Written by independent automotive journalist Tom Jensen
The Grinch is back.
But this time, he’s not here to steal Christmas, he’s here to steal your breath away.
Because this time, The Grinch isn’t a Dr. Seuss book, it’s a heavily customized 1970 Chevrolet Camaro built by Ringbrothers, a boutique custom shop in Wisconsin that is known for the builds it brings each year to the SEMA Show in Las Vegas.
And that’s appropriate, given that this exotic build will sell with No Reserve as Lot #770 at the upcoming Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas Auction, June 17-19 at the Las Vegas Convention Center – West Hall.
To create The Grinch, Ringbrothers started out with an example from 1970, the first model year for the second-generation Camaro, which was radically different than its forebears. Longer and wider than the Camaros built from 1967-69, the 1970 models were the first to incorporate the distinctive and steeply sloped rear window, and featured much improved handling.
Except for its bright green paint and custom-made Forgeline wheels, at first glance, The Grinch almost appears stock, but upon closer inspection you see that its sheet metal has been carefully massaged. Each of the four wheel openings has been subtly flared out to accommodate the fat Nitto tires, 18 inches up front and 19 inches in the rear. The rockers and quarter-panels have been extended, too, resulting in an appearance far sleeker than stock.
One of the visual highlights of The Grinch is its carbon-fiber hood, which features a center section of natural carbon-fiber weave wrapped with the unmistakable green paint on the periphery. The rear spoiler also has a carbon-fiber inset, and the door-mounted mirrors are made from carbon fiber and chrome.
Other clever touches include Harley-Davidson headlights, black-chrome split front bumpers and custom-made door handles. The fuel-filler has been relocated to the trunk, where it feeds a NASCAR-style fuel cell. The entire body is laser-straight.
The Grinch features electronic doors, with keyless starting and operation. The custom interior has been designed to the same high standards as the exterior, with leather bucket seats and specially built door panels and dashboard.
The gauges carry the Ringbrothers name on the bezels and are finished in green to match the exterior of the car. Deluxe interior features include air conditioning, a Billet Specialties steering wheel and a custom console. The rear seat has been removed and now is home to a high-end audio system with top-quality speakers and amplifiers, all operated by a Kenwood head unit.
From an aesthetic point of view, one of the most impressive features of The Grinch is its handmade engine bay, which is truly a work of art. And this muscle car has plenty of power, too: Providing the motivation is a Wegner Automotive LS3 engine that produces 602 horsepower, thanks in part to its custom-built intake and exhaust systems.
The big V8 connects to a Bowler TREMEC TKO 5-speed manual transmission and a Ford 9-inch rear axle with posi-traction. The heavily detailed undercarriage features Wilwood disc brakes for stopping power and a full Detroit Speed suspension to ensure it handles as well as it looks.
Add it all up and it’s clear Dr. Seuss was right: “You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch.”