When you put car crazies Mark Stielow and Charley Lillard together the result is mayhem, albeit measured and designed to work as the situation warrants, but mayhem nonetheless. We're talking about a mountain of torque and power certainly, but we're also in the thick of a rigid chassis, precise and adjustable handling characteristics, huge brakes, and a killer wheel/tire combination that can handle the maelstrom with aplomb. Mark (whose day job is being a top-notch development driver at GM) used CAD/CAM, 2-D dimension drawing, and his own finely cultivated savvy to engineer the finest-driving Pro Touring car the world has yet witnessed. So of course, Charley calls it Jackass.
Charley is an affable middle-aged kid with a parts and information underground to rival the CIA and a seemingly bottomless pit of cash the size of the Grand Canyon. He's acquired a few of Mark's former "test" cars, including the infamous Mule. Charley also has a penchant for all domestic marques (from early Mustangs to traditional-looking street rods with all-aluminum big-inch big-blocks) as well as the decidedly insane.
His most bizarre bone crusher has to be the Pro Street-esque 1,650 ci Rolls-Royce Merlin aircraft engine masquerading as a '55 Bel Air (twin, rear-fender mounted machine guns included). Editor Nick has heard it: "The thing is almost as loud as an alcohol Funny Car. Hearing an airplane and looking at a car is a freaky sensation." But Charley likes to regularly shock the sh*t out of the troops with tremendously capable power whirling within a fairly demure package, but this mega-cube monster is about as retiring as a T-Rex.
But we're here to discuss the latest charger bumping in Charley's stalls. This Charley original was executed by Mark, who admits that the Mule was a bumptious dude, not really refined for the street, simply because it was used for so many different qualifiers. Jackass has all the mannerly aspects you'd expect in a truly lovable road car, but one capable of merciless behavior: quiet idle, supple suspension, full interior with nothing where it shouldn't be, and air-conditioned comfort. It took Reiters Metalcraft in Mt. Clemens, Michigan, and Joe Borshcke from Stenod Performance in Troy, Michigan, and a few more key agents nearly two years to build and fit the parts, like the final product sprang intact straight from some cosmic pod.
Mark went to Nicky Fowler at Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center for the LS9 engine, accessory drive, fuel sender, intercooler pump used in conjunction with a supercharged Ecotec engine, ZR1 uprights, 15.5-inch carbon-ceramic rotors, six-piston Brembo calipers, and whopper rims. Reiters' crew packed in the necessary Art Morrison sub-frame complete with C6 suspension pieces and Morrison custom rack steering assembly. They massaged the inner fender wells to take the turning angle of the 285/30 Michelins Pilot Sport PS2 rubber as displayed on 19x10 ZR1 rims. Then they joined the front and rear sections of the car with DSE frame connectors.
The driving end of the Terror Yellow Camaro was designed around a DSE QUADRAlink. Reiters positioned the sub-assembly and welded in the new body-strengthening bar/upper attachment points for the coilovers, as well as pass-through openings for the exhaust system. The back wheels are 20x12 ZR1, so deeper, taller tubs, also from DSE, easily accommodate the zero wheel offset and the 335/25 tires. Between the quarter panels is a Currie aluminum-center axle a very appropriate choice for the occasion.