Since 2000, Scottsdale, AZ-based Chris Fesler and his company Fesler Built has done numerous project and demo vehicles for GM and other car companies. As Fesler once churned out 10-plus SEMA cars every year over a six-year stretch, you could say that he knows a thing or two about building a crowd-wowing, show-stopping machine. When GM brought the new Camaro back in 2010, Fesler’s enthusiasm for the popular ponycar resulted in him putting some “what-if” Camaro designs on paper – channeling his penchant for design, he put the ever-popular ’69 Camaro’s essence here, visualized a body kit there. He eventually settled on a design that had a 1969 flair to it, and was both visually striking and undoubtedly unique. Of course, what separates Chris from the thousands of 16-year-old boys who draw badass cars in study hall is the fact that he actually turned those drawings into the Fesler-Moss Camaro you see here.
Fesler Built not only owns the design patent for this stunning Camaro, the company also makes most of its parts in-house. But this machine is much more than a 5th Gen with a body kit and a Jon Moss licensing deal – the expertly integrated LS9 engine is your first clue. “The LS9 itself is a direct swap into that engine bay,” Fesler starts. “The difference is, we use a re-pinned Camaro ECU and re-wired a Camaro wiring harness to work with the engine. And by doing that, we’ve got almost a complete factory install. “It probably took us about a month to figure out all of the wiring and computer issues so we could do a plug-and-play setup. The learning curve for building a Camaro LS9 was steep – probably the biggest problem we had was getting the paddle shifters to work with the automatic transmission. Other LS9 swaps use the manual trans, which is easy compared to using the auto. Getting the transmission to talk to the motor and the paddle shifters to work right was a pretty good challenge.”
This supercharged LS9 has been tweaked to make a bit more than the rated 638 horses. While this beast’s internals are all factory stock, the team designed a new air intake that wears an Airaid filter to inhale lots of clean, smooth air. And a highly efficient Magnuson intercooler is charged with keeping the charge air nice and cool. Once the LS9 does its thing, spent gases flow through Fesler 1 7/8-inch headers, feed into a 3-inch collector, go through high-flow cats, and dump into a 3-inch B&B exhaust system. Those additional go-fast goodies are combined with a two-stage, in-tank fuel pump system and a tuned ECU to produce roughly 705 horsepower, and 680 foot-pounds of torque. “We can get a lot more out of it, but we tune it back down to keep it reliable for years,” Fesler says. “And really, anything over 700 on the street is just nuts anyway.”
While initial auto trans work was done with a 6L80E, once the GMPP 6L90E became available, one was bolted up along with a custom Hughes Performance converter. The Driveshaft Shop supplied a new driveshaft – good for 1,500 horses, and axles – good for 1,000 horses, with only the stock differential between all of that power and an overworked set of Continental ExtremeContact DWS tires. Chris’s thoughts on keeping that diff stock: “We haven’t put stickies on it yet…and those street tires will definitely spin!”
Fesler-Moss number 1 also sports a serious suspension, as a Pedders Track II kit was installed. Pedders is known for providing just the right parts for sublime handling; in this case, goodies like body and suspension bushings, 27mm sway bars with endlinks, and 30-way-adjustable coilovers. These Pedders parts nix the wheelhop and kill the body roll, while dropping this Camaro’s stance a couple inches in the process. Speaking of dropping, a Fesler-branded Baer brake system adds some serious stop to the LS9’s go; 15-inch rotors sport 6-piston calipers that clamp down on all four corners, and braided lines and a Baer proportioning valve keep the pedal firm and the stops drama-free.
And no, your eyes aren’t deceiving you: if you know those brakes are 15s – how freakin’ big are the wheels? The 3-piece Asanti FS-914 rims measure a whopping 22 inches. While hitting potholes would definitely be a bad idea, these rims, when spinning, provide enough wind power to light Scottsdale for a night. Seriously though, the multicolored rollers are 9 inches wide up front, 10.5 inches in the back, and wear Continental ExtremeContact DWS tires that measure 265/30/ZR22 front, 295/25ZR22 rear.
But what really sets the Fesler-Moss Camaro apart is its unique body. This bold design features a wide-look, low, and aggressive front fascia with larger, billet aluminum grilles and billet fog light bezels. And thanks to the suspension drop, the Fesler-Moss’s bumper looks like it could headbutt a beetle. Watch those curbs, folks… Redesigned side skirts complement the front fascia, and the stunning rear fascia touts a body-color lower bumper, restyled spoiler, and the best-looking taillights this side of the ’69 Camaro. Visually, the finished product is as clean as it is dramatic – a testament to Fesler’s innovative design team.
Fesler-Moss number 1 wears 1969 Chevy white paint that, according to Fesler, is “Spiced up with lots of metallic and pearl.” Gary Sharp from Prescott Auto Body sprayed it, and then added orange stripes to complete the retro look. In the Camaro’s cabin, retro ’69 meets edgy contemporary. The Fesler team hunted down some Houndstooth, then Hydro Carboned the rest of the interior to match. The two-knob factory stereo was tossed in favor of a full-display navigation screen that powers a 1,350-watt, 3-subwoofer sound system. Final touches include branded leather seats with special stitching, and touch door handles from Cadillac.
While the dyno runs are the only recorded performance parameters so far, Fesler saw 185 miles an hour on the rollers, and estimates that the modded LS9’s grunt and the revised bodywork could put top speeds in the 200-mph range. So, you can see why Chris Fesler is mighty proud of this Fesler-Moss Camaro – and he thinks you’d like it, too.
SPECSEngine: LS9, 376 cid, supercharged, 9.1:1 compression, forged rotating assembly, L92-style cylinder heads with 68cc chambers, 2.16 intake/1.59 exhaust valves, .562/.558 lift, 211/230 duration at .050 hydraulic roller camshaft, factory supercharger with Magnuson intercooler, Fesler air intake
Fuel System: LS9 56 lb/hr injectors, Fesler dual fuel pump system, 75-plus psi fuel pressure
Engine management: Camaro ECU, modified for LS9/auto trans and tuned by Fesler
Exhaust system: Fesler 1 7/8-inch headers, 3-inch collectors, 3-inch B&B exhaust system
Driveline: 6L90E six-speed auto trans, Hughes Performance converter with custom stall, The Driveshaft Shop driveshaft and axles, 3.73 rear gears
Suspension: Pedders Track II kit, coilovers, bushings, and swaybars, 2-inch drop
Brakes: Fesler/Baer, 15-inch rotors, 6-piston calipers front and rear
Wheels: Asanti FS-914 22x9-inch front, 22x10.5-inch rear
Tires: Continental ExtremeContact DWS 265/30/ZR22 front, 295/25ZR22 rear
HP/TQ: 705 rwhp/680 rwtq