1970 Chevy Camaro - Cold Chisel

Mean Handling From Some Very Nice Folks.

Ro McGonegal Jul 16, 2009 0 Comment(s)
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Kyle and Stacy Tucker began their careers as suspension engineers at GM, playing their roles with equal measures of competence, enthusiasm and forethought. They were into it, no doubt, one of those deals where they couldn’t wait to get to work each morning. They have brains that never shut down, minds that never stop inventing and re-inventing. Eventually, though, the routine became just that. Corporate structure is too often rigid and confining—hot rodders usually are not. The two were tantalized by much bigger things on the distant horizon and knew then it was time to begin reaching for them.

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So the Tuckers went on a gentle rampage, creating Detroit Speed & Engineering in Brighton, Michigan, to nurture the infant Pro Touring segment; a class of cars where all systems are stacked according to power output, braking force, and all-out handling that would create a track monster that could be driven comfortably on public roads.

Detroit is extremely fertile ground for growing technology but can become depressing during the cold season when the sun forgets to emerge from November through March, only to appear infrequently as a taunting, hazy disc in the colorless winter sky. Everyone knows that’s why Florida was invented. It has also become apparent that most innovation stems from the NASCAR folk. About ten years ago, northern speed parts makers began moving south, to North Carolina, which is still the heart of NASCAR country as far as we know.

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We picked up on the Tuckers in the October 2000 issue of HOT ROD magazine. They called their ’69 Camaro test mule Twister. Later on, it was hoisted as the “winner” of the annual Top 10. Compared to their current DSE output, Twister was mild but proved some very important things via CAD/CAM help. Kyle gave it tubular upper control arms and knuckles to match and tweaked the sub-frame attachment points. As a result, roll center, caster/camber and toe curves and anti-dive geometry were all optimized for Twister’s lowered ride height (2/4) and bump steer became a non-issue.

Nearly ten years later, the Tuckers had picked everything up and skated to Mooresville, North Carolina. Detroit’s loss was ol’ Dixie’s gain. You know the rest of the story. This ’70 second-gen, recognized as a better handling car in stock form than the previous issue, is now the hard-driving mule, the showcase for all DSE’s second-gen F-body components in one bag. We love the plan. Cool and intricate inside and underneath, but a “10-foot car” on the outside. Except for those fat baloneys and mighty modular hoops, it looks like it might have escaped from a long-gone episode of “CHiPS.”

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Kyle imparts, “Its most unique feature is probably the fact that this car is completely new and fresh everywhere but the crappy paint job. Everywhere it goes body shop owners drop business cards on the seats. I guess they think we should paint the car. We could, but I don’t want to,” he quipped. The Camaro is now in its second iteration.

“The first year [2006] we used the car to install our bolt-on front suspension parts like upper and lower tubular control arms, anti-sway bar, and front springs. We videotaped the installation of the sub-frame connectors and the mini-tubs for our installation tips section on the website. First, we installed our leaf-spring mini-tub kit and ran it for about a year and half. In January of 2008, it was time for round two.




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