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2002 Nickey Camaro 427 Stage III

Commissioned by collector Mike Guarise, this 2002 35th Anniversary Camaro SS was built as a tribute car to his original 1967 Nickey Camaro 427 Stage III. It was the last car built by Bill Thomas and the only continuation car.

Company Release

Since Nickey Chevrolet , in collaboration with Bill Thomas, was the first to transplant a 427 into an F-body, it would be fitting that They once again collaborate, on building one, of the last 427 equipped 2002 Camaro Supercars.

Bill found the concept interesting, but warned that if this concept were to gain momentum, 750 horsepower would the minimum requirement.

Bill happened to know of a great engine builder (his son Bill Thomas III) that, as part of the team, could make the concept a reality.

The goal was set, to build the ultimate street friendly, pump gas, driver Camaro. Bill suggested “let’s blow in it”, meaning forced induction. After all, Bill Thomas began turbocharging Corvairs in the early 60’s. True to the spirit of Bill’s thinking, modifications needed to be efficient, durable and maintain the “stealth” image, of the ultimate stock looking street sleeper. Finally, it had to be red, since according to Bill, “if it’s not red, it’s not a race car”.

The joint efforts of Nickey, Dean Klein (Little Detroit Collectibles), Mike Guarise (Afficionado and owner of several Bill Thomas/Nickey Supercars), and many of the best, in the industry, to include Bill Thomas III, who brings tremendous amount of experience from his father’s mentoring, as well as by being part of a elite NASCAR engine building team and building race motors all his life, John Garrison from Paul Pfaff Racing Engines, who worked in the Bill Thomas Race Cars shop in the 60’s, Mike Osucha from More Performance and Brian Ebert and Bart Wells from HiTek Motorsports, resulted in this, Bill Thomas inspired, ultimate, 1,000 plus horsepower, street sleeper.

(Just exactly how much more Horse Power? We’ll, let’s say that we are still waiting for the competition to catch up!)

The 2002 Bill Thomas equipped Nickey Camaro began life as one of 1,037 Special Edition 35th Anniversary Z4C 6-speed Camaro SS Coupes.

This 35th Aniversary Camaro was jointly titled in Bill Thomas’s name.

Special Attention was paid to retain the original equipment (Air Conditioning, Battery Location, Interior, CD Player etc.), focusing rather on the upgrading the drivetrain, suspension and brakes for power and safety.


Mecum will offer the car at their upcoming 2011 Original Spring Classic Auction. The description is as follows:

Devout fans will appreciate the historical significance of this ultimate 4th generation Camaro. Designed and engineered by Bill Thomas, it is the last Supercar project Thomas completed and the only one of its kind ever built. Based on an original 2002 35th Anniversary Camaro SS, it is a true Supercar in the Nickey-Thomas tradition, thanks in no small measure to its awe-inspiring engine, a twin-turbo powerhouse based on a GM Skunkworks 427 CI C5R racing block and possessed of over 1,000 rear wheel horsepower. The car’s full performance suspension and electronic exhaust cutouts are employed through three programmed performance modes ranging from mild to wild, with a roll bar and racing harnesses providing a safety edge. Cosmetically, the Bright Red paint, American Racing Torque Thrust wheels and Redline tires still say “Nickey” today. Previously titled in Bill Thomas’ name, this unique creation was shown and raced at the Supercar Reunion and was featured in American Muscle Supercars by David Newhardt. It will also be featured in The Complete Book of Camaro by David Newhardt, due in September 2011. Fully documented and registered with the Nickey Registry.

In Detail

type Professionally Tuned Car
engineers Bill Thomas
production 1
engine Skunkworks C5R w/Katech Cylinder Heads
aspiration Twin Garett T4 Turbochargers
valvetrain OHV
displacement 6997 cc / 427 in³
compression 10.1:1
power 745.7 kw / 1000 bhp
specific output 142.92 bhp per litre
bhp/weight 620.35 bhp per tonne
torque 1125.3 nm / 830 ft lbs
redline 6200
body / frame Unitary Steel Monocoque
driven wheels RWD w/Moser 12 bolt Differntial, Eaton Posi
wheel type American Racing custom CL205
front tires BF Goodrich g-Force T/A 275/40 ZR17
rear tires BF Goodrich g-Force T/A 315/35 ZR17
front brakes Baer Eradispeed LITE
rear brakes Baer Eradispeed LITE
front wheels F 43.2 x 24.1 cm / 17 x 9.5 in
rear wheels R 43.2 x 27.9 cm / 17 x 11 in
steering Rack & Pinion w/Power Assist
curb weight 1612 kg / 3554 lbs
wheelbase 2566 mm / 101.0 in
front track 1542 mm / 60.7 in
rear track 1540 mm / 60.6 in
length 4914 mm / 193.5 in
width 1881 mm / 74.1 in
height 1315 mm / 51.8 in
transmission MM6 6-Speed Manual
tran clutch SPEC custom 1150 HP clutch
gear ratios 2.66:1, 1.78:1, 1.30:1, 1.00:1, 0.74:1, 0.50:1
final drive 4.42:1
drag 0.33 Cd