Cool cars aren’t built in a vacuum, they’re crafted from dozens of experiences and are a combination of unique ideas. Scott Gulbranson’s ’69 Camaro is just such a car. His ride is the product of his own experiences and, in turn, his car helped produce a very unique website: lateral-g.net. Scott informs us, “I started lateral-g as a place to host pictures of my car and a few friends’ rides. I never intended to build a website that’s as big as it is, but it just took off. Over the time that it took to build the latest incarnation of my car, I also focused on making the website the best it could be.
I’ve always enjoyed technology and computers, along with cars and motorsports, so it’s something that brings all my interests into one place.” With Scott’s love of tech it’s no wonder he went the direction he did when building his Camaro. It’s a conglomeration of high-tech wonders and classic muscle car styling. And, like all cool rides, the journey to getting it on the road was almost as fun as the finished product… almost.
Scott picked up his Camaro in the summer of ‘00. It was an older restoration that had gotten fresh NOS quarters and a decent paint job ten years prior. Back then, there was no rust on the car, but there was no performance, either. As Scott mentions, “It was your typical 13-second muscle car that was just plain boring to drive.” Scott has a hard time leaving stuff alone, so it wasn’t long before the M20 was out and a Tremec TKO 5-speed was in. While there, he bolted on a set of Baer brakes and some 17-inch Budniks to replace the 15-inch steel ralleys. Those modifications helped, but by the fall of ’04 Scott was craving more… Much more.
To chronicle the build-up of his ’69, he started a website to post pictures called lateral-g.net. Over the period of a few years the site became something more than a picture hosting deal for Scott and his buddies. Today it’s a gearhead community nearly 8,000-strong and they all love lateral acceleration as much as the linear type. As he was launching the website his Camaro went from a driver to a pile of parts as he began building his unique vision of Camaro nirvana.
The first think he purchased for the car was wheels. “I mounted up the tires, cut out the inner wheel tubs, and notched the frame to get them to clear. Once the 18x12-inch HRE wheels would fit, I made a fixture to mock up a rear end for the car based on where I wanted the wheels to go. Using those measurements, I had Currie Enterprises build a rearend for me. I closed out the rear tubs with a DSE mini-tub kit,” recalled Scott. Later, he decided to run DSE’s new Quadra-Link rear suspension kit. Unfortunately, the rearend he had built back before the Quadra-Link even existed needed to be modified. “Since I already had the complete rearend built with the axle housing ends welded on, I had to cut all the Quadra-Link brackets in half, position them on the rearend in a fixture I made, then weld it all together,” deadpanned Scott.
The thing about building a car over such a long period of time is how much technology, and companies’ change. The LS7 that now powers Scott’s Camaro was barely on the drawing boards at GM, and the company that built his front subframe, Wayne Due, is no longer in business. Luckily for Scott, all the parts mated to the subframe, like the DSE control arms, AGR rack, Koni coilovers, ATS spindles, and Speedway Engineering splined sway bar are from solvent companies, so replacement parts are readily available.
The chassis was given more rigidity by way of DSE’s in-floor subframe connectors and a six-point cage fabricated by Autokraft Race Cars and Restorations in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. For stopping power, Scott turned to The General for their C6 Z06 brakes consisting of 14-inch rotors and 6-piston binders up front and 13.5-inch rotors and 4-piston units in the rear. Helping mate these new-school stoppers to his rearend is an adapter kit from KORE3 Industries. For extra braking capability, he also grafted in a Hydratech Braking Hydroboost system. After all, what’s the fun of stopping if it doesn’t occasionally detach your retinas?
Originally, Scott’s plan called for a twin-turbo small-block, but fate had something else in store. “When I was at Mark Stielow’s house a while back, we took his ’69, called Camaro X, out for a spin. While he was flogging it, Mark told me that he had two LS7s and one was for sale. So I jumped on it. The motor that’s in my car is the one that Mark used for pictures in his LS7 swap article for Hot Rod magazine,” recalled Scott. The output of the LS7 was ratcheted up with a Katech camshaft and a set of Kook’s 1 7/8-inch stainless headers. To dress out the aluminum mill Scott went with a black-anodized front-drive system from Synister Products. AutoKraft mounts hold it all in place.