It's that time of year, kids. Horsepower-crazy General Motors fans are anxiously dancing around their mailboxes waiting for the latest edition of the company's performance parts catalog to arrive. As with past years, the glossy pages are packed from margin to margin with everything you need to give your Bow Tie a little extra giddy up. For 2011, the catalog has fully embraced the Camaro, and a pair of dealer-tweaked versions of the Chevrolet muscle car show exactly what you can do with little more than a crate engine and some spare time.
DeNooyer Chevrolet in New York decided to plop an LSX454 in their orange Camaro, coupled to a six-speed manual transmission via the same clutch used in the mighty Corvette ZR-1. The car turns over 520 horsepower and 530 pound-feet of torque at the rear wheels thanks to a tune-port fuel injection system.
But that's downright child's play compared to what the minds at NeSmith Chevrolet in Georgia cooked up. Those wrenches plopped an LS9 behind the Camaro's headlights. With minor tweaking, the supercharged V8 is kicking out right at 700 horsepower, and NeSmith threw in beefier axles and a Baer brake system to bring the whole party to a stop. Hit the jump to check out the press releases.
GRAND BLANC, Mich. – Dealership-created performance packages were an important part of Chevrolet's muscle car heritage. Names like Yenko, Nickey, Berger and others helped drive high-performance options, while enhancing the mystique of one-off collectables decades later. In fact, it was creative ordering on the part of dealers that created the legendary COPO Camaros of the late 1960s – cars available from those enterprising dealers, but not offered in any official catalog or order guide.
More than 40 years later, a couple of dealers – DeNooyer Chevrolet in New York and Georgia's NeSmith Chevrolet – have rekindled the concept of using Chevrolet's own parts to create specialty Camaros that simply aren't offered in regular production. DeNooyer used GM Performance Parts' (GMPP) LSX454 crate engine (part number 19244611) to build a modern 454 engine for the Camaro SS, while NeSmith transplanted the supercharged LS9 engine from the Corvette ZR1 into their Camaro.
"These great Camaros exemplify the spirit of dealer-built super cars that grew out of the muscle car era," says Dr. Jamie Meyer, product integration manager for GM Performance Parts. "They are the COPO Camaros of the 21st century."
Both cars are featured on the cover the 2011 GM Performance Parts catalog.
The DeNooyer 454 Camaro, dubbed the HTR-SS454 (named for partner Redline Motorsports' owner Howard Tanner), takes the GMPP LSX454 crate engine and adds a port fuel injection system to its LS7-style LSX six-bolt cylinder heads. The engine has an all-forged rotating assembly and an 11.0:1 compression ratio. A front end accessory drive system was added, too, along with a custom flywheel and ZR1 clutch matched to the six-speed manual transmission.
With the custom engine installed and properly tuned, chassis-dyno testing of the Camaro delivered a strong 520 horsepower and 530 lb.-ft. of torque at the rear wheels – or right about the 620-hp/590-lb.-ft. estimates from GMPP for the basic crate engine. The car's driveline was beefed up to handle the 200-horsepower increase over stock, too, with stronger axles and stiffer bushings throughout.
Much like what was done with the legendary Baldwin-Motion cars, of the Sixties, DeNooyer joined forces with an expert performance shop, Redline Motorsports, to help engineer and build the HTR-SS454. Redline a leader in LS-based high-performance engines and vehicles and it also collaborates with DeNooyer Chevrolet on the HTR-600 Camaro, which uses the 505-hp LS7 engine from the Corvette Z06 – also available as a crate engine from GMPP (part number 19211710).
While the DeNooyer 454-powered Camaro evokes memories of yesteryear, NeSmith's LS9-powered "Storm" Camaro is pure modern performance, with the world-beating power of the Corvette ZR1 under the hood. It was created within the dealership's in-house customization facility, NeSmith Customs, with assistance from nearby Jen Jac's Restorations. NeSmith also happens to be the largest GMPP dealer in the country.
The LS9 is offered as a crate engine from GM Performance Parts (part number 19201990) and, because of its similar LS-family architecture to the Camaro's original LS3 engine, easily slipped into the engine compartment – although some fabrication was necessary to accommodate the unique placement of some accessories, as well as the LS9's dry sump-style oiling system. But when the installation was completed, the engine looked factory-installed. And with a few minor upgrades, the engine is producing about 700 horsepower.
Like the DeNooyer HTR-SS454, the NeSmith Storm Camaro matches its greater performance capability with complementing drivetrain parts, including stronger axles and a Baer brake system featuring six-piston calipers, front and rear.
GM PERFORMANCE PARTS RELEASES 2011 CATALOG
GRAND BLANC, Mich. – GM Performance Parts (GMPP) has released its 2011 catalog. It contains more than 300 pages of crate engines, engine parts and vehicle accessories for vehicles powered by GM's LS, small-block and big-block engines – and almost every one of them is available for purchase online at gmperformanceparts.com.
For 2011, the catalog features more for LS high-performance engine builders, including:
* Vehicle-specific performance parts and accessories
* Expansion of the E-ROD crate engine portfolio
* The LSX454R crate engine
* LSX DR 11-degree cylinder heads and matching intake manifold
* LSX six-bolt L92-style cylinder heads for smaller-bore LS engine.
Along with descriptions and part numbers for all the engines, parts and accessories, the GMPP catalog offers valuable information on selecting matching components for the best-performing combination, as well as detailed specifications on most components – including charts outlining cylinder head specs and camshaft specs. There's also a special section for LS engine builders that provides an overview of the LS engine family and parts interchangeability.
GMPP has also included accessories for new Chevrolets, including the Corvette, Camaro, Cruze and trucks. They include performance, suspension and appearance upgrades.
Enthusiasts and builders can buy the 2011 GM Performance Parts catalog from GM dealers or online at GMPP's eCommerce store, located at gmperformanceparts.com. Simply click on the SHOP button and enter "catalog" in the search function. A free download of a PDF version of the catalog is also available at gmperformanceparts.com.
A pair of dealer-modified Camaros are featured on the cover of the 2011 GMPP catalog and exemplify a growing trend in using crate engines to offer extraordinary performance to a new generation of enthusiasts – all while evoking the spirit of the dealer-driven COPO Camaros of the late 1960s.
The Camaros were built by DeNooyer Chevrolet in New York and Georgia's NeSmith Chevrolet. DeNooyer used GMPP's new LSX454 crate engine to build a modern 454 engine for the Camaro SS, while NeSmith transplanted the supercharged LS9 engine from the Corvette ZR1 into their Camaro. (Please see the separate release for more details on the cars.)