SEMA 2013: Tim Allen’s 1968 COPO Camaro

The word “restomod” gets thrown around a lot these days. Most of the resto-modded cars I have seen are closer to the “modified” side than to the “restoration” side. It was refreshing to come across this 1968 Chevrolet COPO Camaro at SEMA, which is more towards the restoration side of things.

The car was on display at the Classic Industries booth and was built by veteran hot rodder Bodie Stroud. The car belongs to actor, comedian, author, and car guy Tim Allen.

I really like the direction they’ve gone with this car. It rides on modern Nitto radial tires which provide much better grip and handling than period-correct bias ply tires. However, the tires are wrapped around a set of Vintique 66 Series rally wheels instead of modern deep-dish 20s. These wheels are a reproduction of the original Camaro wheels in a slightly-larger-than-OEM 17″ size. I think they are a tasteful choice that offers the comfort and handling of modern tires while maintaining an authentic look.

Under the hood is a GM Performance LS7 motor making 505 horsepower and 470 ft-lbs of torque. This Camaro handles like a modern car thanks to Detroit Speed Suspension, yet it maintains an OEM look instead of being slammed to the ground with rolled fenders or mini-tubs. Braking has been improved with a set of 14″ Brembo disc brakes at all four corners.

The interior is also an exercise in simplicity. Notice there is no touchscreen in the dash, no digital gauges, and no carbon fiber. It just looks like a restored Camaro!

The car features a number of parts from OER Restoration Products such as the front and rear bumpers, window glass, rear lamp lenses, and wheel center caps.

I think that Tim’s COPO Camaro has the perfect blend of looking like it drove here from 1968 while providing modern power and reliability. At a show like SEMA, subtlety is underrated and this car drew my attention for simply not being over the top.