X360 Camaro Build

We found Tad Nelson online earlier in 2010 when we were doing Google searches on Pro touring Camaros and asked to be apart of his build. He has a great website where he promoted the build of his X360 Camaro; it was great to be apart of his build. We had a few more questions for him and wanted to share Tad’s answers with you.

How did Project X360 get started?

After first going to SEMA 2005, I started to think about what it would be like to build a show car there.  I got a barnfind ’69 Camaro in 2009.  I went to SEMA 2009 a couple months later and realized that Camaro was going to be my 2010 SEMA project car.  I met the guys from ProComp at SEMA 2009.  They were looking to market their products on a SEMA show car.  I made a deal for them to give me one of each of their parts, so I could build a ProComp motor on a show car and they became my first sponsor.

What was your vision for the project?

I wanted to build a one of a kind Pro Touring Camaro that would turn some heads at SEMA.  I also wanted to prove to myself that I could build a top quality show car.

How was SEMA for you?

SEMA was a great experience because I got to experience it with my family, who came out with me.  I had some great experiences with the SEMA staff and exhibitors.  I loved being able to talk to people about my project, and was able to show my car to a number of car builders that have inspired me, such as Chip Foose, Troy Trepanier, Troy Ladd, Charlie Hutton, Dennis Gage, Lou Santiago, and many more.

Anything exciting happen getting the car to and from the show?

Funny story.  The first time I really got to drive my Camaro was into the convention center after the transporter showed up in Vegas with the car.  I got to back it down my driveway when we were loading it up, but I didn’t really get to enjoy driving it until I drove it through the convention center to my display area.  That was a memorable moment.

Were you always into cars?

When I was 9, my dad took me to my first car show.  I was pretty much hooked after that.  The next year I installed a stereo in my dad’s ’85 Ford F250.  I hooked the groundwire to the dash lights, not knowing I could ground to the sheet metal.  It ended up blowing the fuse to his dash lights.

When I was 13, I tried to change the oil in my dad’s truck.  I ended up draining the tranny fluid instead.

After watching an episode of Shadetree Mechanic, I built my first motor in my parents’ garage when I was 16.  I had to put a tarp down so I wouldn’t get any oil on their new garage floor.  That first motor was a 1969 Oldsmobile Rocket 350.

What are you most proud about the end result?

I’m proud about the way everything came together with my car.  I’m proud that my car was able to hold its own, quality-wise, with the other cars showing at SEMA.  I’m also proud that I was able to do the car in my own garage, on the weekends when I had free time.

What are your future plans for the car?

I’m thinking about taking the car to a few upcoming car shows.  Maybe PRI in Orlando, Detroit Autorama, and World of Wheels in Chicago.  After that I will be looking for a buyer so I can start my next SEMA project.

What is your favorite part about the car?

We used a 2010 Camaro interior.  That’s the first time I’ve ever seen one used in a ’69 Camaro.  I thought it turned out pretty good.

Do you have any other projects in the works?

I’ve got a couple projects in the works.  I’ve got a ’65 GTO undergoing a numbers restoration, a ’66 Chevy II that we’re thinking about turning into a future SEMA build, and I’m also doing an ’81 Corvette Big Block swap.

You have a Hellwig Sway bar on the car, did you enjoy the improvement in handling?

Whenever I finish a car in my garage, I always take it on a test drive near my shop on a road with a couple of decent curves.  I took the Project X360 Camaro on this test route both before and after I installed the Hellwig sway bar.  Let me tell ya, the difference is obvious.  The handling is much more comfortable and the weight distribution is less severe going around sharp turns.  It makes for much easier handling, especially when I’m letting the throttle out coming out of a sharp curve.

Also, the install for the sway bar was easy.  I had both front and rear sway bars installed and ready to go in less than an hour.  Especially cool is that fact that Hellwig sway bars are adjustable to account for lowered “Pro Touring” style cars like mine.  That adjustability and ease of installation are so important when I build a quality project car.  That’s why I’m so glad I was able to partner up with Hellwig.

Posted on Friday, January 7th, 2011 in Events, Interview, Project Vehicle.
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