THE CAR AND ITS OWNER
1967 Chevrolet Camaro race car owned by Tony Randazzo
WHAT MAKES IT INTERESTING
Few other rides have captured the hearts of Long Island customizers and drag racers more than the late '60s Camaro. Randazzo's black pro street convertible (a street-legal car modified for drag racing) shows what an enthusiast can do with years of work and a six-figure investment. He's stuffed the engine bay with a 427-cubic-inch Chevrolet "big block" that puts out close to 1,000 horsepower with its nitrous oxide fuel system. "The car has run consistent 'high nines' (nine seconds over a quarter mile) at 139 miles per hour," he says. "It launches with front wheels skyward and doesn't stop until the 'wheelie bars' hit and the car slams down."
HOW LONG HE'S OWNED IT
WHERE HE FOUND IT
He bought it from a friend in Astoria, Queens at age 15.
Randazzo found the Camaro in primer, with no interior and a 'small block' Chevrolet engine. Today, a host of modifications set it apart from other racers. "You will not find another convertible, pro street Camaro with a narrowed rear, a fully functional power convertible top and full use of the rear seat anywhere," Randazzo says. "The rear end and clip took over a year to build, and to make it look original."
TIPS FOR OWNERS
"My advice to any young guy out there who has the love and passion to build a car is: don't ever get rid of something that is so much a part of you," he says. "I've thought about it a few times, and my wife has always talked me out of it."
Randazzo says he's invested over $125,000 in the Camaro.
"Me and my beautiful wife of 23 years dated in this car, my father helped me build it, and my kids have grown up being in it and enjoying all the attention she gets," he says. "I do not race my girl anymore. Once in a while, I take her out and cruise the neighborhood. However, the only other time she comes out is due to tradition. Once a year since 1994, she cruises in the Adirondack Nationals (car show) in Lake George, with my wife, Tina, up front and my three daughters -- Jessica, Briana and Gina -- in the back seat."