Project 899: Let’s Get This Party Started

It’s here! We’re excited to begin our 30 days of Project 899. To give a quick refresher, Project 899 is an idea we came up with to attempt to take a 1969 Camaro from a basic rolling chassis with a cage to a completed race car in just nine days. If that wasn’t enough of a challenge, we added two stipulations: the car has to make at least 899 horsepower at the wheels, and it has to run 8.99 seconds or quicker in the 1/4-mile. No pressure.

We knew that to help increase our chances of accomplishing the goals we laid out, Project 899 needed to start with a strong foundation. This meant using a rolling chassis that was free of rust and did not need any repairs or improvements to the body or interior. The 1969 Camaro we chose is just such an animal. The body and frame are straight and rust-free, and it already has an 8.50-certified cage in it. We wanted to make 899 stand out, so we called on Scotty Bollinger at Wrapped By SB in Twinsburg, Ohio, and he knocked it out of the park with the design and his application of the wrap.

Scotty Bollinger getting Project 899 wrapped in a new suit. Now it looks ready to attack the drag strip.

This type of challenge is somewhat similar to a particular television show you may remember with the same sort of basic premise. However, Project 899 differs in that instead of having multiple teams of people working around the clock we attempted to complete our car with a team of just seven. With such a short timeframe we wanted to enlist the help of people that are accustomed to working on high-performance cars under pressure. The owners of Big 3 Racing in Hinckley, Ohio, are exactly the people we were looking for.

Chuck Stefanski, Bob Hess, and Rick Trunkett are all seasoned drag-and-drive competitors, each with their own killer race cars. Aside from being great guys, the trio is all-too-familiar with wrenching on a deadline. To round out the team we enlisted four of our Power Automedia experts including Street Muscle Editor Brian Wagner, Power & Performance Videographer Chris Friend, Director of Content Brian Havins, and LSX Mag Editor Jeremy Nichols.

Pushing 899 onto the lift at Big 3 Racing on day one. Let the thrashing begin.

In addition to the amazing team we put together to build Project 899, we also collaborated with many industry leaders to ensure we used parts and systems that would be capable of achieving our goals and being reliable. Big 3 Racing is located a short drive from Summit Racing Equipment‘s headquarters. Summit carries such a large number of parts in stock that it made perfect sense to work with Summit to source many of the components for Project 899. Ordering parts through Summit was easy and we were able to either get them delivered the next day or, as you’ll see in upcoming content, we could drive over to Summit’s facility to pick up parts the same day we ordered them.

For the heart of our Camaro, Late Model Engines assembled a stout Gen V L8T engine that is packed with high-quality components and ready to accept the Whipple Superchargers Gen 5 3.0L supercharger we were going to bolt to it. Knowing that the horsepower goal for Project 899 was going to be a highlight of the build, we chose to complete the powertrain with components from leading companies like Wegner Automotive, KATECH, Performance Distributors, Holley, Fuel Injector Clinic, CID Heads, and Aeromotive.

Unboxing the LME-built L8T along with all of the needed engine components was like Christmas in Summer. Look for in-depth tech coverage on the entire engine combination during our month of Project 899 content.

We wanted peace of mind when launching the car off the starting line, so we gathered expert input from ATI Performance Products and decided to go with one of its TH400 transmissions featuring a manual valve body and transbrake. We also ordered one of ATI’s bolt-together converters in case we needed to make a stator change in the future. Additionally, we chose to go with a Strange Engineering¬†Fabricated 9-inch rearend and a complete Strange brake package for the front and rear.

We chose to run ATI and Strange products for their strength, performance, and reliability. We should have no worries at the dragstrip with this combination. Throughout our month of Project 899 content we will be bringing you complete coverage of the details and installation of these components.

To get Project 899 the stance we pictured in our heads while having the adjustability needed on the drag strip we chose to run QA1 suspension components at all four corners. Completing the look we were going for and offering all the performance we would need is a set of RC Components wheels wrapped in Mickey Thompson tires.

Few things on a car will improve its looks more so than the wheels and tires. These RC Components wheels and Mickey Thompson tires complete the look of our 899 Camaro and will help us get down the dragstrip.

As part of our 30 days of Project 899, we will be bringing you in-depth tech content on the engine build, transmission, rearend, suspension, and coverage of the entire build going together. There will also be video content showing the entire nine days of the build including commentary and explanations from our team, bloopers and outtakes, and hurdles we encountered that had to be overcome to meet the deadline. If you haven’t already, follow LSX Mag on Facebook and Instagram, and subscribe to the Power + Performance YouTube Channel to catch all of the Project 899 content we have coming.

About the author

Jeremy Nichols

Jeremy loves to go fast, whether that's on two wheels, four wheels, or boating. With a willingness to compete at almost anything, Jeremy shoots competition long-range rifles matches and races road bicycles and enjoys building vehicles for people.
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