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Hatebreed Drummer Gives Up-Close Look at His Classic Camaro Z28

Besides pounding the skins in one of heavy metal’s most beloved bands, Hatebreed‘s Matt Byrne is also a gearhead. He’s a car enthusiast who plans on souping up his 1980s Camaro Z28 when he gets off tour in the next few weeks. “I enjoy vintage, custom hot rods,” Byrne told Noisecreep. “I like thumbing through magazines, going to car shows, checking cars out online. I’m constantly checking cars out, because people have done a lot of cool things to old cars and have breathed fresh, new life into them. It’s cool to see a car completely restored to pristine, ‘numbers matching’ condition, but I definitely enjoy loud, fast custom built hot rods more. The louder and sloppier sounding, the better.”

Byrne is currently restoring his Camaro Z28 with red paint and decals, a four-speed Borg Warner transmission and Hurst shifter, among other things. When it’s done, it’ll push roughly 500 horsepower! While that may be Greek to most of us, the car looks pretty freakin’ sweet, as his pictures demonstrate. Byrne contends he can do basic maintenance but has a has ‘muscle partner in crime’ named Doug Dragonetti. Byrne has been cruising for cars over the past six months, scouring Craigslist, eBay and local papers when he stumbled upon this particular beauty.

“I found it on Craigslist,” he said. “It was located in the Syracuse area, about a three-hour drive. I took the drive, loved the car, put it on a trailer and towed it home. I got home about 10 that night, fired it up to get it off the trailer and woke up the entire neighborhood.” Byrne revealed the previous owner “built a solid foundation but took several shortcuts, probably just to get it on the road to start driving and enjoying it.” He has a few small but necessary fixes in mind, like new fuel lines, battery cables and spark plugs, as well as interior upgrades like arm rests, window cranks and trunk carpeting.

The Z28 is a ‘fun’ car for the drummer, whose everyday ride is the less flashy Toyota RAV4. “This car is my baby, and it will never see winter — snow, salt, dirt — and will hopefully never see rain, either,” Byrne said. “It’s a spring/summer vehicle. Until the nice weather rolls around, it stays garaged and covered. As soon as that nice weather hits, I’ll be out and about.”

Byrne also said, “I’m definitely looking forward to fixing this car up to where I’m happy with it and maybe putting it in some car shows. I’m already saving loot to get my next one, once this thing is done. Once you’re bitten by that hot rod bug, you’re done for.”

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