Speaking of the fenders, once Stout finished raising the tranny tunnel one and a half inches he mini-tubbed the rear, widening it three inches to fit the 17x11 Corvette ZR1 rims and massaged the front fenders to fit the 17x9.5s and Michelin Pilot Sports, respectively. These body mods could be made with the car upright, but in order to fill every hole on the bottom and remove any unnecessary suspension parts from the same area, Stout had to build his own rotisserie. One can only imagine what his home barbecue set up is like.
As you can see the body is black. Steve Sheets of True Color Customs in Henderson, Colorado, applied the PPG hue along with black pearl SS strips, airbrushed LS7 emblems, and rear quarter panel gills. Before he shot the paint, Sheets narrowed and tucked the bumpers in, after smoothing the bolt holes.
"Steve made all the gaps perfect by adding metal where needed," said Stout. As they installed all new sheetmetal including front clip, doors and quarter panels, a bit of metal fitting was inevitable. Marquez Designs supplied the all billet door jamb vents, front park lamps, stainless steel door strikers, hood bumpers and pins, while Fesler supplied the rear taillights. The license plate bracket has been removed and the side markers filled. If you're out of breath after repeating the body mods, all we can say is the combined result does the same. The body is truly breathtaking. And that's just the surface. Look underneath and all the aluminum suspension parts are powder-coated as are the engine brackets. Which brings us to the powerplant, the heart of this beast, the LS7.
We first saw Stout's Camaro at the 2010 Denver Super Chevy Show at Bandimere Speedway, where he took first place in class, Top 10 Editor's Choice Car Show, and Trick Stick awards. "I was pretty happy about that," said Stout. Having that late-model LS7 didn't hurt his ability to take home a handful of hardware. And the fact that it comes with a 675hp kit from Schwartz Performance with a bigger cam, valvesprings and retainers, ARP engine bolts, and a tweaked computer made it even more appealing.
Jay Edens and Scott Howett at Corvette City also deserve to be worshiped. The latter did the welding, and the former tore down the motor, blueprinted it, and installed all the aforementioned goodies along with better rod and crank bearings. Kudos also go to Rick at EandG Terminal for help with the wiring terminals on the Painless wiring harness. Stout may have spent just as much time on the tranny tunnel raising it an inch and a half to accommodate the T56 six-speed and aluminum 4-inch custom length driveshaft. Stout's inspiration for this build came from two things, a desire to road race and a previously built feature car. "I saw Mark Stielow's car, "The Mule," in a magazine article and knew I had to have a bad-ass pro touring Camaro like that."
Will Stout's '69 Camaro achieve the notoriety of The Mule? Quite possibly. Whether or not our man will attain the average speeds required to be competitive in the 160mph class also remains to be seen. Hopefully the frightening incident that occurred to him and his co-pilot won't happen in the Camaro. "We were barreling along at 150 when there was a huge explosion," said Stout. "The window got ripped off its hinges and exploded out the side." John Stout and his motley crew have built an obsidian road warrior with one of the premier LS powerplants, and a dazzling array of subtle modifications that are about function not fashion. Since the shoot he has acquired a new set of wheels and the array of upgrades continues today.