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    V8 Staff

    Introducing the “ZR9” – A ’69 Camaro powered by an 804 HP LS7 topped with an LS9 Supercharger

    The ZR9 is a very cool project using nearly ALL aftermarket parts. Starting with a new Dynacorn body shell, adding an 803 HP Mast Motorsports LS7 / LS9 V8, all Detroit Speed suspension, and many more tricks, we’re building a brand-new ’69 Camaro from scratch. Here’s the Carter Hickman Design rendering:

    We build lots of Camaros in the V8 Speed & Resto Shop, and each is different and unique.

    V8 Staff

    This is an interesting car for many reasons, beyond the 800+ HP Mast Motorsports supercharged engine. We’re using a new Dynacorn body on this one that we bought from Classic Industries, so the entire car will be new. The owner had no real attachment to a particular car, he just wanted a Camaro.

    This car will be riding on Detroit Speed & Engineering front suspension and subframe, with their QUADRALink rear suspension.

    This is how the Dynacorn body arrives:

    Looks pretty good at first glance. We’ll get into the panel fitment later, but we noticed some of the resistance spot-welds were off a little, but even GM was guilty of that. Be prepared to address this kind of thing if you work on one of these.

    V8 Staff

    The deck lid, doors, and quarters all seem to fit much better on this one than they did when these reproduction bodies first hit the market. They appear to have a factory style fit, but we’ll be tuning that up on ours.

    V8 Staff

    The wheel tubs appear stock, but the wheel lips are in need of some attention regarding the placement and tidiness of the spotwelds.

    The rear frame rails and floors all look correct.

    We noticed a nice, straight lower door to rocker fitment.

    Frank Szymkowski

    Interesting. I have always wondered how those new bodies stacked up against a real one..

    V8 Staff

    The deck lid gap appears a little inconstant, but not completely off base.  

    Deck to quarter gap is a little wobbly, and the quarter panel came with a dent in the contour line. 

    The rear window filler panel fit is OK, we’ll weld this up to prevent it shifting in the future.

    The tail pan looks like many of the reproduction pieces, but the lines are a little more defined than many.  The tail light openings can be hit or miss on the repro panels, but these look better than most.  

    Our plans for this car call for “spirited” driving courtesy of the 800+ horsepower Mast engine, so we’ll need to run much larger tires than the stock Camaro wheel tubs can hold. The solution is the install of some Detroit Speed deep tubs. First, Eric cuts out the stock rear trunk hinge support by drilling out the stock spot welds.

    Next, the wheel tub spot welds are drilled.  Note the line on the floor, this is where the floor will be cut and folded to accommodate the deep tubs. 

    Behind the wheel tub, the white line is cut in the trunk floor to house the deep tub.

    V8 Staff

    The frame rail before modifications.

    The frame rail is notched and narrowed, and a heavy plate is formed and welded in place to add increased strength. 

    The new DSE deep tub is clamped into position and fitted to the car. 

    The lower portion of the tub is punched with holes for plug-welding, and then the whole tub is welded in place. 

    Looks like the 335-wide rubber will squeeze right in!

    V8 Staff

    Another shot of the new deep tubs installed.

    Next, Eric begins the install of the Detroit Speed Quadralink rear suspension pockets. These provide the location points for the upper control arms. 

    Bottom view.  Just needs the perimeter welded up in this pic. 

    The rear suspension also requires the install of the supplied rear crossmember as shown. 

    This bracket provides the mounting point for the transverse track bar which helps locate the rear axle side-to-side. 

    We will be using a Moser Engineering 9 inch rear axle assembly, with 31 spline axles and 3.89:1 gears.

    V8 Staff

    Next, we begin measuring to install the Detroit Speed subframe connectors. These connectors run through the body structure to provide additional rigidity to the body shell. They require the removal of the seat brace, and then you cut a channel through the floor, weld in the subframe connectors, and then reattach the seat brace. 

    We are leaving the blunt and disconnected until we finish the car, and then we will weld them to the Detroit Speed subframe.

    We chose some Speedhut gauges for the ZR9, and they custom screened ZR9 Camaro on the faces. This car will live outside of the United States, note the Metric scale gauges. These gauges will all be cleanly mounted in a Detroit Speed steel dash face.

    They feature a built-in shift light and tach memory, and the speedometer is GPS enabled.    Speedhut can make these in a variety of custom colors and face designs.

    V8 Staff

    Cooling a car of this power level is a challenge, especially with a supercharger and air conditioning.   We fabricated some mounting bracket for the intercooler heat exchanger to mount behind the radiator, sandwiching the Vintage Air condenser coil and the Griffen radiator.

    The Quartermaster dual disc clutch will be used to transfer the power from the engine through the Tremec T56 Magnum transmission.

    V8 Staff

    Next, the engine and transmission or test fitted to the car to determine transmission tunnel modifications. The transmission required enlarging the tunnel in the floor for clearance.

    V8 Staff

    nside the car, speaker holes were cut in the doors, and the wiring was tested in the dashboard. A bracket was made to mount the Mast M 120 ECM behind the glove box.

    Fesler LED panels were installed in stock taillight housings for a brighter appearance.

    An American Auto Wire Classic Update harness was used to wire the car. The Classic Update harness is longer than a stock harness and has additional circuits allowing the installer to locate components in non-stock locations. This can help clean up the under hood area, especially where space is at a premium.

    A Detroit Speed electric RS headlight conversion kit was installed. 

    V8 Staff

    Out back, the rear bumper was narrowed and relief pockets were cut and molded into the quarter panels.  Then a thin steel relief was added to the tall panel to frame the bumper and provide for a molded look.   RS reverse lights were also installed.

    A Dedenbear relay center was installed in the front fender pocket near the original battery location on the passenger side. 

    V8 Staff

    On the driver side, the crew made an air filter housing to pull cool air from inside the fender area.

    The ZR9 will stop with the help of Baer six piston brakes at all four corners. These will eventually be powder coated to match the car.

    The crew fabricated the transmission crossmember with exhaust reliefs to provide as much ground clearance as possible under the car.

    The LS9 supercharger inhales from the driver side of the car, so air intake tube was mocked up to feed the beast.

    Fesler hood hinges were used to support the Cowl Induction hood.

    V8 Staff

    A late-model VW hood latch assembly was installed for a cleaner look.

    The engine will be dressed up with a carbon fiber engine cover from Classic Industries.

    Fesler billet aluminum taillight lenses and a modern touch to the rear of the car. Inside, the crew build custom tracks for the Recaro leather seats. The rear support bar was installed and is removable for rear seat passenger access.

    The mock-up phase was progressing, and the fuel system was installed. It consists of a Detroit Speed stainless steel fuel tank that is notched for exhaust clearance.  It contains dual Camaro SS fuel pumps and a Vaporworx pickup assembly. 


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