pain in the ass,” Rick told us. He also completely rewired the car from the stock 1967 wiring and swapped the old Budnik wheels for the Koys that are wrapped in Mickey Thompson rubber.
Rick actually bought these wheels for his other Camaro, but they looked too good on this car.
Driving It, Loving It, Living It
When Rick acquired the car, the interior wasn’t in the shape that you see today. The previous owners had converted it from manual transmission to automatic, and just riveted a cover over the hole in the transmission tunnel. “I bought a patch and fixed it,” Rick said. He also took out the old seats and put in his custom console, the center dash cluster, and all new Auto Meter gauges.
The clutch pedal was also left hanging loose so it would flop around when you drove. Removing the loose-hanging, useless clutch pedal was one of the first things he did to the car.
The interior offers a more modest take on what it means to be Pro Street. This car was built and finished before all out custom interiors were in vogue. This car was all about being tough inside and out, and that meant a simple interior setup.
The windows also didn’t work when Rick got the car, so he installed all new window hardware along with new handles and cranks. The seats in the car are from TMI, and they came as they sit. The car had Recaro racing seats when he bought it, but he didn’t really like them. He thought about having them reupholstered, but it ended up being the same price to buy the brand new TMI seats, so he got those instead.
He’s going to add carpet where the vinyl is covering the transmission hump, the vinyl is just temporary.
For Rick, it’s about the look and the feel of driving and owning his Pro Street cars. He loves the look and he loves the way they drive. “I’ve always liked the fat-tire cars” Rick explained, “Pro Street cars have the big meats on the back. I like the Pro Touring look, but Pro Street with the big, fat tires is what I really love.
This car is a true show-stopper. Even after having it only a year, this Camaro has won quite a few trophies for Rick, and we're not surprised.
For Rick, it’s also about family time. When he goes to car shows, he’ll drive this Camaro and his daughter will drive his blue car. “We go cruising together,” Rick said. “My wife and I like car shows, but it’s my daughter and I that go cruising together.”
The name of the color is Quad-Red. In person, it’s an extremely vibrant light red color that is just gorgeous.