The McGiltons, Deborah and Tim, have been regulars in the muscle car autocross scene for the past several years and both are constantly improving the performances of their wicked Camaros. "We attend most of the American Street Car Series events, Goodguys, Chevy High Nationals, and the Optima Shootouts and we've been lucky to meet such great people that love their cars as much as we do," Tim said. We actually featured Deborah's '69 Camaro in the January '14 issue of CHP, and both cars are top-notch specimens, but they didn't always compete with such well sorted-out rides.
"We spent two years trying to autocross cars that weren't built for doing so and it was taking a lot of the fun out of it," Tim said when we asked him what was the deciding factor for building the high-end handler you see here. Like any motorsport where you push a vehicle to its limits, going hard and fast can take a toll on parts, especially when it's a heavy, fast car like an American muscle machine. It was at this point when Tim decided to pull out all the stops and build the no-nonsense second-gen racer you see here.
McGilton contacted one of the best in the business when it comes to making old muscle cars out-handle even modern day sports cars: Kyle and Stacy Tucker at Detroit Speed. Detroit Speed's facility in Mooresville, North Carolina, is one of the most well-equipped shops in the country for building these very specialized hot rods, and with the Tuckers being racers themselves, the car would receive all the necessary parts to take McGilton's Camaro from a humble classic to one wicked contender in today's autocross realm. The '70 received full gamut of upgrades, from the carbon fiber front end, to the 600+ horsepower LS engine under the hood, to the massive meats at all four corners, and a complete Detroit Speed subframe and QUADRALink suspension system. Starting with what's considered to be the best Camaro for taking corners (due to width and wheelbase), McGilton spared no expense to build something that's truly vicious when it comes to attacking the cones and the road course.
But like all hot rods, this car you see here isn't really finished. As we type this, McGilton is in the process of putting a more functional interior in the car, a new engine from Kurt Urban Performance under the hood, and an air dam/rear spoiler combo to keep the car safe at high speeds. "Without any spoilers, this car is downright scary at high-speeds," McGilton said. As a car that's been 170 mph at the Sand Hills Open Road Challenge in Nebraska, we can imagine it can get a bit hairy. "With the new engine, the goal is to move the power band up and try and take some torque away from the low rpm ranges." All in an effort to keep the tires planted at low speeds yet fly like a banshee at high speeds. This car is not only a contender in road course and autocross, it's also a test platform for Jet-Hot High Performance Coatings' various ceramic coatings. "We decided to use this car for marketing on the various coatings Jet-Hot offers. We coated things that normally don't get ceramic coated, like the rearend housing, headlight buckets, bumper brackets, air intake tube, some clutch components, and of course the whole exhaust system."
The low stance and awesome Kurt Urban Performance LS under the hood makes this car a definite head turner, and it's also streetable too. Although Tim admits it doesn't see many public roads, it's dead reliable and can easily traverse over civilian highways. At the dragstrip it runs a respectable 11.37 at 124 mph—that's with the tight autocross-spec suspension and 200 tread wear rubber. From the standing mile, to the autocross; from the dragstrip to the street, this is one second-gen that can do it all.
Engine & Drivetrain
Putting 500 horsepower to the wheels is 427ci LS from Kurt Urban Performance in Clayton, North Carolina. It features a 4.13-inch bore and a 4-inch stroke thanks to Callies cranks and the Diamond pistons inside, this mill produces an 11.3:1 compression ratio. A Cloyes timing chain controls a custom-ground camshaft from COMP Cams and Kurt Urban's own rockers articulate the valves. The cylinder heads are LS7 castings that have been reworked by Urban, while the Jet-Hot coated headers and exhaust comes from Detroit Speed. A Transzilla six-speed from Rockland Standard Gear is bolted behind the LS, while a Ram 9.5-inch dual disc clutch gets the ride moving. A DynoTech driveshaft connects to a Detroit Speed 9-inch rearend with 3.89:1 gears and a Trutrac posi unit.
Chassis & Suspension
The chassis of the Camaro is complete with Detroit Speed's whole line of parts, including the QUADRALink under the rear, subframe, and even the custom rollcage was done in-house by Detroit Speed's builders. The hydroformed subframe itself was a huge upgrade over the stock one; Detroit Speed's frame rails are fully boxed and virtually eliminate any flex in the chassis. Tubular control arms are also from Detroit Speed and the double adjustable shocks from JRi are bolted at each corner, while Detroit Speed steering components were used on the build as well.
Wheels & Brakes
The rollers under the '70 come from Formula 43; Rad 10's to be exact, front and rear. They measure 18x10.5-inch in the front and 18x12-inch in the rear. Bringing the ride to a surgical halt are Baer's 6R brakes. With 14-inch diameter rotors and 6-piston calipers clamping away, the Camaro is able to stop on a dime with minimal effort. The tires are BFGoodrich's Rival tires which measure 315/30 in front and a massive 335/30 in the rear.
Interior & Exterior
Inside the car you'll see a bare-bones interior; however McGilton's in the process of making it more complete for the 2014 season. A lightweight VFN Fiberglass dash panel is fastened in place, while an Auto Meter digital dash monitors the engine's vitals. The wiring harness supplying the juice comes from American Autowire and an A/C system from Vintage Air was also added. Tying the whole cockpit together is a Lecarra steering wheel. On the outside, Jet-Hot coated trim pieces and a carbon-fiber nose complete the black and blue racer.