Tom Bailey’s goal is to go both fast and quick, but do it in a street-legal 1969 Camaro, or a reasonable facsimile. He's shooting for 300mph in the standing mile, and getting into the FIVES at HOT ROD's Drag Week in 2015. That’s the goal; this is what he’s constructed to make that goal a reality. Bailey’s Camaro has just landed at the 2015 Detroit Autorama, and we’re going to give you the first-hand particulars of how this goal has materialized.
After the 2013 Drag Week Bailey decided he would like a 1969 Camaro that could participate in more than just HOT ROD’s Drag Week. He wanted a car he could race in Pro Mod, but one that was also street legal, and would satisfy all of the parameters to still participate in Drag Week.
Bailey commissioned Keith Engling at Skinny Kid in Commerce, Michigan, to handle the tube chassis. The rear features a Skinny Kid housing with Strange nine-inch full floater internals, 4-link, and Afco shocks. The Pro mod-style front end uses Santhuff struts, with Strange carbon fiber brakes all around. A Stiletto rack steers the front, which can be raised 2 ½-inches for street driving by turning a nut on top of the struts.
Joe Van Overbeek was called on to construct the carbon fiber body, which even includes power windows. The body is six-inches narrower in back than a stock 1969 Camaro, and is sitting on a 114-inch wheelbase. The body features a front air dam and skirting to help plant it during those standing mile runs. And a block-off plate clips over the grille for drag racing. As you see it the Camaro weighs 2400 lbs.
Now to the engine. It’s a 615 ci Brodix block with cast Brodix heads massaged by Sonny’s. They do additional porting and change the valve angles. Twin 94mm Precision turbos spool through Stainless Works stainless exhaust, with Turbosmart wastegates and dual 4-inch Wilson throttle bodies. Two sets of injectors are plumbed into the Steve Morris two-piece intake manifold, which Bailey said when he went from a cast intake to one of Morris’s billet intakes he picked up 150 hp on the dyno. One injector set is for gas, and the other for methanol. How do you change engine settings? With Holley’s touch pad, which allows for programming tune changes—hit one button for the street tune, and the other button for race tune. Holley EFI controls the engine functions. Ignition coils are mounted under the dash. An electric fuel pump handles the gas, while a mechanical pump shoots the alcohol. Afco custom radiator with twin electric fans cools things down, and the oil is pumped through a Peterson dry sump set up.
The engine you see is a twin to Bailey’s 1969 Camaro Sick 1 engine, except for the alcohol, which helps a little in the power department, but saves weight without the need for an intercooler. It weighs 700 lbs less than the billet motor he’s building for Drag Week.
The Drag Week engine will be all billet aluminum, with jacketed heads and block for water passages. Passages will also be milled into the block and heads where space allows. There may even be external water lines. Could this engine be 4000hp? We don’t know yet.
A Rossler 210 Turbo 400 automatic with Pro Torque torque converter is tied to two Gear Vendors overdrive units for the standing mile attempts. Only one unit will be used for Drag Week.
Current plans are to button up a few things before sending the car to North Carolina for wind tunnel testing and tweaking in April 2015. Then last minute changes for the Ohio standing mile in May. After that it’s HOT ROD’s Drag Week in September, and then if everything checks out Bailey wants to race NHRA Pro Mod in 2016. Says Bailey, “We can run PDRA with this car and be competitive with a street legal car, and also do Drag Week too. Rather than having a car that can only race in Drag Week, I’ll have quite a few places to run over the year.”
This is a complex, compelling build that there is more to see at a later date. But for now here’s the first, exclusive shots of the car that could step things up a few notches for the foreseeable future.