Ground Up’s 1978 Camaro Z/28 LSX Pro-Touring

Ground Up’s 1978 Camaro Z28 LSX Resto-mod – fully restored from the Ground Up in 2008

This 1978 Camaro Z28 was actually bought brand new from McVeigh Chevrolet in Valley Stream, New York, by the owner of Ground Up Ken Santoro back in late 1977. Unlike his fellow graduates, Ken’s free spirit influenced him to pack a bag and head west in his new Camaro for what would turn out to be a six-month journey.

“I wanted to see what was going on in California, so I figured it would be fun to drive across the country in a cool ride. Even though I got sucked into Las Vegas for a while, I did finally make it to California,” laughs Ken.

Years later, Ken has been able to hold on to those great memories of an amazing road trip. Unfortunately, the Camaro got away as he sold it to a friend in 1986. As life went through its paces, he lost track of the friend (and the car) who had years ago moved out west.
As luck would have it, after a 20-year disconnect Ken’s old pal with the Camaro “friend’s” him on Facebook. Small talk ensues and Ken asks him whatever happened to the Camaro. It turns out the dude still has it. Although it’s part of the landscape in a field next to his house, it’s still intact.

“It was in 2010 when I bought the Camaro back and had it shipped to my home in Connecticut,” reveals Ken. “As I had expected, the car was a bit weathered from years of sitting dormant, but the sheetmetal was in good shape, so I had a good foundation to work with.”

As owner of Ground Up Restorations (ss396.com), Ken had access to a full stock of inventory to help restore the car to its original glory, but the popularity, look, and reliability of the Pro Touring movement swayed Ken into upgrading the Camaro to a full-tilt g-machine. Ken’s idea was to update the car and regain the driveability with a plethora of performance upgrades. Breathing new life into the once-stagnant F-body is an off-the-shelf Chevrolet Performance Parts (formerly GM Performance Parts) LSX 454.

Detroit Speed Inc. 17/8-inch stainless steel headers command combusted waste through a Pypes prototyped 3-inch exhaust system topped off with Pypes Race Pro mufflers.

All said and done, the simple combo kicks out 620 hp at 6,200 rpm and 590 lb-ft at 4,800 rpm – plenty of beans for a ride that’s as competitive as it is reliable.


Check out the restoration of our 1978 Camaro Z/28 LSX Pro-Touring below


Check out the finished restoration of our 1978 Camaro Z/28 LSX Pro-Touring below


Check out the article written by Camaro Performers about the 1979 LSX!