A few years back, we started the tradition of putting together an issue that showcases the best Camaros of the year. That issue has since become our most popular issue. And although the main cover line has been slightly modified from year to year, the spirit in which these Camaros are picked has not.
The idea here is to give some extra recognition to the deserving candidates who have had their cars featured in Camaro Performers magazine over the past year and to shove them into the proverbial spotlight once more before we look ahead into the upcoming year.
Now, it’s important to point out that our Best of the Best list doesn’t necessarily consist of the most expensive, fastest, or best handling cars built on an unlimited budget, but it also exemplifies the coolest in the design category, and also important—what the owner actually does with it. So, even though you’ll see some super–high-end cars on the list, the fact that the owner drives the snot out of it, carries a lot of influence for the car making it into this elite group of 11.
Another thing to remember is that our list is subjective, and it wasn’t an easy task to compile. It took hours of debate between the editorial and art staff to break down over 34 car features and come away with 11 that we could all agree are deserving of our list. It gets really hairy once we get our picks down to 15. Of course, the last four all deserve extra attention in some way, but this is a Top 11 list. And rules are rules, so we gotta stick by ’em.
This year, the debate process was more civil than in years past and there were no physical altercations between staff members. By now, the hurt feelings have long-since healed and we were able to come up with what we feel is a legitimate group that represents the best Camaros of 2011.
One thing to keep in mind is that there is no real prize for making the list. No jacket, patch, or trophy here; for what it’s worth, just the distinct honor of being chosen for the Camaro Performers magazine Best of list.
As always, if you feel a certain car, or cars, got cheated and should have made the list but did not, or if you happen to agree with our eleven-car compilation, either way, we want to hear from you.
Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Owner: Mark Stielow
Car: 1969 Camaro (Red Devil)
Issue: January 2011
Photographer: Steven Rupp
Unless you’ve been living under a rock with those fellas from the Geico Insurance commercial, then you no doubt know that Mark Stielow builds some of the baddest cars on the planet. Last year it was Charley Lillard’s, Stielow-built, ’69 Camaro named Jackass that made our elite list. This year Mark built a car for himself, called it Red Devil, and competed with it in every driving event he could. Most of which he won, including the 2010 Optima Street Car Invitational.
Mark’s Camaro features a Brian Thomson-built engine hosting a combination of LS7 and LS9 components including, most notably, the LS9 supercharger. The insanely powerful mill is good for upwards of 760 hp and 810 lb-ft of torque. For handling, it features Detroit Speed suspension components, and Brembo binders on all four corners bring it down from speed. If you ever see this car in person, check out the slick ABS system under the hood. This car is trick.