When the fifth-generation Camaro first hit the streets in 2010, the most notable factor on the negative side was that it’s a bit on the pudgy side, and the extra weight would have a huge effect on its ability in keeping up with previous generations of the Camaro on the performance side. With that said, it wasn’t long before aftermarket companies began offering upgrades in both the suspension and horsepower departments. Wes Skipper took advantage of a performance suspension kit from Granatelli Motorsports and then bolted on a supercharger from Whipple for more power. The combination of the two did wonders to make Wes’ car feel a lot lighter and way more nimble in the corners. Yes, the fifth-gens are notorious for pushing (wanting to go straight during hard turning) in tight corners, and this one was no exception, but even on our short autocross course this car was a welcomed surprise and handled much better than I had expected. Skipper had informed me the car makes 700 hp and that it can be a handful. I actually found the horsepower to be very manageable, and the braking advantage offered by the ABS allowed me to take the car deeper into corners and throttle out quite efficiently. At 4,100 pounds, and on stock tires, this portly beast was a blast to drive. The car sounds killer with the exhaust cutouts open, but I can see where that would get old while driving on the street for a period of time. I’ve driven quite a few supercharged fifth-gens, and this one is right up there with the rest of them.
69' DSE Camaro
Engine: Mast Motorsports 416ci LS
Suspension: front, DSE subframe with splined antiroll bar; rear QUADRALink; DSE coilover shocks and springs with Detroit Tuned valving
Brakes: front/rear Baer 6S with 14-inch rotors
Tires: BFGoodrich KDW, front, P275/35R18; rear P335/30R18
From The Driver seat
I said it during last year’s SMC event and I’ll say it again; Stacy Tucker’s transmission of choice is a Rockland-modified Tremec and it practically shifts by itself. I’ve yet to experience any other car that will engage into gears like this one. The power is great, it’s comfortable, and it’s no wonder she took home the crown this year. On a more personal note, Stacy and I made a bet that whoever ran the quicket e.t. this year would have to buy the other an ice cream of their choice; let me just say on the record, Stacy, what flavor would you like?
It’s no secret that DSE spends a ridiculous amount of time testing and tuning their cars’ suspensions. Stacy Tucker’s ’69 test Camaro has seen more miles than just about any vintage Camaro—street time and track time—so I had expected the car to do well on the autocross. The Mast Motorsports LS engine offers more than enough horsepower for most any autocross, especially the compact course we put together. With that said, the 335 rear tire is a tremendous help in managing all the torque this thing puts out, and with a 285 tire up front, the car was evenly balanced and enabled me to power through the slalom section and also on the long sweeping turn. Muscle cars tend to push in sweepers and tight corners when coming in a little too fast, but the big Baer binders promptly scrubbed off speed and made it easy to negotiate the corners and quickly get back hard on the throttle on the straights. This car was a complete joy to drive and it was obvious that all the testing this car has been through paid off greatly. The only thing I regret about driving this car is the fact that I wasn’t able to take it home with me.
’69 Littlefield/Chris Alston’s Chassisworks Camaro
Engine: Mast Motorsports Black Label LS7
Suspension: Chassisworks g-Machine Clip; front, Chassisworks Mini-Tub g-Link System; front/rear, double-adjustable VariShock coilovers
Brakes: front/rear, Wilwood 14/13-inch
Tires: Michelin PS2, front, 285/30R18; rear, P335/30R18
From The Driver seat