Over the years, Lee has had quite the variety of cars. Starting out with a turbo’ed ’99 Civic Si, a ’98 Nissan 240SX, and later a ’04 Subaru WRX. One thing that comes into play when considering a fast and fun car, as you get older and start a family, is something that is fast but reliable. What we really need is a car that makes a substantial amount of horsepower but with a factory warranty. Why not a Camaro? You may say, “But importnut, isn’t a Camaro a straight line boulevard bruiser?” For the standard issue SS, I would agree. However, the 1LE optioned SS is not a standard issue SS!
Why is the 1LE important? Here’s what GM has to say about it:
The Camaro 1LE package was introduced in 1988, inspired by Camaro’s involvement in Pro-Am road racing.
For 2013, the 1LE package is offered only on 1SS and 2SS coupe models, featuring a 6.2L LS3 V-8 rated at 426 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. In addition, 1LE is only available with a six-speed manual transmission.
While the Camaro SS features a Tremec TR6060-M10 for all-around performance, the Camaro 1LE features an exclusive Tremec TR6060-MM6. Paired with a numerically higher 3.91 final-drive ratio, the close-ratio gearing of the transmission is tuned for road-racing performance. As with the ZL1, the 1LE transmission features a standard air-to-liquid cooling system for track use.
The 1LE also features exclusive, monotube rear dampers instead of the twin-tube dampers on SS models. The new hardware allowed engineers to tune the 1LE suspension to focus on optimal body-motion control while preserving much of the ride quality and wheel-motion control of the Camaro SS.
Other changes to optimize the 1LE for track-day use include:
- Larger, 27-mm solid front stabilizer bar, and 28-mm solid rear stabilizer bar for improved body control
- Higher-capacity rear-axle half shafts to cope with increased levels of traction
- Strut tower brace for improved steering feel and response
- ZL1-based 20 x 10-inch front and 20 x 11-inch aluminum wheels
285/35ZR20 Goodyear Eagle Supercar G:2 tires front and rear (identical to the front tires for ZL1)
- ZL1 wheel bearings, toe links and rear shock mounts for improved on-track performance
- ZL1 high-capacity fuel pump and additional fuel pickups for improved fuel delivery during high-cornering
Other changes for the 1LE:
- Electric Power steering – Variable ratio and effort
- Flat bottom suede microfiber steering wheel
- Matte-Black hood
- Front and rear splitter
- Factory ZL1 short throw shifter
- Dual-mode exhaust system
With all that being said, Lee also added the factory Recaro seats and optional dual mode exhaust.
As any car guy would agree, no matter how great a car may be, there’s always room for improvement! With the intention of attending more track day events, he wanted to improve the braking performance and made a few modifications. Check out the list below for his current modifications and plans for the future.
- Skip Shift Eliminator
- Mild to Wild Switch for Duel Mode Exhaust
- Speedware Harness Bar and Tank Plates
- Sparco 6 Point Harness
- CTS-V Front Calipers powder coated to match the original 1LE caliper paint scheme
- 2 piece CTS-V factory Rotors
- Stock CTS-V Ferodo HP1000 Front Brake Pads
- Goodridge Brake Lines
- Motul RB600 Dot 4 Brake Fluid
- SRP Aluminium Pedals
- New tires, not sure what I’ll be running yet
- Stand alone engine oil cooler
- Z28 factory rear diff cooler
- MORE POWER! in a few years
Check out the pictures below along with a video of Lee tearing it up at Gingerman Raceway!