Sportsman Spotlight: Steve Cox And His 1968 Camaro

Steve Cox

Steve Cox behind the wheel of his 1968 Camaro powered by 383ci Dustin Lee-built small-block at an NMCA West event in Fontana, California. Photo provided by Steve Cox

Drag Racing is a family tradition for members of the Cox family. Steve Cox of Hesperia, California, was born with a passion for all forms of motorsports, beginning with go karts as a child, to his current ride, a 1968 Camaro. Both of Steve’s parents took part in NHRA drag racing, and his mother Carol was the first woman to win a class at a national event in 1962. So it’s no wonder, that her son, Steve, would grow up to be racer. Currently, Steve races the NMCA West Series, where he earned his second championship in the Nostalgia Street Car class in 2016.

In true racecar fashion, the interior is sparse.

While working for the City of Victorville as mechanic, he found about this Camaro that belonged to a coworker, Tom Soupene. In 1997, Steve purchased the Camaro for $250.00, and it was a steal at that price, even though it had be sitting in Soupene’s backyard for five years. When Steve purchased the Camaro, it was a shell of a factory SS that used to have a 350 cubic-inch engine and four speed transmission. It proved to be a great starting place. With help from Kevin Drew, Tito Corona, and Steve’s daughter, Crista, after three months of hard work, the roller became a racecar.

Over the years, Steve has earned wins at the Summit Series races at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, LACR Track Championships in Palmdale, events in Bakersfield, and more. He and his Camaro earned PSCA Bracket 1 Championships in 2009, 2010, and 2011. Earning consecutive championships is no easy feat. Along with his most current championships, he also earned wins at the Big Bucks Events at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. With a racing pedigree from both of his parents, Lloyd and Carol, Steve has followed in the footsteps or tire tracks of his parents all the way to the winner’s circle.

Photos provided by Steve Cox

The Camaro was first powered by 350 cubic-inch engine, but as the years passed, it was eventually fitted with a Dustin Lee-built 383ci small-block that provides plenty of power for this 10-second-capable race machine. A set of 14.0:1 Ross pistons, a Callies crankshaft, a very healthy camshaft, and a ADP carburetor, help this thirsty small-block create some serious power. Supplying the fuel to that hungry beast is a complete fuel system from Fuelab. A Hughes ‘Glide with a 5,000 rpm stall converter helps transfer the power to a Moser 12-bolt rearend. Housed inside of that 12-bolt are 4:56 gears that have helped to propel the 3,125 pound pony car (with driver) down track for a best of 10.07 quarter-mile e.t. at 131.78 m.p.h. At the March Meet in 2013, the Camaro ran a personal best 60-foot time of 1.390 seconds. The CalTrac bars with split mono leaf springs and shocks from Calvert Racing helped Cox achieve this best.

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Calvert Racing has been a sponsor for the past 19 years.

With twelve Championships under his belt, Steve is anxiously chomping at the bit for the start of the 2017 race season. “My greatest achievement was to win the NMCA championship back to back,” said Steve. When asked about his formula for success, he added, “A consistent car, my daughter, Crista, keeping track of the weather and track conditions, and my focus.” Along with his family commitment to drag racing, he attends 15 to 20 events each year on the West Coast. If you happen to see him in the pits or on the track, wish him well. If you happen to be lined up against him, we wish you luck, because you are certainly going to need it.

About the author

Lauren Camille

Lauren is a graduate of California State University Fullerton, and has experience working for several enthusiast publications. She enjoys drag racing, classic Fords, and vintage Lincolns. She currently races a 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback, and has a soft spot for 1960’s Lincolns. Currently, her collection includes: ’04 Cobra Convertible, ’65 Mustang Fastback, ’04 F350 6.0 diesel, ’96 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and a ’87 Jeep Wrangler. She provides insightful content as a freelance writer for Power Automedia.
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