2011 OUSCI Preview - "Hellcat" '69 Camaro


"It wasn't supposed to turn out like this." How many times have you heard someone say that about a project car that went in a totally different direction, than was originally intended? That is certainly the case with Stephen Wetterau's '69 Camaro, they've since dubbed "Hellcat." What was originally intended to be a mildly-modified, but stock-appearing '69 Camaro, has turned into an absolute street beast, that is being loaded onto a trailer soon, in preparation for the 2011 OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Invitational, presented by KN Filters and Wilwood Brakes.

Classic Car Studio was put in charge of this project, which morphed from one vision to another. Those changes of direction pushed the build time out to a couple of years and even though neither SEMA or the OUSCI was on their radar, they wrapped up the project several months ago.

The centerpiece of this car is the Pfaff-built 598 cubic-inch big block tucked under the hood. That engine cranks out 770 horsepower, but this wasn't strictly a "go-fast and think about everything else later" project. The long list of other upgrades includes plenty of parts from Detroit Speed Engineering, including a hydro-formed front subframe with coil-over suspension and rack pinion steering, as well as DSE subframe connectors, mini-tubs and a quadra-link rear suspension with a built nine-inch Ford rear end.

Other modifications include the following:

Electric RS headlight doors
Baer six-piston brakes
Tremec TKO 600 transmission
Vintage Air AC and billet front runner kit
Aeromotive fuel system
Recaro seats
Schroth harnesses
BeCool radiator SPAL fans
SPAL electric door locks
Electric Life windows
Autometer gauges
Michelin Pilot Sport tires (275 front/335 rear)
Fikse Wheels
Dynacorn body
Aeroquip fittings
Hydroboost master cylinder
Optima battery
Clayton Machine Works pedals
One-off custom headers three-inch exhaust system, coated by Jet-Hot
Lots of other one-off billet and carbon fiber parts

It looks as if Classic Car Studio covered their bases and made all the right changes and upgrades. The Hellcat Camaro certainly has the potential to make a strong showing, but will the owner, Stephen Wetterau be able to deliver? While not as experienced as some of our other competitors, who moonlight as high-performance driving instructors, Wetterau's visit to Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch will not be his first to a racetrack, nor his first time with the Hellcat.

With the luxury of having this car completed for several months, Wetterau has been able to log several hundred shake-down miles, to ensure everything is functioning as it should. Tweakers certainly seem to have a competitive advantage over Thrashers at the OUSCI, but will that be enough? Grab a ticket and come see for yourself!