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Blackdog Speed Shop 1969 Pro Touring Camaro

HOT ROD logo HOT ROD 5/26/2018 Hot Rod Network Staff
030-blackdog-speed-shop-1969-Camaro © Dominick Damato 030-blackdog-speed-shop-1969-Camaro

At first, Blackdog Speed Shop wasn't interested in traditional hot rods per se. They were interested in fast cars, as in race cars, and they had a natural bent for road course arenas. They got their beaks wet in 2002 when they ran Corvettes in SCCA and World Challenge events. They got better. They got ballsier. They got so good people started coming to them to build their race cars and another business was summarily created. Concurrently, they had been bringing hot rods into the world as well.

With their superior scratch-build skills they can make anything from Showroom Stock T1 C5 Corvettes to Speed GT C6 Corvettes. Now they concentrate on the Pirelli World Challenge series in GTS Sprint, building and racing sixth-gen Camaro GT4.Rs. They've won that championship at least three times.

If it occurs that the two businesses often collide, you'd be right. A fly on the wall told us this story. In 2008, Blackdog made the decision to build a Pro Touring hot rod and based it on a Dynacorn '69 Camaro body. Sometimes it's cheaper and quicker to use complete systems wrought by top-notch vendors than to spend the time developing, testing, and building your own stuff. When the Dynacorn project began, Blackdog immediately sourced the chassis and suspension bits from Detroit Speed (DSE). For the bullet, they called Goodwin Competition in Omro, Wisconsin. Goodwin rose up with a bold LS variant.

The DSE suspension was being installed when the prototype 510-incher came through the dock door. So that the Blackdog Camaro could juke like a peregrine falcon, the DSE foundation includes Koni coilover shock absorbers and is braced by gordo Brembos, 14-inch plates with six- and four-piston calipers. Its oversize rollers are lightweight one-piece Forgeline CF1 Black Chrome rims turning 295/35R18 and 355/30R19 Pirelli P Zeros.

"The team had a race-proven sequential gearbox to put behind it," said the fly. "Within a few weeks they had a roller and just like that the work came to a halt. It seemed as quickly as the project had gotten started it now seemed destined to die. The professional racing side of the business needed everyone's attention. As race wins started piling up and then the championships, the Camaro got pushed into a corner and covered up."

Several years went by, more team members got hired, and in May 2014 the Dynacorn Camaro was uncovered for what was supposed to be the third and final time. The team decided to debut the car at the Chicago World of Wheels in March of the following year. That left them 10 months to complete; a relatively short period to build a complete car. This restrictive time frame meant that everything had to go right—no paint jail, no upholstery jail, and no late changes in direction.

As the summer was coming to an end, the fabrication work was concluding and the deadline seemed achievable. Then, another curveball. The team needed to jump on a SEMA show build: the first-ever fifth-gen Camaro Z/28 convertible. For the next six weeks everyone thrashed. And then they took the car to Vegas. Guess what happened next.

They rolled out the Dynacorn stepchild, pulled the tarp off, and proceeded to beat on it once again. Now, time was so short it was like waiting for the executioner, but within an uninterrupted 10-month window they managed to french the bumpers, build custom exhaust outlets in the rear quarters, fabricate a cold-air box, re-create the rear spoiler, and many more custom touches.

They easily forsook the unconventional sequential transmission that was in the original plans and subbed a very conventional TREMEC T-56 supported by the rare DSE weld-in X-member.

The bellwether 510-cubic-inch long-stroke engine development goes back nearly 10 years. It's based on a sleeved Racing Head Service aluminum cylinder case; a Callies rotating assembly; CNC-prepped heads; and a splendid, isolated-runner induction manifold. The cylinder heads are custom Brodix LS7 castings with machining-delete items so Goodwin can make the changes they prefer. They are CNC-ported in-house with proprietary, dedicated port size and shape exclusive to this engine package. Intake valves are 2.25-inch and the exhausts are 1.60-inch and situated within 72cc combustion chambers. The valvetrain consists of a custom rocker shaft system with Goodwin stands and Crower stainless steel rockers, Goodwin/Howards custom camshaft with Goodwin-designed mechanical rollers. Before it left Goodwin, the package was tested and validated on the in-house Spintron device. You wouldn't believe how much noise those parts make when that Spintron spins.

One more word from the fly on the wall: "All cars go through a shakedown period and this one was no different. We have a couple of professional drivers on hand at the shop for expert advice or to be an instant wheelman. At a local track the car was very quick and our driver reported that the 510 was awesome. Later that day, a piece of windshield trim separated from the car and flew off." The team members looked at one another with small, guilty smiles. Then one of them said "something was destined to die."

The fly twitched and then buzzed off crazy like it had a snootful of glue fumes CHP

Tech Check

Owner: Blackdog Speed Shop, Lincolnshire, Illinois

Vehicle: 1969 Camaro

Engine

Type: RHS tall-deck cylinder block w/ custom sleeves by Goodwin Competition (Omro, WI)

Displacement: 510 ci

Compression Ratio: 10.9:1

Bore: 4.200 inches

Stroke: 4.600 inches

Cylinder Heads: Brodix custom LS7, CNC-ported, 72cc combustion chambers, 2.25/1.60-inch valves

Rotating Assembly: Callies Compstar crankshaft and Compstar connecting rods, Mahle pistons, Total Seal ring packs, Clevite H-Series bearings

Camshaft: Goodwin/Howards (0.685/0.665-inch lift; duration proprietary, 115-degree LSA)

Induction: Precision Metal Craft isolated-runner intake manifold, 65-lb/hr injectors, Comtech 95mm throttle body, Rick's Stainless 16-gallon fuel tank

Ignition/Controller: MoTeC F.I.

Exhaust: American Racing headers, 2-inch primaries, 3 1/2-inch collectors, 3 1/2-inch stainless system, Burns Stainless mufflers

Output (at the flywheel): 789 hp at 6,400 rpm; 692 lb-ft at 5,300 rpm (on 93 octane)

Machine Work: Goodwin Competition

Built By: Goodwin Competition

Drivetrain

Transmission: TREMEC T-56, McLeod flywheel and 11-inch single-disc clutch assembly

Rear Axle: Moser 9-inch, Detroit Locker differential, 31-spline axles

Chassis

Front Suspension: Detroit Speed (DSE) hydroformed subframe, C6 spindles, Koni coilovers, 1 1/4-inch splined antisway bar

Rear Suspension: DSE QUADRALink, Koni coilovers

Brakes: Brembo 14-inch rotors, six-piston calipers, front; Brembo 14-inch rotors, four-piston calipers, rear; dual manual master cylinders

Wheels: One-piece Forgeline CF1 18x10 front, 19x12 rear

Tires: Pirelli P Zero 295/35 front, 355/30 rear

Interior

Upholstery: Riggs Brothers (Chicago area)

Material: Leather

Seats: Cobra carbon fiber, Simpson four-point safety harness

Steering: Rack-and-pinion, ididit tilt column, Billet Specialties wheel

Shifter: Blackdog Speed Shop custom-built

Dash: Stock

Instrumentation: Dakota Digital

Audio: Burns Stainless mufflers

HVAC: Vintage Air

Exterior

Body: Dynacorn

Bodywork: Blackdog Speed Shop (Lincolnshire, IL)

Paint By: Bull Valley Paint and Body (McHenry, IL)

Paint: Axalta Candy Blue

Hood: Ringbrothers carbon fiber

Grille: Stock

Bumpers: Stock, frenched

Ancillaries: Six-point mild steel rollcage

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