Bitchin Camaro: A look inside Conrad Grunewald’s pro drift car

Conrad Grunewald camaro drift car

Bitchin Camaro: A look inside Conrad Grunewald’s pro drift car

By Mike Kojima

Unlike the Song by the Dead Milkmen, Conrad Grunewald’s Hankook Tire 2010 Formula D pro drift car really is a Bitchin Camaro.  Conrad like many top pro drifters comes from a road racing background.  He won the 2002 Skip Barber Mid West Championship with further success in Grand Am cup and Rolex GT racing before starting his career in Formula D.  We first ran into Conrad when he was the driver of the Technosquare built Tanaka Racing Z06 C5 Corvette drift car. 

Conrad Grunewald camaro drift car

For 2010 Conrad started an ambitious new program, to build a competitive Formula D drift car out of the new Camaro building and driving some late model domestic iron in a sport traditionally dominated by imports.  With backing from GM and Hankook tires Conrad set about turning the Camaro into a competition machine.  The car was stripped to a bare unibody shell and seam welded.  Then an extensive cage was welded in place.  The cage not only provides protection for the driver but stiffens the chassis and helps hold the car together in the rough and tumble world of drifting.

Conrad Grunewald camaro drift car
For driver protection and chassis stiffness to improve handling and suspension tuneabilty, the Camaro’s chassis has been stripped, seam welded and fortified with an all inclusive roll cage.
Conrad Grunewald camaro drift car
The cage extends to the back of the car where it triangulates to the rear frame rails near where the suspension picks up.
Conrad Grunewald camaro drift car
The main tubes follow current cage construction best practices by tying into the frame rails and the unibody with these large gusseted boxes.
Conrad Grunewald camaro drift car
Full NASCAR bars extend into the carbon fiber doors to give extra protection.  The cage is also tied into the A and B pillars with large dimple die cut gussets.  This greatly improves stiffness.

Suspension is important in a drift car and the Camaro has some simple but interesting mods.  Eibach Multi-Pro-2, 2-way adjustable remote reservoir coil over shocks with Eibach ERS springs are paired with Eibach swaybars.  To get adjustability of the suspension geometry and more steering angle Blu 808 billet steering knuckles are used.  Blu 808 adjustable lower arms are used as well to control camber, caster, kingpin angle and roll center.

Conrad Grunewald camaro drift car
 The Eibach coil overs have independently adjustable compression and rebound damping.  The rebound damping is adjusted at the top of the shaft.
Conrad Grunewald camaro drift car
 The rear coil overs are shown here.  The Camaro has IRS rear suspension.
Conrad Grunewald camaro drift car
The compression damping is adjusted at the remote reservoir.  Remote reservoirs make adjustable compression damping easy and allow a monotube shock to be build short without sacrificing fluid or gas volume.
Conrad Grunewald camaro drift car
 The front remote reservoirs are located in the engine compartment.

 Conrad Grunewald camaro drift car

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