Blown 525-cube big-block 1968 Chevrolet Camaro – MENTLE

This methanol-burning, blown Chev Camaro was built for the street. Yup!

Photographers: Simon Davidson, Shane Johncock

MENTLE by name and mental by nature – Milan Dokic’s Chev Camaro is the toughest of the tough

This article on Milan’s Camaro was originally published in the August 2008 issue of Street Machine

INSPIRATION. It’s why we build cars. Especially cranky methanol-snorting beasts like Milan Dokic’s ’68 Camaro. One day the light bulb goes on and we start spending every spare moment in the garage because we’ve got these images in our heads that won’t go away. Many projects never leave the shed but others become masterpieces that inspire other car builders.

Milan — Milo to his mates — found inspiration one day in the form of a blown black Monaro, one that’s well-known to older Street Machine readers.

Wayne Pagel’s HT Monaro was an inspiration and Victor Bray was also a favourite.”

Why wouldn’t you love Wayne’s Monaro? It was black and tough as nails with a blown ’n’ injected small-block peeking through the bonnet. We featured it 22 years ago (SM, June ’86).

Milan loves GM products but adores Camaros, and when the right car popped up it was the start of something truly legendary.

“The body was straight but bare. It had a ’cage and tubs but no windows, wiring or front end.”

Legendary race car builder Murray Anderson built the baffled 100-litre fuel cell, which feeds methanol up to a 25-litre tank on the passenger side of the engine bay

So bare that there wasn’t even a diff, just a piece of tube with some wheels on either end. Addressing that situation was Milan’s first point of call.

A 31-spline nine-inch was thrown under the car and served well in the early days but a long trail of demolished parts has seen the diff upgraded to its current 35-spline status. Other goodies include a spooled Strange centre with an aluminium pinion support and 3.9 gears, along with EL Falcon discs.

There’s flames inside and out with a billet Weld tiller and flamed door trims thanks to Ally Works. Only two seats in this wild ride – sit down and hang on

Inside is a mix of form and function. The idea was Pro Street but with the emphasis on street, so you won’t find fibreglass or aluminium buckets in this machine. Milan wanted to drive the car, so original-style front seats were trimmed in black velour and vinyl, with purple piping to give it some colour. The flamed aluminium door trims form a nice touch (thanks to Paul at Ally Works) which continues in the rear where the back seat was deleted by the rollcage. Just as well because climbing into the back is a bit of a nightmare.

The blown 525 has punched out a lazy 1000hp at the crank at 4400rpm, at which point it tried to lift the dyno out of the ground! On the track the car has done a wheelspin-plagued 9.50@155mph

Trevor Davis, from the aptly named Trevor Davis Auto Refinishing, smoothed the panels and coated the shell in glossy black before Shane Abbott laid on the flames. Orion Silver bleeds into the purple flames that extend back to the door handles — blue pinstriping gives the flames a contrasting edge. And it’s not an SS without the noseband stripe.

Chunky 12in-wide Center Line Autodrag rims fill the rear quarters with 17in-wide M&H street tyres. Unlike many tubbed cars, Milan wanted the tyres out near the guards. The result is fantastic — it’s hard to imagine a more perfect stance on a street car.

When it came to power, Milan yanked the injected small-block from his boat. Breathing through Crower injection stacks and running straight methanol, the 355-cuber was good for 600hp at the crank. But after a few years Milan wanted more.

He wanted it black, blown, tubbed and tough. With three boxes ticked, it was time to bolt a blower on but that meant going a tougher block — a 502 GM marine unit. With good rods and crank, and ported LS7 head, Blacks Engine Developments did the initial build-up using all the good gear.

He bought the 8/71 and injector hat from a blown hydro boat called ‘The Wizard’. That was a record-setter and had run at up to 189mph. On Milan’s 502 and producing just 15psi boost, the blower is considerably less stressed these days.

Even so he admits that he’s leaned on the motor pretty hard over the past five years and there’s been a litany of broken parts. Thankfully, ICE ignition with a two-step rev limiter has cured the engine of its thirst for parts. The block is up to 90thou over, these days. That comes out at 525 cubes.

“This must be the toughest 502 block in the world,” Milan says. “There are a few bits missing out of the bottom of a few bores and it’s got a couple of sleeves but it’s still going.”

Not bad for an engine that over the past five years has killed tyres in just about every state. Go online and you’ll find some kick-arse vids of the Camaro in action. There’s even one on YouTube of Milan’s first burnout with the blown motor, at Easternats in 2003 — simply awesome stuff.

“I can’t dance on the dance floor,” Milan says. “I do my dancing on the track. You forget about the damage and forget about the revs. The car becomes you and you become the car.”

Chevrolet Camaro


Colour: Black, silver & purple flames

Engine: Chev 525ci big-block
Injection: Enderle Bird Catcher
Blower: Littlefield 8/71
Heads: LS7 large port; ported
Pistons: Probe blower
Crank: Scat
Rods: Scat H-beam
Cam: Crower roller
Ignition: ICE, 16V booster box, two-step limiter
Exhaust: 2.25in primaries, twin 3in system

Transmission: Raceglide, Dedenbear case, transbrake TCI internals
Converter: TCE 3500 stall
Diff: Nine-inch, Strange centre, 3.9 pro gears, aluminium support, Moser 35-spline axles

Brakes: HQ disc (f), EL Falcon (r)
Springs: 2in lowered (f), Spax coil-overs (r)
Shocks: 90/10 (f), Spax coil-overs (r)
Bushes: Rubber

Rims: Center Lines, 15×3.5in (f), 15x12in (r)
Rubber: Kuhmo 165/15 (f), M&H 29x17in (r)