1973 Nickey Chevrolet Big Block 454 Stage III Camaro: Unleashing Power and Performance

When it comes to muscle cars, power and performance are at the heart of every enthusiast’s dreams. However, in 1973, factory-built Chevrolet Camaros fell short in delivering the exhilaration that drivers craved. Fortunately, there were dealers like Nickey Chevrolet in Chicago that aimed to fix this problem by building their own high-performance editions.

The Disappointment of Factory-Built 1973 Chevrolet Camaros

Factory-built 1973 Chevrolet Camaros were notorious for their underwhelming power. The brochure might have featured smiling couples, but the reality was far from satisfying. These Camaros were equipped with a meager 175 horsepower 350 engines that left performance enthusiasts wanting more. Thankfully, dealers like Nickey Chevrolet stepped up to the challenge.

Nicky Chevrolet: The Powerhouse in Chicago

While some dealers were content with offering only what the manufacturers built, Nickey Chevrolet in Chicago took a different approach. They were determined to provide customers with cars that exceeded the manufacturer’s offerings. If you were a performance enthusiast in Chicago during that era, Nickey Chevrolet was the place to go for high-performance Bowtie machinery.

Nickey Chevrolet’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of performance led to the creation of the 1973 Nickey Stage 3 454 Camaro. This iconic muscle car was a testament to their dedication and expertise. It was loaded with high-performance parts, meticulously installed by the skilled Niki team. The result was a beast waiting to take on all challengers on the street.

With the 1973 Nickey Stage 3 Camaro, drivers could experience power and performance that surpassed the factory-built models. From the Chevrolet LS6 454 V8 engine rated at 450 horsepower to the numerous performance upgrades such as the Holley carburetor, aluminum intake manifold, and upgraded ignition, every aspect of this Camaro was optimized for speed and exhilaration. Nickey Chevrolet’s commitment to delivering high-performance vehicles made them a true force in the Chicago muscle car scene.

One standout example from Nickey Chevrolet’s repertoire was the 1973 Nicky Stage 3 454 Camaro. This iconic muscle car was loaded with high-performance parts, all installed by the skilled Niki team. It was a beast waiting to take on any challengers on the street.

At the heart of the 1973 Nicky Stage 3 Camaro roared the Chevrolet LS6 454 V8 engine. With a rating of 450 horsepower, this engine was a force to be reckoned with. The LS6 was not originally available in the second-generation Camaro, let alone the 1973 model. However, Nickey Chevrolet defied the norm and brought this beast to life.

Performance Upgrades and Modifications

To ensure the 1973 Nickey Stage 3 Camaro lived up to its reputation, numerous performance parts were added. The heart of this beast was the Chevrolet LS6 454 V8 engine, boasting a staggering 450 horsepower. This engine was a powerhouse, delivering an adrenaline-pumping experience on the open road. But it didn’t stop there. The Nicky team went the extra mile, equipping the Camaro with a range of upgrades to maximize its performance.

The list of enhancements included a Holley carburetor perched on top of an aluminum intake manifold, enabling optimal fuel delivery and air intake. A hotter cam and ignition upgrades further enhanced the engine’s performance, ensuring quick and powerful acceleration. To transfer all that power to the wheels, the Camaro was fitted with a Muncie 4-speed manual transmission, known for its durability and smooth shifting. Coupled with a heavy-duty clutch, it provided precise control over the immense power generated by the LS6 engine.

To harness the power and ensure a smooth launch, a 12-volt rear end was employed. This robust rear end took the twisting torque from the engine and converted it into forward motion, propelling the Camaro with authority. To prevent wheel hop and maintain traction, bolt-on traction bars were added. These bars acted as a stabilizing force, keeping the rear wheels firmly planted on the ground, allowing the Camaro to transfer its power to the asphalt effectively. With these performance-enhancing additions, the 1973 Nickey Stage 3 Camaro was a force to be reckoned with on both the street and the track.

A Track-Ready Monster

What made the 1973 Nicky Stage 3 Camaro truly special was that it was a street-legal car ready for racing. It was remarkable that you could walk into a local Chevrolet dealer in Chicago and drive home with a Camaro that was already primed for the track. There is documented evidence of the first owner racing it to an impressive 10.52 seconds at 129 miles per hour in the quarter-mile. Moreover, it won a championship and held a 1974 world record in the eighth-mile, achieving an astonishing 8.12 ET on June 23rd, 1974.

Preserving Originality: The Midnight Green Beauty

Despite the declining power levels of the era, the 1973 Nicky Stage 3 Camaro remains a testament to the dedication of dealers like Nickey Chevrolet. This particular car proudly retains most of its original sheet metal, with only a portion of a quarter panel repaired

Its distinctive hood, reminiscent of the l88 Corvette, sets it apart. Unlike the z28 split-bumper cars with flashy spoilers and stripes, this Camaro showcases its authenticity. It wears its original midnight green paint, a color that epitomizes the 1970s. This dark hue perfectly complements the neutral tan vinyl interior.

Unique Interior Features

While most race cars prioritize weight reduction by shedding interior features, the Nicky Camaro takes a different approach. It proudly boasts an intriguing upgrade in the form of an 8-track stereo tape player. This unique feature was touted as the same unit used in Learjets during that era. After all, what is cruising in a muscle car without the perfect soundtrack? The 8-track player added a touch of nostalgia and entertainment to the driving experience.

In addition to the 8-track player, the Camaro is equipped with high-back bucket seats that provide both comfort and support. These seats not only contribute to the overall aesthetic of the interior but also ensure a comfortable ride during high-speed maneuvers. Furthermore, modern gauges have been installed, indicating that this Camaro still occasionally sees track action. These gauges provide essential information to the driver, allowing for precise monitoring of the vehicle’s performance.

The interior of the Nicky Camaro strikes a balance between functionality and style. It showcases the car’s racing pedigree while offering some creature comforts for an enjoyable driving experience. The combination of the 8-track stereo tape player, high-back bucket seats, and modern gauges demonstrates that this Camaro is not just a showpiece but a car that can still deliver on the track.

Whether you’re cruising on the open road or tearing up the track, the interior of the Nicky Camaro ensures a thrilling and immersive experience. It’s a testament to the enduring appeal and versatility of muscle cars, seamlessly blending performance and comfort in a package that continues to captivate enthusiasts to this day.

Cruising with Style and Power

The 1973 Nicky Stage 3 Camaro embodies the spirit of the golden age of muscle cars. It offers a thrilling combination of power, performance, and street presence. Cruising in this beast is an experience like no other, attracting attention wherever it goes. Whether you’re a fan of the roaring engine, the sleek design, or the sheer adrenaline it evokes, the Nicky Stage 3 Camaro continues to captivate muscle car enthusiasts.

The Brothers Collection houses a wide variety of dealer-built super cars, and the 1973 Nicky Stage 3 Camaro is undoubtedly one of the crown jewels. If you’ve enjoyed this journey through automotive history, be sure to hit that subscribe button to stay updated with the latest additions to the collection. You never know what remarkable car you’ll discover next.


The 1973 Nicky Stage 3 454 Camaro from Nickey Chevrolet represents a significant chapter in the annals of American muscle car history. It showcases the relentless pursuit of power and performance by dealers who refused to let factory limitations define their offerings. This rare and exceptional Camaro is a testament to the ingenuity and dedication of those who sought to push the boundaries of automotive performance.

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