Busy building engines and doing racecar things every day for other people, Race Proven Performance owner Jared Cocanougher finally decided to do something for himself and set to work reviving his old Third-Gen Camaro.
A Christmas gift from his mother and father back in ’06, the car was Cocanougher’s high school transportation and he even took his wife for dates it in back in the day.
“I drag raced it a little, but took it all apart in ’10 and bought some newer cars with LS engines already in them to focus on instead,” shared the entrepreneur who resides in Harrodsburg, Kentucky.
Enjoying his other toys, though, made Cocanougher realize he missed the Camaro of his adolescent years. Knowing he also wanted to focus on going fast and being competitive in the stick-shift world while also looking forward to class racing, he decided that there was no time like the present and dove right in.
“It’s like it’s a new car to me, since it’s been apart so long,” laughed Cocanougher. He sent the F-body over to Tin Soldiers Race Cars where the team revived and restored the chassis by way of a new 6.0-certified cage. “They took my completely stock Camaro and went front to back with everything! A custom rear wishbone setup, custom torque arm, and more. They did an amazing job, some of the best guys I’ve ever dealt with.”
After seeing the finished product, Cocanougher knew he was on the right track. Having also handled sales for Brian Tooley Racing over the years, Cocanougher was introduced to multi-time NMRA/NMCA champion Jessie Coulter of Coulter’s Garage by Tooley and he chose Coulter for the next steps.
Coulter will be fabricating the turbo kit, which will use a big single snail, as well as the finishing work and addition of mounting tabs for the fuel cell, battery, and more. He also obtained the Hairy Glass doors for Cocanougher’s third gen. When Coulter’s work is completed, however, Brad Hacker with Single Shot Powder Coating will step in to work his magic on the chassis and other components.
Although the specific engine is still to selected, Cocanougher is confident it’ll be an LS-based platform, likely 350 ci or smaller, that he will be building in-house at Race Proven Performance.
“I built the engine in my C5 Corvette and made 1,800-horsepower with it,” he explained, proud of his work which carried him to a personal best of 7.82 at 190 mph in the quarter-mile. “I’ll use Brian Tooley Racing for parts, then build it here and we’ll be using a Haltech ECU with a fuel system from Robert Ette at AEICNC.”
He’s planning to source his TREMEC T56 manual gearbox from RPM Transmissions, who will also supply the rearend to fit inside the housing that Tin Soldiers built. AFCO by Menscer Motorsports shocks and struts will ensure the Camaro sits nicely in the pits and squats perfectly on the starting line, assisted by a full Racecraft front suspension and tubular K-member.
“I’m not quite sure where the car will fit in yet, but I’d really like to do some racing with the NMCA,” stated Cocanougher, who will likely end up in one of the series classes towards the end of 2021. “I also really want to go for the stick-shift world record that John Atkins [of Tick Performance] has now and get into the 6s with an H-pattern. I know it’s doable, but it’s crazy to think things are that fast now!”