To put all that power to use, Red Devil relies on a complete DSE suspension system. Up front is a DSE subframe assembly, tubular control arms, coilovers, and sway bar. In the rear, the stock leaf springs got the dump in favor of a DSE four-link setup. Stick comes courtesy of 275/35R18 front and 325/30R19 rear Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires, and massive Brembo brakes bring the Camaro down to a halt. Pushing the boundaries of Pro Touring evolution yet again, it wasn't enough to merely have six-piston calipers squeezing 14-inch rotors. Determined to figure out how to put all that braking force to use more efficiently, Mark adapted the antilock braking system off of a '06 Corvette Z06 onto his Camaro. "You have to trick the ABS system into thinking that it's still in a Corvette," Mark says. "That required plumbing in the ABS module into the brake lines, integrating wheel speed sensors on all four corners of the car, and building a custom wiring harness. The ABS works extremely well, especially on the autocross."
As impressive as the Camaro may be, you don't just earn Godfather status by simply bolting together a bunch of parts and finishing everything off with shiny paint. What has always set Mark's creations apart from the pack is how well they work on the street and at the track. "Red Devil isn't the most trendsetting car for sure, but it's by far the best car I've ever built. It has the best engine, brakes, suspension, interior, and paint of any of my prior builds," he says. "Everything just works so well together as a package in this car. It runs 10.90s at 130 mph at the dragstrip on street tires, idles at 600 rpm, does 0-87-0 in 8 seconds flat, and rides very smoothly. I haven't had a chance to practice yet, but I'm sure the car will do 0-100-0 in 10 seconds. I've finally built the car I've always dreamed of having in high school."
When swapping in an LS7 or...
When swapping in an LS7 or an LS9, many hot rodders take the easy way out and convert their motors over to a wet sump oil system. Since Red Devil is a bona fide road-race machine, Mark retained the dry-sump setup. The tank is mounted behind the passenger-side headlight.
Last June, Mark debuted Red Devil at the Motor State Challenge, where it qualified First and eventually beat all challengers in the road course portion of the event. That's not too shabby at all for a combo that had never been track tested. "Of all the car stuff I've done in my life, this is one of my best achievements. To take a basically brand-new build to the track and do well with nothing more than tightening one bolt made me very happy," he says. As well as the Camaro performed its first time out, the exercise was merely a tune-up for the 2010 Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational. After driving Lillard's Camaro at the 2009 Optima event, Mark had his eye on winning the event in his own car. By winning the braking and autocross portions of the shootout, and finishing runner-up in the road course challenge, Red Devil was crowned top dog of the 2010 event. "After competing in last year's Optima event in Charlie's car, I knew the competition was going to be tough. My goal since then has been to win it all, and the car did everything I hoped it would do."
As always, when Mark's in-between project car builds, other Pro Touring machines will pop up left and right, trying to one-up the performance benchmarks he's set. Even if they succeed, Mark will inevitably be back to reclaim his turf with the composure and determination of the true Godfather of Pro Touring. For as great as the Red Devil may be, everyone knows that Mark will perpetuate the evolution of Pro Touring by following it up with an even more impressive machine. Until then, his latest concoction will be the gold standard of Pro Touring performance that everyone will try to catch.