1969 Chevrolet Camaro - The IRS Is Your Friend

Art Morison Enterprises 1969 Camaro

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On The Street
We drove this car a couple of years ago with a solid rear axle, but now it been equipped with the company's new independent rear suspension—AME's first foray into that technology with a first-gen Camaro. Color us impressed.

When it came time to select a street-drive route for the '13 Suspension & Handling Challenge, we purposely selected a road that was broken up in sections with all kinds of nasty, uneven pavement. There was a “fun” section where one side of the car rolled on super smooth pavement, but the other traversed rippled, chopped, and cut asphalt. You know what? It didn't upset the Art Morrison Camaro in the least. We were shocked at how compliant this car was. Superior ride, of course, is one of the benefits of an IRS. It might not have been luxury car smooth, but it was as pleasant as one could hope for in a car that could turn corners like this.

Art Morrison 1969 Chevy Camaro Rear Three 2/9

But this test isn't all about smooth ride. It's about grip, and this car had it in spades. Think about this for a minute: A 44-year-old Camaro just obliterated GM's 2013 Camaro SS in every measurable category: Lap times (1.85-seconds faster), slalom (3 mph faster) and skidpad (.91g vs. 88g). And while the tradeoff in some cars might be ride quality or noise, this first-gen F-body was not victimized in either regard. It was comfortable and quiet.

There was not much to complain about here. The feedback from the steering was excellent. AME made some improvements to the front suspension, too, and the car tracks much better on the street. There's not much we'd change at either end of this car.

Obviously, the downside to this is price. The independent rear setup comes with a hefty $13,850 price tag—that's no joke, but neither is the way this car performs. Then another $7,387 for the front suspension, plus $75 for the subframe connectors. If you've got the green, we'd say go for it. The AME IRS isn't cheap, but it provides great value if you really plan to drive your hot rod. —Jim Campisano

Art Morrison 1969 Chevy Camaro On 3/9

Specifications
Art Morrison Enterprises
Engine Type: LS1
Block: GM iron
Fuel Delivery: GM fuel injection
Drivetrain
Transmission: Tremec T56 six-speed
Clutch: Centerforce 11-inch Dual Friction
Rearend: AME Multi-Link IRS, Dana 60, 3.73 gears, Limited Slip differential
Chassis/Suspension
Chassis: AMEGT-Sport front clip, subframe connectors, and AME Multi-Link IRS rear subframe
Front Suspension: AME C6 suspension kit with forged aluminum control arms
Steering: Rack and Pinion
Springs: 450 lbs/in
Spindles: '05-current Corvette
Shocks: JRI Double Adjustable
Sway Bar: AME 1-1/8-inch solid
Brakes: Wilwood 6-piston calipers and 14-inch rotors
Rear Suspension: AME Multi-Link IRS
Springs: 450 lbs/in
Shocks: JRI Double Adjustable
Sway Bar: ¾-inch solid
Brakes: Wilwood 4-piston calipers and 14-inch rotors
Cost of Suspension:
$21,312 without brakes
Wheels & Tires
Wheels: Intro Emotion, Front-18x10, Rear-18x11
Tires: Nitto NT05, Front-275/35R18, Rear- 295/35R18
Weight
Total: 3,409
LF: 792 RF: 936
LR: 875 RR: 806
Percentage
F: 50.7 R: 49.3
1969 Chevy Camaro
Skid Pad: CW 0.91g, CCW 0.91g, Average 0.91g
Slalom: Best 48.5 mph, Average of 5 runs 47.7 mph
Road Course: Best 1:03.71, Average of 5 runs 1:04.22
Baseline 1
2013 Camaro SS
Skid Pad: CW 0.88g, CCW 0.88g, Average 0.88g
Slalom: Best 45.5 mph, Average of five runs 45.5 mph
Road Course: Best 1:05.56, Average of 5 runs 1:06.20

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