JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
2/19/16 11:55 a.m.

“HOLY JEEPERS.”

That’s the phrase Ron Ver Mulm uses to describe the acceleration of his SCCA E Modified Chevrolet Camaro autocrosser.

The fact that he says it in a delicate, polite Midwestern accent completely belies the weapons-grade ferocity of this single-purpose automobile. But when we give you some of the objective numbers, you realize that no amount of filthy language could possibly do justice to this automobile’s insane performance.

“We’ve measured 1.8 to 1.9 sustained lateral gs, 1.6g braking, and”–wait for it–“1.7 gs for eight-tenths of a second in sustained acceleration.” Those are numbers usually endured by rookie Air Force recruits thrown into some sort of plane crash simulator, but Ron and his wife, Sonya, strap themselves into this rocket voluntarily.

Iowa residents Ron and Sonya are regulars on the Midwest autocross circuit, and they’ve spent almost two decades campaigning a Camaro in the already heavily modified C Prepared class. “But there were a lot of things that we were solving with Band-Aids, and we kind of wanted to take it to the next level,” says Ron. Don’t let the modest tone fool you: Ron’s idea of “next level” is several levels beyond what the typical car owner envisions.

Read the rest of the story

Rubens
Rubens New Reader
2/19/16 1:54 p.m.

I wish I could see more photos of the engine set up. That is totally new to me.

HunterJP
HunterJP HalfDork
2/19/16 2:15 p.m.

Ron and Sonya are, simply put, amazingly awesome people. This car build is simply an external, material expression of that awesomeness.

Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham Editorial Assistant
2/19/16 2:40 p.m.

In reply to Rubens :

Here's a shot of the bottom if that helps any.

cmcgregor
cmcgregor Reader
2/19/16 2:41 p.m.

That thing is bananas.

In a good way, of course.

Rubens
Rubens New Reader
2/22/16 9:52 p.m.

In reply to Ed Higginbotham :

Thanks a lot. The pic does help to understand the whole set up a little better. Amazing idea to bring the power train in between the axles... But how is the lateral weight distribution? Isn't the car way heavier on the right side?

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
2/22/16 10:08 p.m.

Mental in every possible way.

OHSCrifle
OHSCrifle HalfDork
2/25/16 5:34 p.m.

looks like Loosecannon's MGB - and damn impressive.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
2/25/16 5:46 p.m.

He's totally destroyed the spirit of the Camaro. It's not meant to be an autocrosser, or have the engine beside the driver. The car is ruined.

bentwrench
bentwrench Dork
2/25/16 8:57 p.m.

Look how long the front control arms are!

84FSP
84FSP HalfDork
2/26/16 3:28 p.m.

That thing is a pure beast. Awesome smells of smoking hoosiers and race fuel.

Indy-Barely Functional-Guy
Indy-Barely Functional-Guy SuperDork
2/24/18 2:39 p.m.

This Car is amazing.  Love the ingenuity that went into it.

Trackmouse
Trackmouse UltraDork
2/24/18 4:05 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

He's totally destroyed the spirit of the Camaro. It's not meant to be an autocrosser, or have the engine beside the driver. The car is ruined.

Yeah, it’s supposed to loose traction and go off track every corner. Lol. 

Suprf1y
Suprf1y PowerDork
2/24/18 5:01 p.m.

The look reminds me a lot of 1970's late model stock cars

freetors
freetors Reader
2/24/18 7:20 p.m.

I love this car. Not to belittle the build in any way (it's very impressive!) but I wonder why the builder chose the inboard shocks when making them act directly on the control arms would have been a perfect fit. I can think of several advantages to this; less weight, fewer components, and a simpler frame design that would channel forces more efficiently.

john9546
john9546 None
4/20/18 9:29 a.m.

Ron and Sonya are wonderful folks.  They bring a lot of "good" to our autocross sport.  Sponsorship helps Too:)  The car is so cool; the sound and the acceleration capability.

KyAllroad (Jeremy)
KyAllroad (Jeremy) PowerDork
4/20/18 2:09 p.m.

If you haven't seen this car in action you owe it to yourself to get to a Tour event where they will be.  It goes like nothing else but is amazingly composed doing it.

FPZguy
FPZguy New Reader
4/20/18 3:03 p.m.

I'm impressed by the creativity and execution of the design.  I would love to see more details.  Well done!!

 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
4/20/18 3:10 p.m.

Pure insanity. I love it.

Apexcarver
Apexcarver PowerDork
4/20/18 3:32 p.m.
freetors said:

I love this car. Not to belittle the build in any way (it's very impressive!) but I wonder why the builder chose the inboard shocks when making them act directly on the control arms would have been a perfect fit. I can think of several advantages to this; less weight, fewer components, and a simpler frame design that would channel forces more efficiently.

Unsprung weight is the common driving factor.  Especially if you are in a class with a minimum weight you must reach. 

 

The less weight at the wheels, the better the wheels are able to react to bumps and other displacements and maintain traction.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
4/20/18 4:58 p.m.

Motion ratio might also be a concern with the design. These cars will have little total travel on course and my shock friends tell me that it's very hard to tune a shock that only moves a short distance. Put it through rocker arms and choose your motion ratio and you can change that short distance into 3-5 inches and that makes building and tuning shocks easier. 

JimMurphy
JimMurphy New Reader
4/21/18 10:42 a.m.

I have always been very impressed with the craftmanship displayed in this Camaro.  Ron placed very well at last year's Lincoln Nationals - right there with my low budget Jeep.  I keep working on the Jeep in preparation for this year's Nationals.  I have a distinct feeling that both will be in the hunt.

Jim

REM
REM None
4/27/18 9:51 a.m.

In reply to mazdeuce, thanks for your insight regarding shock travel/motion ratio.  Makes perfect sense!cool

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