Dave & Karen Leisinger’s ’71 Chevy Camaro, built as a tribute to “The Professor” Warren Johnson, has won the Goodguys 2012 Intro Wheels Muscle Machine of the Year award. The radically modified Camaro, built by Roger Burman and the Lakeside Rods & Rides team debuted this year at the Goodguys 15th PPG Nationals in Columbus where it was a finalist for the Street Machine of the Year award. Whatever business was left unfinished in Columbus was buttoned up today by driving off with the Muscle Machine crown.
The Muscle Machine of the Year award is designed to honor a Muscle Car that has been modified to perform at a high level including handling, stance, body & paint and engineering. This ’71 Camaro fits that description to a tee!
Countless body mods (a Roger Burman specialty) were in order to follow Eric Brockmeyer’s original design for the car. The nose is pie cut and wedge sectioned, the top chopped, A-pillars laid back, the roof reskinned and the trunk lid was moved up to widen the rear end.
The car rides on a Morrison chassis with Penske coilover shocks and a massive set of Baer brakes. The 18 & 20-inch wheels are special one-off editions from Boze wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport rubber. Powering the beast is a 500ci injected LSR built by Warren Johnson himself.
The radical body lines, the PPG Porsche silver with Hot Licks Super Blue accents give this bad-to-the-bone F-body an imposing presence. If you think it looks bad sitting still, you should see it and hear it rip around the cones. The Leisinger’s son Josh does a masterful job of getting the car to peak performance on the nation’s fastest AutoCross courses. This car has it all. It looks mean and it performs like a champion – something the Leisinger’s have gotten used to, turning out a string of radical Camaro’s the last decade.
Look for this one inside the “Champion’s Arena” sponsored by Street Rod Headquarters at the Goodguys 15th annual Southwest Nationals, November 16-18 at Westworld in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Runner Up finalists for this year’s award included: Jeff Cleary, Chesapeake, VA (‘67 Chevy Corvette),
Chris Gonzales, Oxnard, CA (‘68 Camaro), John Dwyer, Gilbert, AZ (‘69 Mustang), Jay Deluca, Keller, TX (‘69 Camaro RS/SS), Sean Casser, Camarillo, CA (‘59 Corvette), Gary Bowers, Waynesburg, PA (‘65 Mustang), Rocky Hamley, Rapid City, SD (’64 Mustang), Craig Johnson, Marion, IA (‘69 Camaro), Bob
Bertelsen, Columbiana, AL (‘71 Camaro), Joe Lewis, Crestwood, KY (‘56 Chevy) and Jerry & Kenna Reynolds, Fayetteville, AR (‘69 Camaro).
Congratulations to all finalists!