This is no ragtop. It's not what you'd call a Pro Street Camaro. It's a Motion SuperSpeedster, and it's unlike any Camaro ever built.
By now, most Chevy fans are aware of the return of the Motion brand. From 1967-1974, Motion Performance and its Baldwin-Motion Camaros were some of the wildest and most powerful musclecars on the street. The man behind Motion Performance was Joel Rosen, and two years ago he teamed up Joel Ehrenpreis, Larry Jaworske and Marty Schorr to re-launch Motion. Their goal was to build modern interpretations of the great Motion Camaros with state of the art suspensions, brakes, luxury and neck snapping big-block power that recalls Rosen's thunderous Motion Camaros of the 1960s.
Motion woke up the performance world when it debuted the incredible SuperCoupe at the 2005 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) convention in Las Vegas. Long, wide and mean, the SuperSpeedster, designed by Kris Horton and hand crafted by Phil Somers, literally stole the Vegas show. In recognition of its superb design and engineering, the SuperCoupe won the prestigious "Best GM Design Award" presented by General Motors' Kip Wasenko, who is Director Of Design for Special Vehicles.
For the 2006 SEMA convention, Motion chose to return with another in its Super series. This time they chose a radical speedster that was designed by Motion's CEO Larry Jaworske and based on the SuperCoupe. But, as Jaworske observed, "The SuperSpeedster is a step up from the SuperCoupe in design, engineering and execution."
For Rosen, the SuperSpeedster is a natural progression in Motion's return to the performance car market. "Building an extreme, high-horsepower open Camaro has been my dream since re-launching the Baldwin-Motion and Motion brands," Rosen said. "The SuperSpeedster is all that and more."
The concept of a speedster instead of a standard convertible is just the kind of Camaro that Motion likes to build. While its Phase III Motion Camaros are available in either coupe or standard convertible configurations, the Super Series autos are wild custom interpretations of the classic 1969 Camaro. To give you an idea of how wild the Super Series Motion cars are, consider this: After the SEMA convention, the SuperCoupe went to the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale and sold for $450,000. The SuperSpeedster was sold before it was built to Steve White of Sarasota, Florida.
The SuperSpeedster exceeds the parameters of most custom cars built today, but in many ways it is a throwback to the kind of coachwork done by the old masters like George Barris and Gene Winfield. Phil Somers is a student of these early craftsmen, and as he admits, "I'm old school." He sees a custom as a rolling work of automotive art, and his interpretation of Jaworske's design is like nothing you'll see anywhere else. And unlike many custom builders, Motion delivers its cars on time.
The SuperSpeedster begins as a genuine 1969 Camaro and is totally re-engineered. The front sub frame is pitched and the unit body is stripped of floors, quarters and trunk. A specially designed 2x3-inch square tube steel chassis is constructed with a spine/backbone that runs the length of the center console and ties the body to the frame. This platform is so rigid that if you were to jack up one corner of the car, the entire side would raise up. The engine is setback 13 inches from stock. Since the SuperSpeedster is a two-seater, the engine placement allowed Phil to move the instrument panel rearward.
The front and rear suspensions are independent, with heavy duty cast aluminum short upper and long lower control arms, Penske racing coilover shocks and massive stabilizer bars. The steering is updated to power assisted rack and pinion with variable ratio. The rear is narrowed eight inches and boasts a Dana 44-4 Hydra-Lok speed-sensing limited-slip differential.
The brakes are Baer Extreme-Plus two-piece, 14-inch cross-drilled and slotted rotors with Motion-branded six-piston calipers at all four corners. Both the front and rear brakes are ducted for additional cooling. Motion chose Bonspeed Huntington wheels with 18x10-inches up front on 285/30ZR18 Michelin Pilot Sports tires. At the rear, the Bonspeeds measure a steam roller-size 19x12 on 345/30ZR19 Michelin meats.
The SuperSpeedster body may look similar to the SuperCoupe, but the differences are significant. As Phil noted, "there isn't a single body panel on this car that wasn't altered." Up front, the fenders were cut, stretched and widened four inches on each side and bulge out over the wide wheels for a muscular look. This wasn't done to this degree on the SuperCoupe. By widening the front fenders, it provides a balance with the quarters, which received a five-inch widening job on each side. The taillamp panel looks recessed, but it really isn't. Instead, the rear of the quarter panels and the trailing edge of the deck were extended two additional inches past the taillamp panel's stock location.
The paint is a retina-burning Motion Yellow with the traditional Motion wide center stripe, this time done in Charcoal. The center stripe runs the length of the car, including through the interior and instrument panel. The base coat/clear coat has four extra coats of clear, hand rubbed for a deep luster.
Inside, Phil designed an interior themed after the classic 1963 Corvette cockpit. The gauge cluster panel is constructed of one-piece billet aluminum. It's been machine swirl polished and custom fitted with Auto Meter gauges. The charcoal interior boasts leather seats and leather dash pads. The console top matches the machine turned gauge cluster panel.
A true speedster doesn't have a top. What the Motion SuperSpeedster does have is a custom fitted fiberglass tonneau cover designed by Phil. He also engineered the power operating system that raises and lowers the tonneau cover. In the center of the seats is a large round opening that is part of the woofer system utilizing a tube through the console connected to a sealed box in the trunk, which contains a pair of 10-inch woofers.
Everywhere you look in, under and on the SuperSpeedster, you'll find an extensive use of custom aluminum billet, much of it designed by Phil. That's true except for under the Stinger hood. There you'll find a Rosen-designed masterpiece-a 540 cubic inch Brodix/Motion all aluminum engines that produce in excess of 700 at the flywheel. While Motion engines are available with carburetion, supercharging or fuel injection, the SuperSpeedster's engine is fitted with a Kinsler Cross Ram fuel injection arrangement that looks spectacular and delivers incredible amounts of power across the rpm range. Hooked to the engine is a Tremec five-speed manual gearbox.Next month we'll show you Motion's SuperSpeedster in completed form and you'll agree it's like no Camaro you've ever seen.