HomeCar CultureLopez Performance and Sean Smith Designs Debut 1969 Camaro ‘Illicit’

Lopez Performance and Sean Smith Designs Debut 1969 Camaro ‘Illicit’

The car was shown at the 2023 SEMA show in Las Vegas


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 fiber 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 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, such as the 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 an 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.



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