When it comes to raw American muscle cars, the NASCAR powered V8 Camaro stands in a league of its own. In this article, we dive deep into the thrilling world of a Camaro that has undergone significant transformations. From its engine to the transmission and everything in between, get ready to explore the awe-inspiring power of this automotive marvel.

The Evolution of a Legend:

The 68 Camaro has been a prized possession for Dennis McCarthy, who has owned it since his junior year of high school. Over the years, he has made substantial modifications that have transformed this classic beauty into a roaring beast on wheels.

Under the Hood:

The first thing that catches the eye is the impressive engine bay. Dennis took advantage of the downtime during the pandemic and seized the opportunity to make significant changes. He decided to replace the previous motor with a super late model asphalt car engine, sourced from NASCAR. These engines, known for their power and performance, are a perfect fit for short track races and serve as a stepping stone to NASCAR.

The new engine surpasses its predecessor in terms of power, delivering an estimated high 500s horsepower. The meticulous modifications include Gessel shaft rockers, a solid roller cam, and Gesso key lifters, enabling the engine to reach high RPMs effortlessly. With a direct dump oiling system, this motor is as tricked-out as they come.

Unleashing Power:

One of the standout features of the NASCAR-powered V8 Camaro is its ability to rev high. While Dennis has set the two-step at a conservative 7000 RPM, the engine is capable of pushing the boundaries even further. The engine build and modifications were largely done by Dennis himself, with the help of his brothers and the expertise gained from his father, who builds the cars for the Fast and Furious franchise.

The Transmission of Champions:

Alongside the engine upgrade, the transmission of the Camaro underwent a significant transformation. The new transmission is a Jericho WC4-4, a Winston Cup four-speed revision four. This transmission is reminiscent of the NASCAR Cup specifications from the late ’90s and early 2000s. Equipped with straight cut gears and doggy engagement, this transmission allows for lightning-fast, clutchless shifts, adding to the overall raw and aggressive experience of driving this Camaro.

The Thrill of Driving:

Dennis admits that driving the NASCAR-powered V8 Camaro is a whole new experience. The first gear has a 2:1 ratio, which provides a remarkable launch but requires a significant amount of throttle input. The combination of the aggressive transmission and the 48 rear gear ratio makes each gear essential, unlike traditional setups where the first gear is primarily for starting and stopping. The unique gearing has challenged Dennis to adjust his driving style, particularly at high speeds, where the engine reaches its peak and unleashes its power.

Performance Upgrades:

To complement the powertrain modifications, Dennis invested in several suspension enhancements. The stock Camaro subframe remains intact, but JRI triple adjustable coilovers were installed, completely transforming the car’s handling. With these upgrades, the Camaro now offers a more composed and stable ride, even at high speeds and over uneven terrain. Additional modifications include Detroit Speed lower control arms and upper control arms, along with a Hosh Kiss sway bar up front.

Aesthetics that Reflect Performance:

Visual modifications were also part of the transformation process. The wheels received a major upgrade, with Dennis opting for the classic and period-correct Mini Lite wheels. The Camaro underwent mini tubbing to accommodate the wider 315 rear tires, adding to its aggressive stance. The tin work inside the car was powder coated, providing a more finished look, and the roll cage was painted black, adding a touch of stealthiness to the interior. The flooring received professional-grade Line-X treatment for durability, while pedal covers and a battery box completed the visual upgrades.


The NASCAR-powered V8 Camaro with straight cut gears is a testament to the enduring allure of American muscle cars. With its raw power, thrilling driving experience, and distinctive aesthetics, this Camaro stands as a true automotive marvel. Dennis McCarthy’s dedication and expertise in transforming his beloved 68 Camaro have resulted in a machine that perfectly combines the best of NASCAR and classic American muscle. Strap yourself in, unleash the beast, and experience the adrenaline-pumping ride of a lifetime.