Can a street machine be formal? When it’s as clean, sharp, and elegant as Stuart Adams’ ’69 Camaro – the Goodguys 2018 PPG Street Machine of the Year – we’d have to argue yes!
Built by Detroit Speed over a nine-year period, the goal for Stuart’s car was to be a “refined, sophisticated ’69 Camaro with supercar performance abilities and comforts.” Mission accomplished. The classy-looking Camaro was up against a field of more radical-looking contenders at the PPG Nationals in Columbus, but had the build quality, attention to detail, and presence to pull off the Street Machine of the Year win.
This is not the first car Stuart has commissioned from Kyle Tucker and his crew, but it’s certainly the nicest. Starting with an Eric Brockmeyer rendering, the team in Detroit Speed’s custom shop built a foundation using some familiar parts – namely a Detroit Speed front subframe and a QuadraLink rear suspension attached to custom rear frame rails. Big Baer brakes and a 9-inch center section from GearFX helped complete the chassis. And in a street machine landscape filled with black- and gray-spoke wheels, the team made a bold choice in selecting a chrome finish for the custom-designed 18×10- and 20×12-inch Forgeline wheels, which were wrapped in sticky Michelin rubber.
The supercar-level power came from a Kurt Urban-built LS3 topped with a Harrop supercharger. Custom valve covers – and Chevy orange paint – give the engine a distinctive look that blends old school with modern cool. The engine is backed by a Bowler Performance-built six-speed transmission and breathes through Detroit Speed headers and a custom exhaust. Naturally, everything under the hood is detailed to perfection.
There’s no mistaking the body for anything other than a ’69 Camaro, though there are countless refinements making the sheet metal more defined, sharp, and sleek. This includes modified quarter panels and front fenders, shaved drip rails with bolt-on drip rail trim, a custom hood, cowl and lower valence, as well as a custom rear spoiler. Belly pans bring that same attention to detail to the underside. The PPG black finish is one of the most flawless we’ve seen.
A similar amount of custom fabrication graces the cabin, from the fabricated package tray and door panels, to the custom dash. Classic Instruments fill a one-off gauge pod, while a center-mounted touch screen ties into a vehicle-wide electronics system – the car even has its own IP address! M&M Hot Rod Interiors stitched the Relicate leather over modified Recaro buckets and a custom rear seat, while Detroit Speed finished things off with a custom-designed and machined steering wheel.
We’ve really just scratched the surface here – to get a true feel for the extensive amount of fabrication in this car, you owe it to yourself to click over to the Detroit Speed website and scroll through the build gallery photos. The Tux Camaro exhibits a level of quality and detail that made it a Great 8 finalist for the Ridler Award at this year’s Detroit Autorama – a considerable feat for a Camaro that retains stock-appearing body lines. It represents an incredible level of craftsmanship, performance, and class, making it a worthy winner of the Goodguys 2018 PPG Street Machine of the Year honor.