HomeCar CultureCommentary‘Mail-order’ street machine shows it can run with the pros

‘Mail-order’ street machine shows it can run with the pros


You may recall that suspension specialist RideTech and its aftermarket partners transformed a 1971 Chevrolet Camaro during a 48-hour build at the most recent Barrett-Jackson collector car auction. To validate the effort, the car was entered in the autocross competition at the Goodguys’ season-opening Lone Star Nationals in Texas.

But instead of entering the Street Machine class, the car was pitted against the Pro division.

Why? To demonstrate that a 100 percent bolt-together, all-steel Camaro with a stock subframe could be competitive against tube-frame hot rods.

On the track and through the cones | RideTech photos by Kaleb Kelly

How did the car do? It posted the sixth-fastest lap. And had it raced against other Street Machines, it would have been beaten only by a Cobra and a Corvette.

“The 48 Hour Camaro retains its stock, original 1970 subframe — which has never been removed from the car,” RideTech noted in its news release. “No welding occurred during the build — zero.”

The company added that except for custom upholstery used in the build, every component is commercially available.

Those parts include a Lingenfelter Performance LS3 engine, Bowler Transmission’ 4L75E 4-speed automatic, and RideTech’s own CoilOver suspension and Bolt-in 4-Link rear. While the rear suspension required holes to be drilled to accommodate upper-link pass-through, no welding is needed for installation.

Based on the RideTech build, Summit Racing Equipment has put together six “48 Hour Camaro Combos” to facilitate people who want to do their own builds.

“The 48 Hour Camaro might never win a Goodguys Autocross Pro class competition as the field includes many flyweight, tube chassis hot rods,” RideTech added.

“Like our Track 1 Camaro, Pro class cars have massive 315mm and or 335mm tires and big power. It’s nice to know, however, that the 48 Hour Camaro — with its smaller 275 wide tires — can run with the big doggies… and we’re just getting started.”

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


  1. It’s not all that surprising, especially if they had a top notch driver in it. On top of that, this was an auto cross, not a track day hot lapping session. Deficiencies would be a lot more pronounced there. That being said, most people will enjoy light to light runs and taking on and off ramps faster at the most, so this is all that 95% of the people will ever need. It’s really cool that summit is making this a package so you don’t have to worry about matching parts and all of those headaches.


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