Autocrossing; the love of hairpin turns, squealing wheels and just enough power to push the limit without crossing the line into out of control. What better way to show off the skills of the crew in the garage here at powerTV and the performance capabilities of our ’69 Camaro (which we’ve now renamed “Blank Slate” because we’re still unsure what to do with it) than to build our version of an autocrossing beast? While we’ve determined the basic plan for the car, we have yet to make decisions on the modifications that will be done and the brands we will use.
While we try to determine just what is going to go into our Camaro project, we look to the leaders in autocross events for ideas on what works best for other autocrossing muscle cars. If we want to eventually compete with the best, we might as well learn from the best.
Our first look is at “Bad Penny,” a ’67 Camaro owned by Steve Rupp, one of the moderators on Pro-Touring.com. Rupp has had a lot of success with his Generation IV LS2 engine set up. He also runs a Tremec T56 6-speed transmission, C5 Corvette suspension, Strange 9-inch rear end with 3.70 gears and Forgeline SPO3 Wheels on his gorgeous pro-touring, turned autocross car.
Mary Pozzi, female autocross great, often runs her own ’73 Camaro Rally Sport at autocross events. Powering this second generation F-body is a GM Performance Parts Fast Burn 385. Pozzi uses Hotchkis front coil springs, rear leaf springs, subframe connectors and sport sway bars as part of the Hotchkis Sport Suspension Total Vehicle System.
The Optima One Lap Camaro, a ’67 Camaro RS, sports a Katech “Street Attack” LS7, ATS Chicane Suspension, Penske shocks, ZR1 hubs and Hellwig sway bars in addition to many other performance modifications.
To keep this car grounded, HRE Comp 20 wheels and Michelin Pilot Sport 2 Tires are used. This car is not just set up for autocross. In fact, the OneLapCamaro also competes in drag races, wet skid competitions and events like the Tire Rack One Lap of America event.
Both Detroit Speed and Hotchkis have muscle cars competing in autocross events. These cars are completely equipped with their brand name products. While many of the other autocross muscle cars use a number of different brand names, the cars built by Detroit Speed and Hotchkis strive to be the best autocross cars that a certain brand can create.
These, and many other, autocrossing muscle cars have seen a lot of success, and many class wins at the Goodguys Del Mar Nationals in California, Tire Rack SCCA Solo National Championships and the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational.
The Street Car Invitational is held just after the SEMA show in Las Vegas, Nevada and takes the best of the best from SEMA out to see what kind of performance can be squeezed out of these beauties. Autocross is just one of the events that cars compete in for the Invitational.
When looking at all the premium autocross muscle cars, it is obvious that suspension, handling, wheels and tires are the most important modifications to focus on with our own project Camaro.
This is especially the case if we want to be able to stand up to the vast array of competition out there. While these cars share some brand names and parts, they all run unique set ups to get their desired results, something we look forward to creating for our own autocross Camaro.
The future holds many decisions for this project and we look forward to bringing you updates on our decisions and the progress of this build as it gets underway.