1969 Chevy Camaro - Come And Get Me

Surrounded By High-Dollar Exotics, Stuart Mayim's '69 Could Very Well Be The Baddest Foreign Car Showroom Prop Ever.

Robert McGaffin Oct 8, 2009 0 Comment(s)
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Corvette C6 spindles sprout and found the front suspension as held by a DSE sub-frame complete with tubular upper and lower control arms sandwiching Koni coilover shocks that provide a 3-inch drop in ride height. DSE frame connectors run rearward. Since leaf springs really belong back in the 20th century, Autokraft was predisposed to the freedom of DSE's Quadra-Link 4-bar suspension arrangement and companion Koni adjustable coilover dampers, in this case cranked down 3 inches to give the Camaro a level ride height.

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Before the car came off the jack stands, Autokraft applied the equal of the Ferrari's brakes in the form of Wilwood six-piston calipers on 14-inch discs at each corner, positively enhanced by a Hydroboost master and booster. Stuart directs the Camaro's trajectory via another DSE gem: the 12.7:1 rack steering system. All of these modifications actually reduce curb weight and make ride and handling quality the envy of any Italian Stallion owner.

This is all pretty standard stuff for the serious road car these days. Stuart's Camaro distances itself from the hordes with a decidedly different engine rendition. It's a basically stock Scoggin-Dickey LS7 crate, looking all-business with its understated carbon fiber rocker covers and virtually no bright work to distract, but that Kinsler magnesium individual runner cross-ram system just oozes sex. You can have your 1,000hp twin-turbo or a centrifugal blower as big as a dinner plate, but for pure sado-eroticism, the Kinslers and their carbon fiber ram stacks impart a brutal aura not unlike that of a meat grinder. On the pump, the lightly-modified LS7 produced a suggestive 666hp and a very flexible torque curve topping out at 638 lb-ft. Kurt: "It was worth a solid 60 hp. In the car, throttle response cracks like a whip despite the complicated-looking linkage arrangement. The only drawback is price, about $7,500 for the basic unit."

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In essence, it's an engine perfectly matched to the chassis in which it roars. Benzina is sourced from a stainless steel tank by Rick's Hot Rods and drawn through the Walbro fuel pump anchored within. As the LS7 is decidedly factory under-rated at 505hp/470 lb-ft (think 540), the addition of the heat-resistant isolated runner intake system, a heftier Katech camshaft (0.581/0.612-inch lift, 220/244 degrees duration), Lemons 2-inch primary pipe headers (through Flowmaster Super 44's in a 3-inch diameter system), all of it compounded by the exquisite calibration of John Meaney's Big Stuff 3 controller easily account for the modest lumps in power and grunt. It would be difficult not to get an adrenaline rush thinking about this set-up. Or so you think.

Heat is extracted via thermostatically-controlled SPAL fans on a four-row aluminum core and Peterson Fluid Systems in Henderson, Colorado, constructed a custom oil tank and breather for the LS7's dry sump oiling system. A Wegner Motorsports accessory drive connects a Powermaster alternator, GM power steering pump, and Vintage Air compressor, thus completing the front dress whose subdued appearance and compact dimensions further the nasty-stealth vision.

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On the receiving end of the grunt, Autokraft incorporated stock GM parts in the flywheel, pressure plate and disc. The standard T56 bellhousing locates a high-torque Rockland Standard Gear six-gear transmission that whips torque to the Dynotech aluminum prop shaft and thence to the Moser 9-inch, its movement tempered by the four-link suspension and coil-sprung shocks.




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