Big Red Camaro Goes For 220 mph at Mojave

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By Dave Ashton

The Big Red Camaro has been chewing up the road and track and breaking speed records for many a decade, now with a run in the inhospitable climate of the Mojave desert. Labelled the baddest Camero ever, The aim was to hit 220 mph with their current setup. The team hit a respectful 206.1 mph which you can see below, but you can definitely bet they will push this machine until they hit the magic figures.

Hitting speed landmarks usually means a team effort and it’s no different with the Big Red Camaro. Currently consisting of driver R.J. Gottleib, team manager Dave Ward, engine built in tuner Larry Mollicone, Tim Fleenor crew Chief and Mark Ewing( no relation to the Dallas lot..) as head mechanic. The history goes back to 1987 when they took a stock 1969 Camaro Z/28 and added a Full Race 540ci Lingenfelter Big Block to take on the best of European exotics. A year later in 1988 Big Red was entered into the 3rd Annual La Carrera Classica Mexican road race and won decisively with the same 540ci engine and NASCAR chassis built by Bill Osborne.

The car was retired in 1996 for eight years, sitting quietly in a museum until the Gottliebs put the car back into service in 2004.

The car has had a constant progression over the years with various engines and set ups, currently with a 598ci. 2000Hp ProCharged Big Block, a 1987/’88 Bill Osborne Inland Chassis Design subframe, Rossler transmissions 4L80E, protorque converter, zero electronic engine management software and runs on methanol. The classic setup for Big Red is a full race setup with a ’69 Camaro body, dashboard and even working windows and glass windshield. Basically, looking like a factory Camaro with every racing spec. you could ever want underneath.

Pushing the boundaries of speed and performance hasn’t been without its hiccups. In 2016 the car was completely fire damaged at the Buttonwillow Raceway, preparing for Pikes Peak, but came back a year later, stronger than ever.

The car is a constantly evolving beast and if you check out their website you can find all their past engines, set-ups, history and news. There’s even a documentary on the vehicle with a preview below.

Big red Camaro website
Big red Camaro Facebook page


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