Pro Touring 1969 Camaro - Terror Yellow

Contradiction In Terms? No, Arguably The Slickest Pro Touring Car Built Yet.

Ro McGonegal Aug 30, 2009 0 Comment(s)
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Supposedly the first hot rod to be motivated by a ZR1 crate engine, it is the most powerful production engine ever available from any domestic manufacturer. In the Corvette, its rating is 638 hp at 6,500 rpm and 604 lb-ft at 3,800 rpm. With calibration tweaks by Thomson Automotive down in Wixom, Michigan (and later a Ryan Kuhlenbeck-modified LS7 crate motor controller that was amended in the running car by Matt Harlan at DiabloSport), the power level grew like freakin' Jack and the Beanstalk. With no mechanical changes or modifications, it produced 703 hp at 6,300 rpm? Yikes! You'll also notice how the whole package fits neatly under the ZL2 hood, not a lump or a hint or a whisper of what terror lies just beneath the surface.

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That slick Currie axle measures 56.9 inches in width, carries 3.89:1 gears, and is connected to the Viper T56 via a Cameron Coves Industries 3.5-inch steel driveshaft. D&D Transmission over in Wixom made an adapter from 0.890-inch aluminum to hook it up with the engine. The flywheel and clutch assembly are straight out the ZR1.

Fuel and other critical fluids and their coolers abound. To fit the Rick's stainless cell and clear the 3-inch stainless exhaust system, the front corners were cut off. The fuel cell carries baffles designed by Mark, and a CTS-V fuel sender that Kinsler Fuel Injection joined with a pair of high-flow fuel pumps and corresponding regulators. Since Charley loves to terrorize (even him) on track days, the transmission is fitted with an external cooling system designed by Mark, composed of a pump and a compact heat exchanger connected by braided-steel lines.

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Likewise, the fluid in the Currie axle benefits from yet another cooling system with a trunk-mounted catch can. There's more at the front of the car. To maximize airflow to the radiator, A/C condenser, and heat exchangers required for the supercharger and the power steering, Mark used a (air dam) kit that redirects air that would normally flow beneath the car directly to the regions that need it most. It sits rearward of the normal location and also aids in aero flow.

If Mark insists on one thing, it is how the undersides of his project cars are packaged. Everything is up and out of the airstream, yet with optimum functionality and free of vibrations. The exhaust system is one such realm. The fuel tank was built to accommodate it and the floor where the rear seat once was (now a storage department for Charley's pounds of $50s) has been raised for the same purpose.

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Joe Borchke turned a pile of Kook's stainless tubing into the exhaust system's essentials: the headers for which we have no measurements and the 3-inch stuff into a floor-hugging system. Joe positioned the short Borla mufflers as far to the rear as possible and brought the ends of the tailpipes even with the valance panel. But before Reiters took the car back for bodywork and the application of its PPG Daytona Yellow paint (OE code 76 color in '69), Joe welded in an 8-point cage.




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