The 2010 Chevy Camaro was the de facto car of the year at the big 2009 SEMA show in Las Vegas. The floor was chock-a-block with new Camaros in nearly every imaginable guise and configuration. Supercharged. Touring. Road racing. Drift. Drag racing. Body kits-a-plenty. The only thing that wasn't there was an off-road or rock crawler Camaro. Maybe next year! This annual industry event turned out to be a showcase to celebrate modified versions of the latest production reentry into the American muscle car resurgence atmosphere.
One Camaro in particular bridged the gap between the past and present with 750 hp and the racing heritage of the legendary John Lingenfelter. While Lingenfelter passed away in 2003 due to complications following a drag racing accident in 2002, the performance lineage he established lives on not only at Lingenfelter Performance Engineering, but also with this LPE-constructed '10 Camaro SS that packs a blown LS7 underhood and race-bred suspension engineering under the chassis to back up the boost.
John Lingenfelter literally wrote the book on modifying the engine synonymous with Camaro performance: the small-block Chevy. While global arguments ensue over the superiority of multiple camshafts with variable timing and cylinder head chambers composed almost entirely of valve tulips and nano-robots, the basic single cam overhead valve pushrod engine that Duntov created back in the '50s makes more horsepower with each new update on the original architecture, despite a lack of quad-cam over-engineering.
Relatively light and compact compared to its European multiple camshaft V-8 cousins, and almost infinitely flexible in performance, the small-block Chevy was the basis for John Lingenfelter's racing lineage. Lingenfelter took 13 National NHRA national event titles in everything from Comp to Pro Stock Truck with powerplants of his own construction. His first national event win was behind the wheel of a '69 Camaro SS/NA Camaro in 1972. Lingenfelter later took the knowledge gleaned from years of V-8 racing into the four-cylinder world, and clicked off the first-ever NHRA six-second pass in a four-pot race car with his Chevrolet Ecotec-powered Cavalier. It was a day later in the same car that a tragic accident took the life of the man behind the horsepower. His legend, however, is one that lives on.
Lingenfelter Performance Engineering was founded in the late '70s, and continues building on the tradition of velocity today. In September of 2008, distant cousin Ken Lingenfelter leveraged considerable financial resources to acquire Lingenfelter Performance Engineering, or LPE. The Camaro gracing these pages is a finished example of what Ken set out to achieve in carrying on the tradition of engineering excellence and maximum performance set in motion by John Lingenfelter some 30 years earlier-750 hp on 93 octane pump gasoline, along with a series of well-executed exterior and interior upgrades, takes this Camaro far beyond stock and falls into line with the goals Ken set when he took the helm at LPE.
"Lingenfelter's heritage is in using precision engineering to bring even more capability to already high-performing vehicles. "Our LS7 Camaro SS package follows that tradition," said Ken.