Video: A 5th-Gen COPO Shooting For 260 MPH At The Texas Mile

The LS stuff is way cool as we all know. But for 600-plus cubic-inches, big-block Chevy-based craziness is, yes, in many ways in another realm. And we know there are 2,000-plus-horsepower LS-based engines out there, too. But a big-block is, well, a big-block.

In any case, we’re not going to debate the LS versus big-block conundrum here. We’re just going to show you a bad-to-the-bone 5th-gen COPO Camaro packed with an alleged 2,500 horsepower and set up to tackle the Texas Mile for owner and driver Mike Keisling.

Built by Tom Nelson and his shop Nelson Racing Engines (NRE), we’ve followed and paraphrased the nicely-done video wherein Tom himself goes over the car in good detail and takes it on its first rolling evaluation by way of a gentle cruise down a Los Angeles-area street.

Starting underneath and at the back end of the car, there is a custom wishbone rear suspension with Ford 9-inch rearend. You also see the double parachutes and custom wing from the underside rearview.

Moving underneath there are two large transmission coolers with their own fans and a dry-sump overflow tank, as well as a dry-sump drain. The fuel system is bulkheaded through the floor and there are numerous fuel and oil lines for the car’s two fuel systems, which have eight injectors each. There are also feed and return lines for each fuel system. Several other large lines are underneath the car for the dry sump in the trunk of the car, as well as feed and return lines for the dry sump.

While also under the car, you will see transmission cooler lines, a driveshaft loop, and a Gear Vendors overdrive connected to a Lenco 3-speed transmission. Tom refers to the engine as “Bruno”—an appropriate name, we’d say.

Tom also shows water lines for the reservoirs in the car for the intercooler and additional water since it’s a standing-mile car. Water runs from inside the car and underneath the floor and the support brackets for all of that are also shown. The engine from underneath the car shows the dry-sump lines, the intercooler piping, and the intercooler.

Moving from the bottom of the car, Tom touches on the side-outlet 4-inch exhaust, and a plate on the car’s body that wraps around the tail pipes. There are also Lamb carbon-ceramic brakes, Forgeline wheels, and Hoosier tires. Turbo inlet air is also fed in from the foglight openings

The engine is a 632-cube (10.4-liter) twin-turbo big-block, Nelson “Alien Monster.” It’s equipped with an NRE Alien intake that has an anteater snout with a 5-inch oval inlet. There are also stainless headers, twin 88mm turbos, an air-to-water intercooler, and a multi-stage dry sump system. Making an upwards of 2,500 horsepower, Tom says, “you don’t normally see big, big blocks in a 5th-gen Camaro. There are hard lines, stainless piping, and it looks pretty clean for a race car that’s for sure.”

In the trunk there are two fuel cells, plumbing, and a dry-sump tank as well as 16- and 12- volt electrical systems. A kill switch on the back bumper is also fitted and the push-pull switch turns off both 12- and 16- volt systems. Charging posts for the battery are acessed through the car’s gas door for in-pit charging.

Inside the car and mounted in back are two water reservoirs for engine cooling and an overflow, which are pressurized. On the removable steering wheel there are four buttons. One is a trans brake, two to increase and decrese power, and one to click into overdrive. “If hooked up the driver can add power, if not he can decrese power,” says Tom. Double air/fuel ratio gauges are also fitted.

All in all, Tom and NRE very happy with the way the car came out. It must be said that, so are we.

A super-cool trick here. Looking at the front suspension, a speed sensor for the front wheel is tied into a boost controller. This regulates boost based on the speed of the front wheel.

About the author

Miles Cook

Miles Cook began his automotive writing career at SEMA, then spent a year at Turbo & Hi-Tech Performance covering the ’90s import scene. He then worked for Car Craft magazine, where he became the de-facto Ford guy on the staff. Next, he went to Mustang Monthly where all Mustangs were the mainstay. Miles is well versed in vintage and late model Mustangs as well as GM, Ford, and Mopar musclecars. His expansive background ensures that Miles is right at home writing for Power Automedia.
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