The godfather of Pro Touring: The Big Red Camaro rolls into Hoonigan HQ

This is Big Red. Well, actually this is Big Red 2. The first 1969 Chevrolet Camaro reworked by RJ Gottlieb and his father was severely crashed during a road race many years ago. RJ survived that 150 mph off-track excursion but the car was cooked. So Big Red 2 was born in its place. Today, this 1969 Chevy Camaro is prepped for insane speeds and blows out wicked power, and RJ and his car have swung by the Hoonigan Donut Garage in Long Beach to talk all about it.

The numbers are wild. You have upwards of 2,000 horsepower, depending on which of the three available engines is being used. A top speed run of 251 miles per hour is far faster than most exotic hyper car owners can hope for. There are piles of trophies, records, and more.

This is Pro Touring at its most wild form. You start with a first or second generation muscle or pony car and turn it into a road-going race car. With Big Red, the Gottliebs kept on pushing. One of its most memorable runs occurred during the second Silver State Classic Challenger. RJ managed to complete the 94-mile road course in just 27 minutes and 54 seconds.

That works out to an average speed of a tick under 198 mph. His fastest speed during the run was 222 mph. He nearly averaged 200 mph over the course of 94 miles.

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7 responses to “The godfather of Pro Touring: The Big Red Camaro rolls into Hoonigan HQ”

  1. neight428 Avatar

    Can we not have a racing series of these types of cars?

    1. onrails Avatar

      There sort of is one between with the Optima Ultimate Street Car Challenge and One Lap of America. I think those are the only ones that really encourage a ‘run what you brung’ mentality. No wheel to wheel, but lots of time trial, drag, and autocross. Otherwise, I can’t see anyone ever agreeing to any sort of rules package for a series. NASA’s a little better than SCCA (who has a 317 page rule book for dodging cones in a parking lot for god’s sake) as far as not regulating things to death but I can’t see people ever agreeing to something to race these monsters wheel to wheel.

      1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
        Jeff Glucker

        I believe Optima has a wheel-to-wheel component but only at certain tracks. I may be wrong about that though. Otherwise, yes it’s mostly as you described.

        Wheel to wheel pro-touring-style cars would be awesome.

      2. neight428 Avatar

        Yes, someone always wants things to be “fair”, such a drag.

  2. 0A5599 Avatar

    Bitchenist. Camero. Evar.

  3. outback_ute Avatar

    Will have to check this one, I’ve seen a couple of things about it before. Pretty committed build