Thursday, August 2, 2012

2012 Chevy Camaro ZL1 vs. Mark Stielow's Red Devil '69 Camaro

On this episode of HOT ROD Unlimited, David Freiburger meets up with Pro Touring legend Mark Stielow to compare old and new Camaros head to head.

Mark Stielow is a GM engineer with a long history of building vintage, street-worthy Camaros with amazing handling prowess. His latest is the Red Devil, a '69 model powered by a 427ci, supercharged LS9 that tops 750 hp and 800 lb-ft. 

In fact, Stielow essentially invented the "Pro-Touring" movement (and the name) over a decade ago with early 1st Gen Camaro projects like "The Mule" and "Red Witch." Common denominators between Mark's recent builds include LS engines, sophisticated chassis development, understated euro-style body mods and Red Line Oil and lubricants.

After Mark's last build, the canary yellow LS9 ZR1 powered "Jackass" Camaro, he decided to build a car to compete in the top street car competitions in the country. Most people would take five years to build a car of this caliber, Mark did it in less than one. Highlights include an LS9 based supercharged engine that has been stroked to 427 cubic inches by Thompson Automotive, a D&D Performance T56 6-speed, complete Detroit Speed & Engineering front subframe and Quadralink rear suspension, Brembo brakes from a Corvette Z06 and Forgeline wheels. Mark runs Red Line 5W30 engine oil, D4 ATF and Water Wetter among other products.

It runs a six-speed trans and complete suspension from Detroit Speed, and has won a number of shootouts with similarly built Pro Touring cars. But can his modified muscle car outrun the technology of the Magnetic Ride suspension on the new, 580hp, 2012 Camaro ZL1? We head to GingerMan Raceway in South Haven, Michigan to find out.

HOT ROD Unlimited appears every other Friday on the new Motor Trend channel.