THIS CAMARO PACKS A PUNCH: UFC Champion Rich “Ace” Franklin’s 1967 Chevrolet Camaro offered at 2022 Palm Beach Auction

Written by Nicole Ellan James

LOT #707 – Rich “Ace” Franklin’s 1967 Chevrolet Camaro Custom Coupe is selling with No Reserve at the 2022 Palm Beach Auction.


Richard “Ace” Franklin, a UFC Hall of Famer and former two-time defending middleweight champion, is known as a fierce and formidable competitor.

Franklin was first exposed to mixed martial arts (MMA) in high school, where he was instantly drawn to the sport for self-defense. As he progressed through college and worked toward a degree in secondary education, Franklin continued to develop his fighting skills and began competing. After graduating college, he was employed as a high school math teacher and later worked for an at-risk program before he transitioned to coaching on the second season of the TV show “The Ultimate Fighter.”

If any of this sounds a little familiar, you may be remembering parts of the movie “Here Comes the Boom,” starring Kevin James — a good friend of Franklin’s — who plays a high school teacher who moonlights as a mixed martial arts fighter to raise money for his school’s music program.

“Let’s just say that there are very, very stark similarities to my actual real life,” said Franklin, who currently serves as the vice president of ONE Championship, a Singaporean MMA promotion company.

Prior to joining Season 2 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Franklin won the title of middleweight champion, which he held for a couple of years. He returned to “The Ultimate Fighter” midway through the show’s 11th season, after which he received a 1967 Chevrolet Camaro from Dana White to honor his coaching skills.

The car is selling with No Reserve during the 2022 Palm Beach Auction, held April 7-9 at the South Florida Fairgrounds.

“I originally took the car to Matt Hunt Muscle Cars to have some paint work done to it,” Franklin said, adding that was phase 1 of the build process. Phase 2 consisted of swapping the original gearbox for a TREMEC T56 6-speed transmission, while the final phase brought the car into the 21st century.

As the project evolved and years went by, eventually, Hunt, who was a huge UFC fan, asked Franklin about selling the car at Barrett-Jackson.

“I was like, ‘You know what? That’d be cool,’ as I’ve been to a couple Barrett-Jackson Auctions before. So [Hunt] finished up all the extra modifications that we were doing to the Camaro, and now we’re going to be in Palm Beach,” Franklin said.

The Camaro is powered by a GM Performance big block 502ci crate engine bored and stroked to 565ci. Hunt chose the engine because it was something a bit different at a time when everyone was doing LS swaps.

“The 502 is such a massive motor,” Hunt said, adding, “People’s first reactions are like, ‘Oh, my God, look at that!’ Plus, a big block engine sounds way better.”

Under the hood, the engine features Edelbrock direct port fuel injection, a polished intake manifold and billet fuel rails. Mallory Promaster ignition provides the spark, while the engine is kept cool with an Edelbrock water pump, Ron Davis custom aluminum radiator with twin fans, and a custom-fabricated aluminum upper radiator pipe and aluminum radiator core from MHMC. It’s finished with a March Performance billet big block serpentine belt system.

Exhaust flows through a set of Hooker ceramic-coated headers from the engine into dual Flowmaster mufflers.

A TREMEC T56 6-speed transmission backs the engine and utilizes a McLeod Racing RTX street twin-disc clutch with McLeod Racing RTX aluminum flywheel, McLeod Racing 1400 series throw-out bearing and McLeod Racing GM hydraulic conversion with Hurst shifter.

The driveline is complete with an aluminum driveshaft with 1350 forged yokes with custom tubular crossmember and an Energy Suspension urethane mount.

Conventional springs were utilized up front to accommodate the big block, and the rear was equipped with VariShock coilovers and a mini-tub kit so that the front end was a little bit higher than the rear, achieving “a front-end gap like you see on some of the big block cars from the era,” Hunt said.

Stopping power is provided by a Wilwood big brake kit featuring 6-piston calipers behind a set of Budnik billet wheels wrapped in Michelin Super Sport tires.

The interior features Autometer Carbon Series gauges behind the Budnik billet steering wheel.

According to Hunt, the car was too green in color, so it was essential to tone down the hue in order to update the vehicle and make it consistent with today’s aesthetics. As a result, many elements, such as the dashboard, were wrapped with carbon fiber, and the car was repainted

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By: Barrett-Jackson
Title: THIS CAMARO PACKS A PUNCH: UFC Champion Rich “Ace” Franklin’s 1967 Chevrolet Camaro offered at 2022 Palm Beach Auction
Sourced From: www.barrett-jackson.com/Media/Home/Reader/this-camaro-packs-a-punch-ufc-champion-rich-ace-franklins-1967-chevrolet-camaro-offered-at-2022-palm-beach-auction/
Published Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2022 22:28:37 +0000