Custom 1969 Chevy Camaro “Tri-Tip” To Be Auctioned Without Reserve During SEMA

Oct 30, 2019 3 min read
Custom 1969 Chevy Camaro “Tri-Tip” To Be Auctioned Without Reserve During SEMA

The '69 Camaro that invented Pro-Touring is heading to SEMA

Car enthusiasts may recognize this car, a custom 1969 Chevrolet Camaro known as "Tri-Tip". This classic Camaro has also been referred to as "The White One" and the "One Lap of America Camaro". This custom car was built and raced by Mark Stielow, a GM Engineer for over 30 years. This well-known vintage Camaro will be up for auction without reserve from November 4-13, 2019. For anyone visiting the SEMA show at the Las Vegas Convention Center from November 5-8 can swing by and see it in person at the Lingenfelter booth.

Anyone within the car hobby has heard of the term "Pro-Touring". Stielow was nicknamed "the Godfather of Pro-Touring" after competing with Tri-Tip during the One Lap of America Race back in 1993. During this time, the car was followed religiously by enthusiasts. When then-editor of Chevy High Performance magazine (and current Tech Editor for Car Craft) Jeff Smith published the term, it  stuck like glue from then on forward. Since then, Stielow built more well-known Pro-Touring Camaros that have been plastered on covers of industry-leading publications.

Tri-Tip was purchased back in 1992 from an Indian Reservation in Phoenix, Arizona. Stielow bought it to turn his vision into reality and build a competitor for the "One Lap of America", a four-day race that runs 24 hour across the country from one race track to another and features autocross, drag racing, and road race courses. Mark built the car and entered into the race, but a fire on Michigan International Speedway put the Camaro out of the running. Just two short weeks later, the car was rebuilt to compete in Car Craft's Real Street Eliminator competition where he and Kyle Tucker came out victorious.

Fast forward to 1994, and it was time to up the performance ante with the help of John Lingenfelter. The 400cui SBC cast iron engine was replaced with a 400cui all-aluminum SBC engine built by Lingenfelter and had an output of 525-horsepower. With this setup, Stielow entered Vintage America and took home first place honors. In 1995, Stielow entered "One Lap America" yet again, but this time he finished fourth. Mark sold it shortly after that same year, and it has only had three owners since then with the last one holding onto the car for 18 years. The last owner then sold it to MS Classic Cars.

Tri-Tip retains most of its original sheetmetal on the exterior and the body is straight. In fact, the exterior is in showroom condition. A cowl hood and rear spoiler grace the exterior, and the front bumper was painted to match the body while the rear remains chrome. Modern headlights illuminate the night for better visibility. Black Forgeline 18-inch wheels sit on all four corners and come wrapped with Michelin Super Sport rubber (255/35/18 front, 275/35/18 rear).

The interior was restored back in 1992 when Mark built the car, and it is still in great overall condition. Inside sits the original roll cage, tilt steering, Momo steering wheel, Recaro cloth bucket seats, custom rearview mirror, Simpson harnesses, custom e-brake handle, and working Vintage Air conditioning. Autometer Phantom white-face gauges can be found on the dash, and a custom sound system complete with a Clarion CD player, two Clarion amplifiers, and MB Quart speakers bump your tunes of choice.

Powering this classic beast is still the all-aluminum Lingenfelter 400cui engine topped with the Fast EZI fuel injection system and backed by a Viper T56 6-speed manual transmission with a Hurst shifter. The engine was dyno tested, and it generated an impressive 622-horsepower and 488 ft/lb of torque. The engine compartment features plenty of upgrades and is nicely detailed, and the firewall is smooth and finished in Satin Black. Other mechanical highlights include the Fram remote oil filter with heat exchanger, front pulley system, custom aluminum valve covers, and a custom aluminum air cleaner. Added rumble and performance comes from Hedman Husler Hedders mated to a Flowmaster exhaust system. Keeping everything cool is the Be-Cool aluminum radiator with an electric fan. Power is sent down to the ground through a Ford 9-inch posi rear end. Even the undercarriage features frame connectors and a custom aluminum skid plate, and everything is clean and painted Satin Black. Suspension components consist of Eibach springs and Bilstein shocks. Stopping power is provided by Corvette ZR-1 brakes.

Tri-Tip also holds down the number 44 spot on the list of Top 100 Most Influential Hot Rods of All Time published by Hot Rod magazine. Here it joins plenty of other household name hot rods such as the General Lee, Eleanor from Gone in 60 Seconds, and Richard Petty's "64 Plymouth". Even more incredible vehicles on this list include "Big Foot" owned by Bob Chandler, Troy Trepanier's "60 Chevy", Sox & Martin's Pro Stock Plymouth, Snake and Mongoose Funny Cars, the first-ever big block '67 Camaro, ZZ Top's "Eliminator Coupe, and Carroll Shelby's very first Cobra. That's not a bad lineup to be a part of!


Great! Next, complete checkout for full access to Motorious.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
You've successfully subscribed to Motorious.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.
Success! Your billing info has been updated.
Your billing was not updated.