Camaro Performers: Conrad Grunewald’s 2010 Camaro

Drifting started decades ago on the streets of Japan and has since morphed into that country’s top attended motorsport. In the mid-1990s the sport migrated to our shores and soon there was a noticeable uptick in tire sales.

In 1995, Houston, Texas, resident Conrad Grunewald decided to take up drag racing. After running a full season of road racing in 2002, he turned his attention to a new type of racing: drifting. At that time Formula Drift was the premier drifting association in the U.S. and Conrad was into it big time. In 2007 he was offered the driver’s seat of a Nissan 240SX, but he instead opted for some American muscle: a Z06 Corvette. In late 2009, he transitioned to the then-new fifth-gen Camaro and the rest, as they say, is history. With heavy sponsorship by Chevrolet Performance, his Camaro has featured a host of LS-based engines, everything from a supercharged LSA to its current COPO 427.

Conrad Grunewald’s competition car features a Seibon Carbon hood, trunk, fenders, and doors. Photo credit: Camaro Performers.

Conrad Grunewald’s competition car features a Seibon Carbon hood, trunk, fenders, and doors. Photo credit: Camaro Performers.

For the 2013 season, he crafted a new Camaro and pulled out all the stops to make it the baddest drifting car on the planet. Working with BRE Motorsports, the Camaro received a host of tweaks—some pretty hard-core—like having the chassis acid-dipped. This process knocked about 30 pounds off the car before the BRE techs started cutting away non-essential steel from the body.

Photo credit: Camaro Performers.

Photo credit: Camaro Performers.

The Camaro was back-halved to shave even more pounds. The shop also TIG-welded a complete chromoly rollcage and optimized the interior around the driver. The result is a Camaro that tips the scales below 2,800 pounds, which is over 1,000 pounds less than how it came in street trim. Aside from the dipping and cutting, some of that weight savings came from the use of Seibon carbon-fiber body panels wherever possible, including the doors, TSII-style vented hood, and ST-style trunk lid.

Conrad Grunewald’s competition car features a Seibon Carbon hood, trunk, fenders, and doors. Photo credit: Camaro Performers.

Conrad Grunewald’s competition car features a Seibon Carbon hood, trunk, fenders, and doors. Photo credit: Camaro Performers.

With the weight dropped, they turned to the folks at Chevrolet Performance for some power. A 427ci COPO LS engine was stuffed between the fenders. Built around an LS7 block, the mill features a forged steel 4.100-inch stroke crank, forged 6.125-inch rods, and forged pistons sliding in 4.125-inch bores. At 13.5:1 compression it’s not pump-gas friendly, but who cares?

The COPO short-block is topped with LS7 heads and a Holley high-rise intake. The engine was left just as it came out of the crate, and BRE Motorsports custom fabricated the 1 7⁄8-inch long-tube headers as well as the rest of the exhaust system. GM rates the engine at 425 hp, but we’re guessing that’s severely underrated.

Photo credit: Camaro Performers.

Photo credit: Camaro Performers.

Team sponsor Megan Racing stepped in with a custom coilover shock and strut system. These parts, combined with CGR spindles and control arms, gives the Camaro the unique geometry needed for high-angle steering. Surprisingly, the tire sizes are much smaller than you’d think, 235/35-18 front and 265/40-18 rear. We guess when the idea is sliding, you don’t want a big contact patch.

An American driver running an American muscle car in a Japanese-bred sport has a unique coolness all its own, and while we’re not planning to start up a drift project car anytime soon, we still get a bit mesmerized by the smoke-generating madness.

Conrad Grunewald’s competition car features a Seibon Carbon hood, trunk, fenders, and doors. Photo credit: Camaro Performers.

Conrad Grunewald’s competition car features a Seibon Carbon hood, trunk, fenders, and doors. Photo credit: Camaro Performers.

Conrad Grunewald’s competition car features a Seibon Carbon hood, trunk, fenders, and doors. Photo credit: Camaro Performers

Conrad Grunewald’s competition car features a Seibon Carbon hood, trunk, fenders, and doors. Photo credit: Camaro Performers.

Camaro Performers complete article here: http://www.camaroperformers.com/featured-camaros/1404-2010-chevy-camaro-up-in-smoke/#ixzz2yu5d2AM8

 

Conrad Grunewald’s Chevy Camaro runs:

Seibon Carbon doors

Seibon Carbon ST-style trunk

Seibon Carbon SS-style fenders

Seibon Carbon TSII-style hood

 

Find more Camaro parts here: http://seiboncarbon.com/store/products.html?make=175&model=413

 

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