Behind the Scenes: Detroit Speed’s 1987 Third-Gen DSE-Z Camaro

It’s always nice to see a well-built car in person. Pictures normally don’t them justice and you can’t always see how meticulous the builder was with their efforts. Detroit Speed and Engineering (DSE) is one of those types of builders — everything they construct has been nothing short of perfection. Whether it’s a cruiser, street car, or a full-on competition-built race machine, no corners are cut. In fact, every part and piece on their projects are touched and if they don’t like it, they will fabricate something that they do. 

In this video from DYI Garage you can see all of the painstaking effort that took place with the build-up of this corner killer. Although the DSE-Z might have started of as a $500 Craigslist purchase, it quickly turned into a monster of a third-gen. The de-stroked Mast Motorsports LS7 cranks out an impressive 735 horsepower at 8,500 rpm and delivers a tire shredding 615 lb-ft of torque. All of this power is transferred to the 9-inch Ford rearend by the way of a Tremec T56 with a Centerforce twin-disc clutch. The car rides on a complete Detroit Speed-built custom suspension that is now available as a production unit. Baer brakes can bring this beast to a sudden halt with the help of the Formula 43 RAD5 18×11-inch wheels wrapped in BFGoodrich Tires Rival S 315/30/18s.

Third-Gen

We watched this car battle it out as part of the 3S challenge at LS Fest in Bowling Green in 2018 and you couldn’t help but take notice. Most cars start when the ignition switch is flipped; the DSE Camaro roars to life when that switch is flipped and the car fires up. This has to be one of the most obnoxious, in-your-face cars that DSE has ever built. No matter where you were on the grounds at LS Fest, when this car fired up and made a pass on the autocross track, you could hear it. The de-stroked LS7 has a distinct sound of it own and sounds like a banshee as it screamed around the track at 8,500 rpm. 

If you have not seen this car in action in person, you need to, as it’s definitely an experience to behold. We hope to see more projects like this from DSE in the future. They say, “The devil is in the details,” and if that is the case, then someone might have sold their soul for this build. 

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About the author

Brian Havins

A gearhead for life, Brian is obsessed with all things fast. Banging gears, turning wrenches, and praying while spraying are just a few of his favorite things.
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