It's hard to believe it's been five years since our first suspension challenge took place at he AMCI Test Center in California. In that short time, we've seen the aftermarket blossom with new offerings for classic Chevys to improve handling and performance. Our fifth installment, held in August 2012, saw the latest and greatest in action.
In the time since the Pro Touring market exploded, a vast array of suspension products, from bolt-ons to full chassis, have been designed and produced to make the cars of yesteryear drive and handle beyond what the original designers ever intended. Ask anyone who was around 10-20 years ago if they ever thought a bolt-in IRS system for a second gen Camaro or '62-'67 Nova would even be conceived of. Control arms, coilovers, springs, subframe connectors, bolt-on front clips, torque arm conversions—it's enough to make your head spin (but not your classic car!).
For enthusiasts, the choices cannot only be daunting, but confusing. What's best for my car? What can I afford? Will this really make a difference?
The goal of the Super Chevy Suspension & Handling Challenge, presented by Nitto Tire, is to answer those questions for as many people as possible. And along the way, have some fun testing really cool street machines.
The Rubber Meeting the Road
Nitto Tire was the official tire sponsor of the event for the fifth consecutive year and any tire in Nitto's line was available to the competitors, but only two were needed. All the competitors decided to run either the NT01 or NT05. Most went for the stickier 100 treadwear NT01 but a couple went for the 200 treadwear NT05s.
"Nitto is excited to be presenting sponsor of the Super Chevy Suspension Challenge for the fifth consecutive year. The event provides great content to readers and shows how well our tires perform on some of the top performance cars in the industry," said Tim Coltey, Marketing & Event Specialist for Nitto Tire USA.
The NT01 is a D.O.T.-compliant dry competition radial designed with the weekend road racer in mind. The compound was developed to provide the best balance of traction, consistency, heat cycle performance and longevity. The tire features a large, nearly continuous shoulder block to maximize the surface area contacting the road.
UTQG Treadwear: 100
The NT05 is basically the more streetable of the two, but it's not just the same tire with a different compound. Nitto developed it through extensive computer simulation modeling and on-track testing. This produced a street tire that that provides precise and responsive handling and performance, but still retains good street mannerisms. Though it's an outstanding dry tire, it performs admirably in the wet and will give you far longer street life than the NT01.
UTQG Treadwear: 200