Pairing drifting and big American V8-powered muscle cars is always a good formula – mix some ’70s nostalgia in there as well and it’s a pretty much perfect combination. Finnish drifter Mikko Viitala has taken a Z28-78 Chevy Camaro, anti-facelifted it for an even more early ’70s look and stuffed it full of horsepower.
His Camaro now mounts a 6.2-litre, 505hp LS3 engine from a 2010 Corvette and weights 1280kg when race ready. The underpinnings include the cream of modern mechanicals, with Bilstein shocks, Corvette disks and S14 coil-overs just part of the serious amount of kit installed under the fibreglass body. It’s Mikko’s third drift car since dipping his toe in the water with an Opel Manta back in 2004; an Opel Kadett then made way for the Camaro – quite a step up!
This video reinforces the evidence that muscle-cars go just fine around corners: this beast pretty much only goes sideways, and puts anything in its way to the smoking sword. Awesome.
Born in the 60's, and having been a gearhead/petrolhead since birth, I remember the Tran Am series. My first two cars were a 1966 Mustang coupe and a 1966 Corvair Corsa coupe (the Corvair handled much better than the Mustang). Later, before getting into Porsches and going road racing, I owned a 1969 Chevelle. In stock form and on stock tires, the old muscle cars and pony cars were not great handling machines. But like Mikko's beast, they could be modified for the purpose. And the Trans Am cars were heavily modified from stock form.
I'm not bashing American iron. (I might take a few pot shots at my old classmates and our lack of driving skills as teenagers, however.) Any car drifting, road racing or drag racing at a pro level is going to be heavily modified from its stock form. Period. So I don't get the rage. We certainly never see it when drag-racing R32 Skylines are covered on Speedhunters. Let the brother drift what he wants. He's obviously doing a good job with it.
Now about that video without music... ;)
I love the diversity of vehicles Speedhunters covers and thought the other readers here enjoyed it as well. If you're one of the few people who seem to only like JDM and bash everything else, first, don't read these articles and then talk to a counselor about why you feel insecure enough about your preference of cars to put others down to boost your morale. For the rest of us, we'll continue to enjoy seeing new formulas and different ways of doing things.
It's a nicely done video, but doesn't do full justice to the car or driver as seen live. It's always a bit mind boggling to see him pull flawless big angle entries and close tandem chases with a car that doesn't fit into the normal stereotype of a drift car concept.
I've been able to observe Mikko's progress from the early days all the way to the last event of 2012 and I'd say this year has been the single biggest improvement in his game of his drift career. Always a super consistent driver, he's now become one of the best tandem chase drivers in the country as well. Will be exciting to see what he's got up his sleeve for 2013!
As the owner of jap muscle in a gtr (and Sti), it is brilliant to see US muscle sliding. Back in the day, these cars were leading touring cars and they did and still can handle. Jap and euros generally did not have the power to keep up on most circuits. Great to see speedhunters continually mixing without one pure focus.
...Makes me want to scratch the General Lee itch had since I has a kid.
I'm reading the comments on here and as a guy whose been into cars of all types almost since I could talk (late 70s) and who eats sleeps and drinks just about anything to do with cars Domestic or Foreign; I'm amazed at the ignorance being displayed in relation to muscle cars let alone drift cars period. The ONLY thing that dictates how much angle you can get in a slide is steering (and maybe power)! NO car - Japanese or American, old or new, or anything else for that matter pulls the type of angle you see at drift events without a completely redesigned and built front suspension.
Second: when new - Camaros, Mustangs, Barracudas, Challengers, and AMX/Javalins owed more to road racing and Trans AM racing then 1/4 drag racing (not that they weren't involved in that as well). Heck, Mustangs and Camaros even raced overseas in British Saloon car racing. (see vid for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kY5zdnGvT0c) AWESOME racing by the way! Z28s vs Datsun 510s, Ford Escorts, Minis, and so on!
There's so much famous 60s-70s muscle that only did road course work that saying muscle cars are only good for the 1/4 mile just makes you look ignorant about past and even present racing history. Even now the Camaro and Mustang are two of the most dominate chassis in Grand Am racing and SCCA World Challenge GTS racing. The Boss Mustang actually has dominated in SCCA repeatedly and won the championship in 2011. So they changed the rules to handicap it and pretty much made the cars obsolete over night. (http://mustangsdaily.com/blog/2012/08/05/mustang-race-teams-stage-protest-against-scca-world-challenge-rules-at-mid-ohio/)
That's a lot of effort to leverage against a car that's only good in a straight line; don't ya think?
alas.. IGNORANCE is rife in here.
It cant be just a cool car anymore.. you gotta always compare it to whatever jiggled your sticky you saw or seen somewhere.
cant it just be cool that it is what it is?
Musclecars only strait line?.. in most cases, yes.. but did the Vintage Trans Am races happen, were they not a spectacle?
did they turn both ways in an exciting manner?.. was those times not the same times that made many japanese(240z / 510), euro(bmw 2002/ Porsche 911), and others famous enough for you to lust after NOW?
can the Musclecars(even though these are really ponycars) get ANY love?
lol go figure...i wonder how he made it turn tho....still its an overweight lump of iron...prob pretty sturdy tho and the other whip still embarrased him on that sweeper....meh put the slicks back on it and let it run the 1320 like chevy and god intended leave drifting to the peeps than can build something more than a 1 trick pony...(looks at mustangs as well....)
Very awesome and very nice! Glad to see something a little different out there. Sure it has the big v8's most of the other drift cars run no a days but still. The chassis is something you don't see often. :)
Why are people hell bent on ruining (in my opinion) a great videos with shitty music?! the car is music enough!
If someone is interested how to make old Camaro driftable, long version of buildthread can be found on driftworks...
It doesnt have fiberglass shell. Front end, doors and trunklid yes.
And these can be drifted with quite basic mods, 2010 season this had pretty much standard chassis. Okay, poly bushes etc. and improved little here and there but still leafsprings, original z28 steering parts with chopped knuckles and poor 40 degrees max lock, biggest mod for drifitng was that rear shocks had been swapped to coil-overs, so leafsprings + coil springs together to make it stiff, it was quite easy to drive, older vid from that time, good material though...
-Mikko Viitala, Finland
MikkoV Good looking out Mikko! Nice to see someone overseas appreciating Z28s for what they were actually designed to do - GO AROUND CURVES!
p.s. I posted some of your vids on Jalopnik a while back, and I loved the old Manta you used to roll before this.
Drifts fast but I just dont think that it can achieve the same angle as most of the grassroots drift cars. The JZX100 at the end was out drifting the camaro by a long shot even though it was keeping up to the chaser in speed.
Proximity over everything ;-) This has now over 60 degrees of lock which is plenty, and good steering geometry but lots of work gone to it and basically everything has changed in steering.
About tired of thee kids bashing V8's and muscle cars.
If your an "enthusiast" you don't hate/bash on another form like some schoolyard kids...
Then again I forget that I'm referring to a generation that lets a series of movies and some lame actors teach them about cars.
That a car is not a car without a flippin RB26 or a 2JZ!!!!
I give the driver major credit for taking an iconic car like the Camaro and showing its potential yet again.
KietaPhillips Speak for yourself! Yes, I grew up watching the F&F movies, but in my family I was born and raised on American Muscle. My first car was a fox-body thunderbird with a built 302. Early in college I got into more of the European cars (and bought an Audi A4). And within the last 2 years, thanks to speedhunters I've started to love Japanese cars too. So I started out loving the American V8's , but now I pretty much love all cars, and I'm part of that generation.
SVT_Bryan And I grew up under the Chevy and Mopar flag. I love watching my grandpa and uncles fighting(and racing) over which was better and learning to tune an engine by hand.
I apologize if I've offended you, just seems like I see this case more and more on here and at events.Just wish they'd research and try to understand why people like certain cars.
Example: VW's, I never understood why everyone was so VR6 crazy and why always that engine...
A couple of magazines and forums later, I found out that the engine is pretty genius on construction and understand why its so sought after in VW circles. Just like rotaries, never knew the how or why, until i looked into them...all those horses in a small package?! and the way it works?!
The Camaro would be the last thing I'd expect to go sideways and impressed with the results.
Once again, I apologize if I offended you, just aiming at the few who just love bashing in the culture.
KietaPhillips SVT_Bryan I am willing to say that I'm a part of the f&f generation, but I'm also willing to say that there's nothing wrong with a successful formula, or a new formula. This camaro seems to be both.
I couldn't help but chuckle at the fact that is has a fiberglass shell, poly windows, and still weighs 2800lbs. Trying to make an old American car remotely light would just be a depressing battle. Still found it cool that he took the initiative to put some time in to the chassis and make it do what he wanted it to do. Kudos to him, because god knows I'd just just be angry about having to work on it.
Having owned a few muscle cars in my younger days, I can confirm that they do two things very well: Go straight, and go sideways around curves when applying too much throttle (hahaha). Many muscle cars were lost to trees alongside the road (None by me, thankfully, by several of my classmates increased the values of the cars they didn't drive/crash). Is there a video without music? The only soundtrack should be the LS3. That goes for all car videos. The engine makes the music.
"The underpinnings include the cream of modern mechanicals, with Bilstein shocks, Corvette disks and S14 coil-overs"
well for me that says it all...it seems like its suspension doesnt have to do anything with the stock one anymore which means it wasnt only upgraded but highly modified to be drifted....now get a 200sx slap coils on and you got a ready to go driftcar more or less....wont happen with this fat pig
Snowfun Actually his suspension is built on the stock chassis. He just added longer control arms which people add to 200sx's quite often, corvette rotors are just simple bolt on upgrade, as are the bilstein shocks. The S14 coil-overs in the rear where also just bolted on. So really its not "highly modified" to be drifted.
Drifting is about driving techniques, all of V8 cars kill this good sport, japanese do 3x better with an 160 HP AE86... It's move very ugly around corners, for drifting is the high torque better, the real good drifters never will use V8...... a muscle car only good for drag racing.....
you mean the same japanese people that use 500+hp cars in d1 and 300+hp in grass roots? The same japanese people that started mainstream drifting like orido use v8's in a 86 no less? Are you talking about those japanese people? daigo use 800+ in d1 and 1200+ in FD.