1969 Chevy Camaro SS - High Horsepower Snowball Effect

Dewayne Stephens' Twice-Finished '69

Mike Bumbeck Jun 1, 2010 0 Comment(s)
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Snowball Effect
Dewayne got on the horn with Jeff Peters over at Mountain Muscle, and a deal was struck to get going on the project. What started out as a subframe swap and mini-tubbing snowballed into everything you see here. What you don't see is where the trouble really started. Underneath the hockey stick graphic and stock body panels is everything but a stock chassis and powertrain. The initial concept was a mostly stock-appearing '69 with the handling and performance of a late-model Corvette.

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Starting with the mini-tub, the Mountain Muscle crew stuffed about as much Detroit Speed chassis goodness as possible in under the skin. A 1-inch bushing and body drop was accompanied by some transmission tunnel stimulus projects that had the crossmember and clutch fork areas reworked for improvement. Even the seat mounts were pushed 2 inches backward for more legroom. Subframe connectors tie everything together.

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Adhering to the subdued performance theme is 625-plus horsepower of small-block Chevrolet under the cowl induction hood. The 427 cubes were built into blueprinted and balanced performance perfection by Fulton Competition with JE 10.5:1 pistons. A top-secret camshaft profile from Competition Engineering bumps the valves open in the CFE heads. The combination breathes in through a Quick Fuel Technology carburetor and Edelbrock intake and out through a set of Lemmons headers and Borla exhaust. An MSD ignition lights up the fires.

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The brushed aluminum finish on the AFCO air cleaner with K&N filter is matched by a set of brushed custom valve covers. Engine accessories like the Be Cool radiator and Vintage Air front runner accessories package all follow the subtle metal or painted black theme to give the illusion of a factory built package. Even the hose fittings and hardware were kept black and stealthy for a sano appearance despite the race-bred performance lurking underhood.

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Horsepower is sent through the five forward gears of the Tremec TKO 600 transmission by way of a Centerforce clutch that spins inside a McLeod bellhousing. An Inland Empire driveline sends the torques through a set of 3:73 rear gears. A positraction-equipped center twists both of the Moser rear axles for ideal distribution of power down to the ground. Detroit Speed manufactured the entire rearward power package for maximum durability and entertainment. A Hurst shifter takes care of gear changes.

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Detroit Speed is responsible for the whole of the suspension and damping setup. The suspension is upgraded from the body mounts to the wheel studs that the 18-inch five-spoke Fikse Profil 5 (say pro feel) forged wheels bolt onto. The car rides on a Michelin Pilots, that like the Fikse wheels, are 10 inches wide out front and 12 inches wide out back. Taking all this fun back down to a stop from speed is a set of six-piston caliper Baer brakes. A set of 14-inch rotors are out front to make sure the calipers have something meaty to clamp onto when the time comes.

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Are We There Yet?

From that first mile in his pal Vance's Camaro, Dewayne knew what needed to be done to transform a car that was good enough for 1969 into a far more entertaining machine. With his car out of the shop, Dewayne joined forces with Vance for a dual Camaro road trip out to the Grand Run in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Getting there was more than half the fun. Over a dozen high-velocity testing sessions under very realistic Sunday morning road conditions proved without a second guess that the result of all the work was well worth the effort. Dewayne is driving the Camaro he always wanted. While the finish line may have been crossed for now, there's always another lap.

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