As you can imagine, we get a lot of email about potential feature cars for GMHTP. And, truth be told, it is usually pretty tough to pick who goes and who stays. In an industry and culture where the bleeding edge is constantly being pushed further and a typical racecar can run faster than almost anything of 10 years ago, much of our resources are spent exposing the latest and greatest. So, when we received word of a 20-year-old college student and his father working on a Camaro out in California, we must admit, we didn't think much about it. However, when we looked a little closer, read the spec sheet, and checked out the photographs, we were floored. "It's how fast?!" 9.58 at 143 mph with a stock LS1 bottom end, stock heads, and a complete interior. Yeah, that'll get our attention. However, after contacting Cameron Hensley, we realized the story was even better than we had hoped.
"This car was built from stock to where it is now by me and my dad, Jeff Hensley, in our garage. As soon as I turned 16, we took this car to the racetrack. My first pass ever was a 13.30 and from then on it kept getting faster." Through Cameron's years in high school, he spent his days like most hardworking students, going to school in the morning and working part-time at night, although after work and on the weekends, he was spending time with his father, working on his Camaro in the garage.
"Our first goal was to go 10's cam only." Pretty lofty goal for a high school student, for sure, but that's where the story gets interesting. Starting with a stock LS1, Cameron and his father installed the usual bolt-on parts, including a set of budget friendly Pacesetter long-tube headers, a custom X-pipe and a set of 3-inch Dynomax bullet mufflers. Up above the engine, the duo installed a hand ported FAST 90mm intake manifold, which draws air from an FTP 90mm lid and a matching PTM 90mm throttle body. Looking to make the most possible power from just a camshaft change, Cameron installed the infamous Texas Speed Magic Stick 3 camshaft, which sports 237 degrees of duration on the intake and 242 degrees on the exhaust side. With .603/.609 inches of lift, the Magic Stick isn't a slouch, but Cameron and his father didn't touch the heads or pistons during the install. As for everything else in the motor, well, it's all from the factory, minus the injectors, which Cameron changed out for a set of 30 lb-hr SVO units.
Of course, "cam-only" can be a bit misleading; as the rest of your drivetrain needs to be pretty stout to handle hundreds of 10-second passes. However, Cameron's build stays true to his story and everything behind the motor was built to last, but it was also built on a real budget. Cameron and his father built the Turbo 400 transmission at home and it relies on an FTI custom 9-inch torque converter to apply the power. Heading down the 3.5-inch driveshaft takes us to the rear end, which Cameron ordered from Moser and had stuffed with a 3.89:1 ring and pinion and a set of 35-spline axles.
Suspension, as you well know, is also critical to running fast times and Cameron made no bones about the "wizard" behind making it hook. Yes, we're talking about Theo Dec of Wizard Racing, who set up and corner-balanced the car, adjusting everything to allow Cameron to run some unbelievable 60-foot times. You can check out the tech sheet for the nitty-gritty, but suffice it to say, Cameron probably runs less suspension stuff than some guys who complain about tracks not being able to hold their 300hp LS1. "We accomplished our goal and ran a 10.97 at 122 mph...and then we turned the nitrous on."