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1969 Chevrolet Camaro - One Son Of Anarchy

Dedication…and twin turbos

Ro McGonegal Jun 25, 2014
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The cost of everything is becoming worrisome at least and absolutely frightening at best and there is certainly no realm that has not been affected. You name it; it costs grievously more today than it did just a year ago. So when discretionary income is at stake, the stakes will escalate like Jack’s beanstalk.

You want to make an “investment” but you need to know every possible nit and pitfall. You want to visit the venue. You want to experience the ride. You want to talk to as many involved parties as possible before committing your soul and your bankroll (or maybe the kids’ college funds). That is exactly what 46-year-old DeWayne Spiess did when he contemplated building his ’69 Camaro. Luckily, the college fund wasn’t an issue.

DeWayne wanted something very fast and very evil, not for straight-line antics, but for autocross annihilation. He did his field-work and found himself shoulder-to-shoulder with Detroit Speed’s Stacy Tucker in one of her Camaros at a Goodguys Kansas City event. The snake ride jazzed him. The hook arced in deeply. Detroit’s products would grace his Camaro. Then, there was some reminiscence.

A few years prior, DeWayne had worked with Bobby Schumacher finishing a car at Vintage Fabrication in Independence, Missouri. The experience was so satisfying that DeWayne had no compunction about doing it again. Bobby’s enthusiasm and attention to detail were without parallel, as you will see. There’s not much that didn’t get massaged; some details are obvious but many are not, the succinct mark of a mature builder who trashed the cookie-cutter mentality a long time ago.

1969 Chevy Camaro Front Quarter Driving 2/14

DeWayne found a worthy candidate and Vintage made it whole with new sheetmetal. Then they did the custom work, shaving, splicing, and fabricating to make subtle, thought-provoking changes that will keep this Camaro fresh, crisp, and cogent for decades. The paint is a small story in itself. Originally, Bobby loosely based his idea for the scheme on the ’10 Hurst Camaro—matte white with black stripes. Meanwhile, at a Barrett-Jackson soiree in Scottsdale, Arizona, he was polarized by a Galpin Auto Sports rides cloaked in a complete custom orange mix. He was sold. Galpin was reluctant (several times) to divulge the paint codes over the phone, so when DeWayne visited his son in San Diego he side-tripped north to Van Nuys, met a very nice group of enthusiasts, made nice … and departed with the hallowed soup recipe.

That is one of the Camaro’s distinctions. Another is the trademark shape of its seats. While being comfortable as well as supportive, the buckets don’t look like anything a serious autocrosser might wear. Maybe it’s because they actually look like seats rather than the spare, unyielding, hard-spine units found in most specialty performance cars, but the rollbar adds credence.

The advent of Chevrolet Performance LS crate motors has been a boon to the car builder. Has all the good stuff in an aluminum cylinder case and in several strengths and varieties. DeWayne chose an LS9. Red Line Racing stretched the original 376-inch displacement to a rosy 427, enabled by a forged rotating assembly. In real life, the LS9 is supercharged but it wasn’t enough for our protagonist. He wanted fast andevil. He found it ready to leap vicious from a pair of turbochargers—easy on the engine, quiet in operation, and capable of terrifying power.

So how did this all work out? Since the one-and-half-year build was completed in October ’13, DeWayne ran the autocross at the Goodguys Indy event and received Best Street Machine at the ’13 World of Wheels. That’s putting his best big foot forward.

1969 Chevy Camaro Engine 3/14


Though it behooves an autocross ripper to have a power curve balanced against the strength of the chassis, monster power is rapidly becoming the norm in some circles, so why not carry twin .50-calibers instead of the usual .30s? Red Line Racing built the 427-based LS9 with forged internals and a moderate 9.0:1 compression ratio. Until you realize the amount of underhood plumbing this conversion entails, the installation in the Camaro’s cramped engine bay seems ordinary. DeWayne: “… was a lot of stuff to cram into such a small space. I believe this might be the first twin-turbo on a ’69 Camaro with [the pivoting] Rally Sport headlights.” Vintage built the compact ducting, air intakes, and the header/exhaust system that supports the Garrett GT35 hairdryers. An undisclosed amount of compressed air pressurizes the FAST intake manifold and 102mm throttle body and produces an undisclosed amount of grunt and power. Vintage decked out the rocker covers and the intake manifold with a one-off Summit Hydrographics (Lee’s Summit, Missouri) design. Since a clutch car would be a bit unruly with so much guff, DeWayne opted for a TCI 6X automatic with a 0.75:1 top gear to absorb some of the excess. The six-speed multiplies torque with a TCI converter and channels it to a 9-inch housing set with a 3.73:1 ring-and-pinion and limited-slip differential.

1969 Chevy Camaro Hood Open 4/14


Once exposed to a real-world environment, DeWayne was quickly enamored of the Detroit Speed chassis equipment. Vintage Fabrication included a complete subframe and rack steering at front and brought up the rear with a Detroit Speed four-link suspension as well as mini-tubs to accommodate large-by-bulbous rubber. Subframe connectors and a four-point rollbar consolidate the chassis.

1969 Chevy Camaro Interior Driver 5/14
1969 Chevy Camaro Interior 6/14


Stark and plain aren’t spoken here. The Camaro’s gut looks a lot more like a comfortable place for a long-distance runner than a sparsely appointed Saturday night special. To confirm it, the Anarchy Camaro touts air conditioning and an Alpine Double DIN head unit. DeWayne hawks Auto Meter gauges sunk in a Classic Dash cluster infused with funky Summit Hydrographics. He twirls a Billet Specialties steering wheel and changes up the gears with a TCI paddle-shifter. Vintage built a custom center console and applied the complete Fudge ultraleather interior that encompasses the trick door and side panels as well as the TEA’s Design (Rochester, Minnesota) front seats and matching handbuilt Vintage rear buckets.

1969 Chevy Camaro Wheel 13/14

Roller & Binders

An autocrosser lives or dies by the most fantastic rubber and energy-burners available. In this case, the wheels are 18-inch diameter Boze Lateral-Gs, 9- and 12-inches wide and fit with 275/40 Nitto NT555s and large 335/35 BFG g-Force Rivals. With Baer six-piston grabbers and 14-inch discs all around, DeWayne’s right foot doesn’t have far to move.

1969 Chevy Camaro Rear Quarter 14/14


There’s a lot going on here. Vintage Fabrication cleaned out the engine bay, smoothed the metal and made it a perfect foil for the illustrative engine. They mounted the windshield and backlight flush; shaved the door handles, side marker lights, and sideview mirrors; and tucked the bumpers. Then they got down to business fabricating and integrating the air dam, extending the rocker panels, building the deck spoiler, and fashioning the tail pan as per the fifth-gen Camaro. Mo’ Bitchin’ in Independence applied that special PPG custom orange mix.



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