Lopez Performance and Sean Smith Designs debuted 1969 Chevrolet Camaro "Illicit" at 2023 SEMA Show | News Direct

Lopez Performance and Sean Smith Designs debuted 1969 Chevrolet Camaro "Illicit" at 2023 SEMA Show

News release by Lopez Performance

facebook icon linkedin icon twitter icon pinterest icon email icon San Bernardino, CA | November 09, 2023 06:55 AM Pacific Standard Time

“The concept for 'Illicit' was inspired by modern muscle car innovation such as the ZL1,” said designer Sean Smith. “Jesus Lopez from Lopez Performance wanted to keep the classic silhouette of the ’69 Camaro while accenting it with contemporary design cues such as aero parts forged from carbon fiber, a better stance, and more.

1969 Chevrolet Camaro "Illicit" built by Lopez Performance in collaboration with Sean Smith Designs
1969 Chevrolet Camaro "Illicit" built by Lopez Performance in collaboration with Sean Smith Designs

“After agreeing on the exterior sketches with owners JR and Celeste Villarreal, we focused on 3D design to create the splitters, rocker panels, hood and decklid spoiler,” Smith continued. “Designing on the computer allowed us to refine the proportions and details such as the fillets and specific radii. The trick was balancing our re-imagining with classic details such as the multi-piece billet grille.”

Engineered by Martin Horton at Blue Point Scan and machined by EVOD Industries, what appears at first sight to be a classic ’69 Camaro grille is actually a multi-piece design with precise carbon inlays. It’s the mouthpiece for the 1200hp Dart LSX engine that lurks under the Lopez Performance carbon fiber hood manufactured by Speedkore.

Fitted with a 2.9L Whipple supercharger, the Dart features an industry-leading Aeromotive fuel system to ensure consistent power using an in-tank TVS Brushless Pump, Extreme Flow EFI Regulator, and Pro-Series in-line filter. Drawing from The Aeromotive Group’s portfolio of companies, stainless steel Doug’s Headers were connect to a 3” stainless steel custom exhaust with low-profile mufflers from JBA Performance Exhaust. Custom colored Taylor wires were also fitted to provide consistent spark to the Dart.

The engine is backed by a Bowler-built T56 Magnum six-speed transmission connected to the very first all-carbon fiber ProMod driveshaft, which was custom-developed by Aeromotive for “Illicit.”

With the powertrain resolved, the stunning paint was created by Jesus and the Lopez Performance crew. “We wanted something shocking yet seductive. We mixed up Solar Bronze, which flips from a honey hue to a bright bronze with muted charcoal mid tones. In sunlight, the car looks like it’s on fire as you move around it. The effect is sensational and the tones work well with the black trim and carbon fiber accents that create contrast on our high-horsepower build,” Lopez told us.

Designed by Smith, the interior was created by Gabe’s Custom Interiors in San Bernadino, CA. As a family business run by Jesus’ father, the interior combined luxury and performance elements, the Camaro features custom Recaro seats featuring carbon fiber rear shells and upholstery by Gabe’s in truffle brown leather accented with vanilla.

Following Smith’s designs, Gabe’s Custom Interiors created the new dashboard and center console, as well as a aluminum instrument cluster that was 3D modelled and milled before gauges from Classic Instruments were installed. The steering wheel was also designed and machined specifically for this application.

The finished result is a stunning interpretation of the iconic ’69 Camaro that was unveiled in The Aeromotive Group booth at the 2023 SEMA Show and will be seen at numerous shows throughout the year.



Location photography of the car and the full spec list is available here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ns6o0nm6u5829k0/AAC2bX-L46ZWSoK5rVgArHVsa?dl=0 

  Sean Smith renderings of the 1969 Camaro ‘Illicit’ are available here: dropbox.com/sh/uu8473d6zn94alz/AACahIs1IxJqIpbQhud72xELa?dl=0



Lopez Performance has worked with the best in the industry to claim its rank among the top American car builders. With numerous awards going to this families business dating back to many popular Boyd Coddington designs, the family business is responsible for cars featured on countless magazine covers, Good Guys awards, SEMA awards, and more. Please visit lopezperformance.com for more information


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