Proof is a simple concept. For a manufacturer, proving your product can do what it is supposed to do and to what level it can do it, can be the difference between a successful product line and a dismal fade into the distance. For nearly 30 years, Heidts Performance of Lake Zurich, IL has been building products in the United States that prove their worth all on their own. To use a worn out sentiment, the proof is in the pudding.
Many moons ago, Heidts purchased a 1968 Chevy Camaro to be the test bed for developing a Gen 1 Camaro 4-link rear suspension kit. A powder blue beauty, spawning innovation and development to the benefit of enthusiasts everywhere.
A few years back, a remodel was in order so a flagship build began; the interior was stripped and a full custom race-ready roll cage was burned in. Unfortunately though, the project got shelved for other priorities at the time as the completely bolt-in PRO-G IRS began to come to life. That was until last year when Heidts Senior Engineer, Jim Shaw, along with the other Heidts Engineers and R&D crew uncovered the Camaro and blew off the dust to rally the rebuild.
The hardworking crew worked long hours into their nights and weekends in a mad dash of fury getting fresh paint applied, wires loomed, tubing plumbed and interior reinstalled. Heidts components were taken directly off the shelf and installed, just as though it were a customer’s vehicle. Finally, the car was ready to compete at the 2013 Heidts Performance Car Challenge.
The vehicle is built to be an example of a high performing performance car that any one of our customers can build using off-the-shelf parts. – Jim Shaw, Heidts Senior Engineer
This car hit the event being freshly completed, with zero testing under its belt. Piloted by Danny Pop, the team at Heidts proved their suspension systems for all to see, finishing up on the podium twice with 1st and 2nd place wins in the first two events of the 2013 Challenge. Heidts loaded this Camaro with their catalog parts showing what could be accomplished.
The front end sports a Heidts PRO-G Sub frame and suspension at it’s core, Heidts billet adjustable coil-overs with 500-lb. springs and a 1-1/4 x .250 wall splined anti-sway bar, keeping the nose of the Camaro planted exactly where the driver decides to put it.
The PRO-G Sub frame is designed so the original sub frame is completely replaced. All new 2-inch drop spindles and tubular control arms are included, precisely designed to improve cornering and all around handling. Power rack and pinion steering to handle the direction changes and Wilwood brakes to increase braking strength are included in the kit, rounding out the set.
Keeping the back end of the car following where it should and putting the power to the road in the most efficient manner is a complete Heidts bolt-in PRO-G IRS. The Independent Rear Suspension kit is a bolt-in game changer for any race or street car looking to gain track or street performance. With a Fabricated Ford 9-inch center section at its heart, this true high-horsepower kit has no problem eloquently propelling the Chevy to the finish line.
Heavy duty CV joint half shafts, tubular upper and lower control arms and forward struts keep up with the reliability. Willwood brakes and Heidts billet adjustable coil-overs loaded with 450-lb. springs completing the set-up, controlling and dampening the movement as the tires carve the track.
Of course though, the underbelly isn’t the only trait of this car that enabled it to compete with the pros. Directing the grunt to the PRO-G IRS is a Tremec T56 Magnum 6-speed transmission and feeding the trans is a Kurt Urban LS7 blowing its exhaust out through custom Hedman Headers followed behind with a Flowmaster exhaust. The 427 cubic inch mill was tuned by West Bend Dyno, spouting out an impressive 540 rear wheel horsepower. Sticking that power to the pavement are Nitto NT05 Street Performance tires, wrapped around 18” front and 19” rear Grip Equipped Lexington forged aluminum wheels.
The Heidts crew is extremely thankful to local friends and family for the massive help getting this car ready. Kevin and Joe at Nostalgic Body Work, Danny of Danny’s Glass and Trim and Mark at Master Auto Repair Klinic all played an important roll ensuring the car would compete at the 2013 Heidts Performance Car Challenge, along with the all-nighters pulled by the Heidts crew.
This ’68 Camaro is the full embodiment of their efforts; proving that unmodified off-the-shelf Heidts performance parts are the right choice for any Street Rod enthusiast. “It is a prime example of teamwork, and determination,” says Jim Shaw “and we’re very proud to add it to our stable of test vehicles here at Heidts Automotive Group.”