Fresh Ride: Matt Hutter’s 1969 LS-Powered Pro Mod Camaro

The Hutter family has been involved in the motorsports world for decades through its engine building business and Hutter Performance shop. Matt Hutter has spent time wheeling circle track cars, but now calls the driver’s seat of a Pro Mod home. Hutter’s new ride is showing some promise already and could make him a player in the PDRA Pro Boost class.

Hutter’s first Pro Mod was a former Eric Enders Dodge Stratus that was raced in Pro Stock. The Stratus was transformed into a twin-turbo Pro Mod and ran a best of 3.75. While the Stratus did run well, the issue was the wheelbase, at only 105-inches it wasn’t ideal for Pro Mod racing. The Jerry Bickel-built Camaro Hutter picked up has a 112-inch wheelbase and that makes power management much easier.

“The Stratus was great when we were running 3.80’s and .90’s, but the quicker we went, the more the short wheelbase was causing us issues. It was a real balancing act trying to get the front/rear weight percentages where we wanted them without it hiking the nose way up down-track. We’ve only been to one race with this new car and we didn’t experience any of those issues. The car has gone straight and kept the front end more under control,” Hutter says.

The Camaro was campaigned as a big block nitrous car previously, so Hutter and his team had to do a lot of work to get the small-block LS engine to fit between the fenders. Hutter built a new turbo system specifically for this car. The firewall also had to be replaced to work with the new engine.

Hutter’s engine of choice is the 440 cubic-inch LS-based engine his father Ron developed. A CFE LSFusion block is the basis for the mill and it houses a Bryant crank, GRP rods, and CP pistons. The engine is topped off with a set of CFE SBX heads, and boost is provided via a pair of Comp Turbo CTR55-88106 oil-less turbos. A Quick Drive unit is paired with a Neal Chance torque converter and Liberty five-speed transmission to apply horsepower to the track. Hutter plans to shift the car manually for the foreseeable future since he likes having additional control over what the car is doing.

The Camaro’s first outing at the PDRA event held at Summit Motorsports Park was a success in Hutter’s eyes. The car’s best pass was a 3.75, which was the quickest the Stratus had ever been.

“We feel like the car has a ton of potential, and we’re just kind of scratching the surface now as we work the bugs out. As far as goals, I’d like to be able to go to big events and be competitive. So, we need to be able to run middle to low 3.60’s if the conditions are right to be in the ballpark,” Hutter says.

Hutter plans on supporting the local Pro Mod scene as much as he can this year. The Camaro will be run in the Rumble Wars series at Summit Motorsports Park, and the Heavyweight 8 event at Dragway 42. Hutter will also take the Camaro on the road running with the NEOPMA, the PDRA, and at Edgewater Dragstrip this year.

About the author

Brian Wagner

Spending his childhood at different race tracks around Ohio with his family’s 1967 Nova, Brian developed a true love for drag racing. When Brian is not writing, you can find him at the track as a crew chief, doing freelance photography, or beating on his nitrous-fed 2000 Trans Am.
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