Big Red History 2020

For the new car, less horsepower simply was not an option. Once you make a decision like that, you have to figure out a way to keep that beast under the hood in between the lines. Father and son were going to have to think long and hard about safety. The lesson from La Carrera Classica was that dropping a race-car engine into a factory Camaro simply wouldn’t work. But part of the magic, RJ insisted, was that he didn’t want to drive a race car that just looked like a ’69 Camaro, but one that actually was a ’69 Camaro. It was a critical directive that added that spark to the new car’s legend. It would be a car that everyone could relate to, like the one they had driven themselves and worked on; something they knew. The car would be christened “Big Red” and it wouldn’t be a glossy, pretentious starlet on the silver screen, it would be the drop-dead-gorgeous girl next door.More than a beauty, the Gottliebs wanted a wolf in sheep’s clothing to put the owners and drivers of the high-end European sports cars at ease when the fire breathing race car lurking under that Camaro skin came storming out of the gate. Underneath that skin, it
truly was going to be something else. Bill Osborne had a hell of a project on his hands. It’s relatively easy to drop the shell of a car onto a racing chassis. What Bill did was actually build the racing chassis into the\ original   GM/ Fisher body of the car. And why not? The ’69 Camaro is an awesome vehicle.

 The ’69 Camaro is an awesome vehicle. The floorpan was altered and trimmed to accommodate the new frame, which, according to All Chevy magazine, had rollbars “the size of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s biceps.” Still, the general design of the cockpit was largely retained, including the original dash assembly that had a working glovebox and gauge cluster. The illusion wasn’t
perfect, of course. The 11-inch setback mounting of that monster engine was pretty obvious, but Dan insisted that they paint that fancy (and expensive) all-aluminum block GM orange so he could point, and say, “look, it’s just a stock 427 iron block.” And then he’d chuckle a little bit Early garage photos of the car show a raw steel cage, stripped of any paint. A massive Modine radiator was installed with racing front sway bushings and a cross brace in front of the engine. As Bill continued to work, the motoring press couldn’t help but take notice. In the September 1987 issue of Hot Rod magazine, the Mexico crash was mentioned in its one-page coverage of the event, which hinted at a “re-birth,” and the Gottliebs possibly building another “audacious” Camaro.
And it was. It was also a work in progress. In photos of Big Red’s maiden drive at Willow Springs racetrack, it was without trim, stripes and some of the soon-to-be familiar hardware — including the extra diagonal braces on the main loop of the cage. Big Red was taking shape into something fans would .recognize, the gold center wheels and a shiny coat of red as bold as the engineering, just waiting for those classic white Z/28 stripes. 

big red camaro car

2020 was a landmark year for the Big Red Camaro, filled with thrilling events and spectacular performances. This iconic racing machine continued to push the boundaries of speed, leaving an indelible mark on the racing world. Join us as we recap the incredible journey of Big Red over this exhilarating year.

FEBRUARY: CONQUERING NEW MILESTONES AT SPACEPORT MILE HALF

In February, Big Red roared into the spotlight at the Spaceport Mile Half in New Mexico. With RJ behind the wheel, the car showcased its extraordinary capabilities on an airstrip designed for the most daring speeds. The event drew racing enthusiasts and speed aficionados from across the country, all eager to witness Big Red in action.

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RJ Gottlieb with partner
RJ Gottlieb
media attention
big red camaro car
big red camaro car

SETTING A NEW RECORD

At the Spaceport Mile Half, Big Red didn’t just participate; it dominated. RJ managed to clock an astonishing top speed of 251.396 mph, setting the fastest speed ever recorded at the event. This achievement wasn’t just a win for Big Red; it was a historic moment for the entire team, demonstrating their hard work and dedication.

MEDIA COVERAGE AND RECOGNITION

The record-breaking run garnered significant media attention. Coverage by Torq Talk highlighted the meticulous engineering and fierce determination that propelled Big Red to its new record. The article celebrated Big Red’s ongoing legacy and its impact on the racing scene, drawing praise from across the motorsport community.

PREPARATIONS FOR THE NEXT CHALLENGE

Following the success at the Spaceport Mile Half, the team didn’t rest on their laurels. The next months were spent in rigorous preparations, fine-tuning Big Red for the upcoming challenges. The team’s commitment to excellence meant countless hours of testing and adjustments to ensure Big Red was at its best.

NOVEMBER: SHIFT SECTOR CALIFORNIA AIRSTRIP ATTACK

As the year progressed, Big Red was geared up for another significant event—the Shift Sector California Airstrip Attack in Coalinga. This event is known for attracting some of the fastest cars and most skilled drivers, and Big Red was set to make a splash once again.

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best racing cars
best racing cars
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top racing cars

Performance at Shift Sector

At the California Airstrip Attack, Big Red showcased its robust performance and engineering excellence. The event served as a platform for Big Red to demonstrate its speed capabilities against some of the most competitive vehicles in the field, further cementing its reputation as a formidable contender in the racing world.

Reflecting on a Year of Success

As 2020 drew to a close, the team behind Big Red had much to celebrate. Despite the challenges presented by the year, including global events that affected all sports, Big Red’s achievements stood out as a testament to the team’s resilience and passion for racing.

Looking Forward

With the successes of 2020 in the rearview mirror, the team looked forward to the future with renewed energy and ambition. The records set and the challenges overcome in 2020 laid the groundwork for future endeavors, promising even more excitement and innovation in the years to come.