Atlas Performance is a full service, automotive machine shop and dyno facility in Loveland, Colorado, with a lean staff of only five employees. But, when you have great people, you don’t need many. They build truly outrageous engines from nitrous-ingested to turbo-boosted, and build cars that most of us can only dream of. An example of what they build is the 1970 SS/RS Camaro featured in this video. If you watch until the end, you’ll see the Camaro race against a late-model Mustang, and one thing you’ll notice is that while it looks like the Mustang is going extremely slow, and the Camaro just an average pace, the readout on the signs tells us the Mustang was in fact going 114 miles per hour, and the Camaro, 185 miles per hour! After seeing how fast and tough this Camaro was, we had to talk to the team that put it together.
The one thing Jason Gonzalez at Atlas Performance told us when we asked him what advice they’d give someone else working on a similar project was, “Hard work always pays off! Start to finish, this build took a lot of hard work. With something like this, nothing ever comes easy.”
It took a lot of refining to get the chassis setup, intercoolers, and cooling system to work properly. In fact, when talking about the chassis, Jason said they are “still working on it.” Even some aspects of the car that may seem less important, like keeping the passenger seat, present a special challenge when taking on a build as hefty as this one.
Their fuel-injected 565 cubic-inch big-block engine isn’t the only impressive thing about this build, and running times like 7.04 seconds in the 1/4-mile at 198 miles per hour, how could it be? This Camaro features not one, but two 88mm Garret turbos, a Donovan aluminum block, Dart 18-degree Big Chief heads, a Dart intake, GRP connecting rods, Race-Tec pistons, a Bullet camshaft, a Rossler Turboglide automatic transmission, and an Atlas Racing torque converter. The list of high-quality parts that went into this build is staggering. A car like this is more than just the sum of its parts, it’s built from the countless man-hours that go into the fabrication and machining of a great car.
“Our new engine combo is outrageous!” Jason tells us, “It’s hard to control, and we’re only running 10 pounds of boost. We want to run 40 or more, so we can get the car into the 4’s in the 1/8-mile.” They have plans to relocate the turbos to make room for a bigger cooling system, and rework the front suspension.
Atlas Performance bought the car from a man in Las Vegas, Nevada. They saw the car while he was racing it, bought it between rounds, watched him finish the race, and then they took it home. They wanted to use this car to showcase their shop’s potential, but also because, simply put by Jason, “We love racing!” In showing what their shop can do, they built a streetable car that dynos at a smooth 2,800 horsepower. “We wanted the fastest turbo car,” Jason said. “A real car, not a former Pro-Stock race car.”
In the end, the car tells the story and the video is just an outlet for that. This car is the product of hard work and careful thought by five, highly-skilled technicians, showing us what they can do. People like this continue to breathe life into the performance automotive hobby. Part of what makes this so cool, is that these people do this for a living and are available to do this kind of work on your car.
What do you think of this twin turbo Camaro? Tell us about it, and while you’re at it, tell us what you would have Atlas Performance building for you! Would it be a Camaro like this, a high horsepower sleeper, or something else all together?