What you see here is Mark Stielow’s (GM engineer and tuner) idea of a proper Camaro! He took a 1969 Chevy Camaro in its original ‘Butternut Yellow’ color and fitted it with the 638 hp engine of the Corvette ZR1. The braking system and the wheels are also from the Vette but the car uses Viper transmission. It took Mark 20 months to build it and when he finished, he called it: Jackass!!!
DETROIT — You knew it had to happen, eventually. Some enterprising engineer/grease monkey/nut job would take the most absurdly powerful engine General Motors has ever made, the 638-horsepower LS9 from the Corvette ZR1, and slapped it into the best-looking Camaro General Motors has ever made, the 1969.
What we have here, then, is the ultimate Camaro, one that goes by the name Jackass.
The engineer/grease monkey/nut job in this case is General Motors engineer and Pro-Touring car-building legend Mark Stielow. It took Stielow 20 months to create Jackass, and predictably then, Jackass is something more than your average engine-transplant hack job. The fabrication appears first-rate. And lest you think big-motored Camaros are only about ripping though the quarter-mile, consider that Stielow started building first-generation Camaros to compete in Brock Yates’ One Lap of America event. And it’s early Camaros that have built Stielow’s reputation. All have had silly names such as Mule, Thrasher and Red Witch.
So Jackass also gets the wheels, tires and monster carbon-ceramic Brembo brakes from the ZR1. No, those pieces are not technically available to your average car builder. One would need a VIN from a ZR1 to get them out of Service Parts Operation, so get one of those first.
The motor, which Stielow says makes about 511 hp at the rear wheels on a Mustang chassis dyno, sits low in a bolt-on Art Morrison subframe. The transmission is a Tremec T56 transmission from a Viper.
How much does all of this wicked Camaro goodness cost? “Well, I can tell you it’s cheaper to just buy a ZR1,” says Stielow, who since the disbanding of the High Performance Vehicle Group has taken a job as engineering group manager in the hybrid vehicle division.
Oh, and the color? That would be the always-sassy Butternut Yellow, which was a standard GM color option back in 1969.