This heavily modified 1967 Camaro owned by Mike Dusold immediately grabbed our attention at the Holley LS Fest in Bowling Green, Kentucky this year. With copious amounts of aero clinging to the body work of this machine that bears more of a resemblance to an old fighter plane than a car; there is nothing subtle about this Dusold Designs' original.
Dusold originally purchased the car about five years ago because he wanted to build himself a 1967 Camaro he could drive everyday just like he did when he was in high school, but, like so many of our simple projects, that concept quickly snowballed out of control. After building the car into a rather capable auto-cross contender using much of the original chassis, he realized it was simply too heavy and the suspension too tame to run down the Corvettes he was chasing. So he went back to the drawing board and then to the cutting room floor to craft his masterpiece using what he had learned the first time-round, only this time things got serious.
With the goal of building the baddest first-gen Camaro around, he crafted a custom tube chassis with an integrated cage that allowed much more freedom in suspension design and gave him the ability to set the engine completely behind the front-wheel centerline. Shooting for a rear weight bias near the 54 percent mark, a Corvette transaxle along with a cantilever independent rear suspension of his own design replaced the conventional live rear axle and helped transfer some weight to the tail. To save even more weight he scrapped virtually the entire body other than the roof, door jambs, and quarters replacing every component he could with carbon-fiber resulting in a car that weighs in at just 2,880 pounds.
You might think with all the weight he saved he might have opted for a mild power plant under the hood, but boy would you be wrong! Cradled snuggly between his custom frame rails is a Dailey Engineering dry-sump-equipped, LS-based, fully-forged 427 cubic-inch ERL Superdeck being force fed pressurized air by a pair of quick-spooling Precision 56mm turbos. Even running on mild boost, this combo puts out a very respectable 1,100 wheel horsepower, and Dusold describes the gas pedal as more of an on-off switch than anything else. To rein in all of this power in a car that weighs little more than a dune buggy, he has science-d it out with race-tuned traction control managed by an MS3Pro ECU from Megasquirt, paired with an ABS system from BOSCH, and this thing flat-out grips!
Not only is this street-legal racecar fun to watch on the track, it's a pleasure to look at. Dusold took inspiration from old fighter planes, leading him to leave a lot of his modifications in bare aluminum with exposed rivets dotting the bodywork. Using the experience he gained as an air brush artist, Dusold laid down a military-inspired camouflage paint job on the car complete with a pinup girl nose art. He continued the theme inside the car, combining still more raw aluminum textures with that of distressed leather, and even used old gauges from a P51 Mustang reworked with Auto Meter internals to make them functional. Not many builders can combine raw functionality with such a well-executed theme, but Mike Dusold really hit it out of the park with this one.