Ostensibly a 1969 Camaro, Marc Meadors' rendition has nothing to do with cruising, cornering, or catching the eye of a die-hard Pro Touring fan. Assuredly, when Marc drives, he's thinking only about cutting a seriously good light, not clipping some anonymous apex. Meadors' miscreant sports zoomie headers, a Top Fuel wing, and an injector stack that looms like a gargoyle. Yes, it says Pure Hell2 on the sides, a nod to the infamous scourge of the genre, the "Pure Hell" Austin Bantam AA/Fuel Altered that was campaigned and is still owned by Californian Rich Guasco.
In the drag racing realm, his Camaro is known as a "door-slammer," in that its doors actually function, a connotation from the earliest drag racing days when cars were either developed from existing factory iron or built unlimited from scratch from dreams with tubular members, body patches and panels. In essence, door-slammer racers were pragmatists that had to operate within prescribed parameters and the confines of the form. The open-wheel and fenderless other guys were dreamers, gamblers, and bust-your-brains-out pioneers who could see no end in sight. Meadors' Camaro incorporates the best parts of both worlds.
Marc's destiny was formed at birth 46 years ago. His parents, Gary and Marilyn, were already in the life and they loved it so much and were smart enough to found Goodguys in 1985. Marc graduated high school in Danville, California, and has been with the company ever since. In 1995, he became COO and held the post until he became Goodguys president in 2007.
"Cars and Goodguys are my life," he said. "It's all I've really known. As a kid I was going to hot rod events and drag races with dad in the family hot rod. I've been right in the mix through the formative years of Goodguys and have been fortunate enough to see it become the world's largest rod and custom association."
So with all these rods and customs coming out of his ears, how does he have the time for a full-on race car and a hefty competition schedule? Marc works hard. Marc plays hard...all in the name of making the best of his hurry-up life and having fun doing it. He's been passionate about it since the 1990s, and he won the NMCA's Fastest Street Car Shootout at Memphis in 1995. Certainly, there's the undeniable therapeutic aspect: feel a little frustrated, feel a bit overwhelmed, feel a little bit dark, then stab the loud pedal and run faster and quicker than any Fuel Altered ever did back in the day...and on gasoline instead of exotic fuel. Teamwork stands tall too. Marc could have accomplished none of this were it not for indispensable crew men Jason Bunker, Danny Miller, Billy Ferriera, and Greg Lee.
The favored circuit is the West Coast Outlaw Pro Mod Association, and anyone who has followed that trail knows that Tim McAmis Race Cars crafted this Camaro more than five years ago in Hawk Point, Missouri. It was an exercise in fitness...lots carbon fiber, an influx of titanium and a sliver or three of unobtainium. All of it doesn't make the Camaro the skinniest Pro Mod in history: race weight is a hair under 2,450 pounds, and that's without Marc's butt in the seat.
McAmis built the car on a 25.1e chrome-moly double rail chassis measuring a 112-inch wheelbase. Front suspension is founded on Strange Engineering Anglia spindles, struts and JRi-modified coilover dampers with special valving. At the rear of the car, McAmis called on Darren at DMPE (Stevensville, Michigan) for the fabbed axlehousing replete with 40-spline shafts and a centersection holding a 4.11:1 ring-and-pinion. Untoward motion is damped by JRi adjustable coilovers. Velocity is eventually compromised by Strange carbon-fiber disc brakes, 10-inch in front and 11-inch in the rear that are fiercely abetted by a pair of parachutes.
Marc played a hand in the build. After the machine work, balancing and blueprinting was completed at S&S Automotive in San Leandro, California, he assembled the Brad Anderson (BAE) aluminum Hemi block short block. Primary dimensions are a 4.375-inch bore and a 3.750-inch stroke for a displacement of 451 cubic inches. Marc paired JE 10.5:1 pistons with MGP aluminum connecting rods and fixed them to the Sonny Bryant crankshaft. He used ARP fasteners throughout. For the oiling sequence, he secured a Dailey Engineering dry-sump pan and a System 1 (Tulare, California) oil pump. The camshaft is a custom-phased COMP sporting 0.850-inch lift on both valves. Marc put it in the bores with an RCD (Nevada City, California) gear drive and sealed the port with an RCD front cover. He finished the valvetrain with Jesel 0.937-inch diameter lifters and Manton pushrods the size of a cigarillo.
The top of the motor is necessarily exotic. BAE cylinder heads, including valves, springs, hardware, etc., form the underlayment for the brutish induction system. A BAE short-deck intake manifold hosts a PSI C-rotor supercharger posing a wicked injector hat from DMPE and is supplied by a Rage mechanical fuel pump. The puffer is overdriven 110 percent and yields 65 psi of positive manifold pressure. Marc capped the assembly with sheetmetal rocker covers from Williams Performance Products in Lake Elsinore, California.
Lightning bolts erupt from the MSD 44 Mag ignition system and Kooks stainless steel zoomies with the diameter of a beer can provide the fire. Marc estimates 3,000 horsepower at 9,000 rpm, an estimation assured by the Camaro's performance numbers. Torque transfers to a Lenco CS1 three-speed planetary transmission that is connected to the engine with a Browell hydroformed bellhousing. Completely out of sight are a Neal Chance 4,000-stall converter, a DMPE billet flexplate and a Bruno valvebody. A Mark Williams driveshaft became the vital link.
From the least rolling resistance to the most friction available, Marc uses Hoosier 26.0/4.5 Drag Front tires on 15x3.5 Billet Specialties Comp 5 wheels. On the drive end, its Hoosier 34.5/17.0 slicks are enabled by Billet 16x16 Comp 5 hoops.
Since cruises rarely last longer than 5.5 seconds, the interior satisfies only his most immediate needs. In a cockpit that is naturally cluttered, the Racepak V-300SD stands out loud and clear and is the only validation Marc needs—that plus the seat of fire pants. He hunkers in a McAmis carbon-fiber seat and is held fast at five points by the Taylor harness. He shifts the "automatic" Lenco up with a McAmis ratchet and thanks his lucky stars as he rockets toward the horizon at more than 250 miles an hour.
The Camaro's volcanic performance is artfully announced by bold PPG reds, golds, oranges and white as applied by industry darling Steve Dekkenga at SD Enterprises all the way out in Spring Lake, Michigan. Dekkenga is responsible for arguably the most intricate applications in the business, and the graphics incorporated by Justin Spencer Competition Designs enhance the scheme. McAmis and crew made the carbon hood.
Certainly, Marc has witnessed a virtual world of automotive eccentricities in the realm of Goodguys and there's nothing he hasn't seen or lived. But when asked what's the most memorable experience he's had with the Camaro he did not hesitate. "It's about being on the dragstrip doing what you love most and that was beating Mike Maggio while running the fastest side-by-side race in door-slammer history at Sonoma, my 5.75 at 252 to his 5.77 at 256." It's something Marc will carry with him and savor forever, like a warm stone in his pocket on a cold day.