We probably push this point more than any other magazine; the best way to be noticed and remembered is to stand out from the masses with a unique body style that makes people rethink their next project. AMXess will be a full-on Pro Touring machine with one goal in mind: to be driven hard. The plan is to seamlessly combine the style, spirit, and heritage of ’60s AMC racing heritage with new state-of-the-art suspension and driveline technology, and create a car that’s accommodating on the street and at home on the track.
We know; everyone says that, right? Well, it’s true; AMXess’ debut will be at the Heidts Performance Car Challenge in Joliet, Illinois, followed by some fun at the Holley LSFest. The SEMA show is in the works, where D&Z hopes to receive an invitation to the Optima Ultimate Street Car Challenge (OUSCI), followed by an assault on the Silver State Classic. That’s a pretty intense schedule for a fresh car, and we approve. Owner Jimi Day says it’ll keep coming too; many Goodguys autocross events, track days and at least one cross-country cruise lie on the horizon.
Engine: 550hp GMPP LS3 with COMP LS7 cam, Hooker headers, Holley LS swap oil pan
Trans: Kiesler RS 600 five-speed with Centerforce twin disc clutch
Rearend: Speedway Engineering 9-inch floater with Randy’s Ring & Pinion Yukon aluminum third member, Detroit TrueTrac with 3.60 gears
Suspension: Heidts Pro-G crossmembers and control arms up front, Heidts/D&Z Customs custom-built four-link in the rear
Brakes: Wilwood 14-inch floating rotors with six-piston calipers, front; 14-inch floating rotors four-piston calipers, rear
Wheels & Tires: 18x9 and 18x10 Rushforth Nighttrain with 275/35R18 and 295/35R18
Detroit Speed & Engineering
Trend: No-compromise chassis parts for Chevy II
The inspiration for this build came from a groundbreaking ’64 Nova SS Li’l John Buttera and his son Chris built in the mid ’80s called the Novette—a car some have called the first true Pro Touring car. Owner Gordon McGilton asked Detroit Speed & Engineering (DSE) to pay homage with a modern twist. While Li’l John grafted in a ’84 Corvette front and rear subframe, this ’63 will get the full DSE treatment with their recently released front subframe and suspension assembly, and rear Quadralink. That will address all the II’s infamous ills and should put handling well beyond the Novette’s respectable performance with a fraction of the effort.
Gordon does plan to use this car often for cruising and to turn some laps on track days, so it’ll also be getting a custom-built rollcage and DSE’s deep tubs in the rear to get more tire under the slim Chevy II quarters. No word yet on whether the paint scheme will be a similar two-tone as the Novette, but we do know that rather than a clean shave most of the factory trim will remain, with some unique finishes from Jet-Hot coatings instead of polishing.
Engine: 585hp Mast Motorsports 416ci L99 VVT with M-90 DBW ECM controller
Trans: Bowler-prepped Tremec TKO 500 five-speed
Rearend: DSE prepped 9-inch with a Moser-built centersection with 3.90 gears, Detroit TrueTrac diff and Moser axles, Dynatech driveshaft
Suspension: DSE subframe with Detroit Tuned coilovers, antiroll bar up front. DSE Quadralink with DSE’s no-bind Swivel-Link technology.
Brakes: Baer Extreme Plus 6R calipers front and rear with 14-inch rotors
Wheels & Tires: yet to be determined 18x9 and 19x10 with 255/35R18 and 295/35R19 BFGoodrich KDW
Trend: Vintage race car style meets modern race car performance