6. Mark Stielow’s “Hellfire” Camaro
When GM vehicle dynamics engineer Mark Stielow isn’t catching air at the Flugplatz section of the Nürburgring in a future Camaro prototype, he’s privately building and restoring classic Camaros — like the new “Hellfire” — on a level of detail and performance that is otherwise mostly unheard of. And then he races them in events like the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational happening tomorrow. If you haven’t heard of Mark Stielow, then you don’t have any heroes.
5. Jimmie Johnson’s C3 Corvette with a modern LT1
Arguably the best-looking concept by Chevrolet Performance this year. Yeah, the Ricky Carmichael Chevrolet Colorado’s cool, and so is the Silverado Polaris ACE+, but the subtle looks of the grey and black color scheme and brass-knuckled power of the LT1 drew quite the crowd around Jimmie Johnson’s 1973 C3 Corvette. What makes it even more unique is that it’s supposedly the first fifth-generation Small Block engine swap in existence.
4. Crate motors galore
The fifth-generation Small Block has found itself in the 2015 Chevrolet Performance Parts ordering catalog with the 6.2L LT1 V8 currently only seen in the C7 Corvette Stingray. Wonderful. But perhaps as a fun little twist on tradition, Chevrolet Performance is finally offering a 2.0L turbocharged four cylinder out of the box with the LTG engine for rear-wheel drive applications. It’s going to be interesting to see how that motor is used in the future.
3. Camaro Z/28 pull-down parts
Before anybody says anything, the top three for this post could may as well be a three-way tie. So for third-first place, the announcement that Chevrolet Performance was going to offer up high-end racing components from the 2o14 Camaro Z/28 a la carte for use in lesser models, it blew a lot of minds. Oh, you wanted those Multimatic DSSV dampers? Done. The Z/28’s limited slip diff and diff cooler? Yup. But in an effort to deter cloning, you’ll have to find those 305mm-wide wheels and tires elsewhere, we’re afraid.
2. The Chevrolet Silverado High Desert Concept
No concept vehicle at the Chevrolet SEMA exhibit quite exclaimed “build me!” like the Chevrolet Silverado High Desert did. From the gorgeous and tactical paint, to the multiple cargo management solutions in and around the truck-bed that we’ve been looking for, the accessories and features on the Silverado High Desert beg to be put to market.
1. Corvette Z06 pull-down parts
The folks at Chevrolet can call this a “concept” all they want. Truth of the matter is that the 2015 Corvette Z06 isn’t even out yet, so it makes it impossible to start selling its components from a catalog. But like the LT1 crate motor last year which was merely passed off as a concept, our finely tuned crystal ball has us saying that buyers should be able to access Corvette Z06 components and be able to fix them onto their awaiting Stingrays by the 2016 Chevrolet Performance Parts Catalog. And that’s going to make a lot of people very happy.