“It’s actually a funny story that brought me to my Gen 5 Camaro. My original plan coming out of college was to buy a used fourth-gen Camaro and drive that. But then the movie Transformers came out, and seeing that beautiful fifth-gen rolling around on the big screen, I knew I had to have it.” Now, GM High-Tech fans, we know what you’re thinking when you hear someone say that… It’s usually followed by a bright yellow V-6 with more stick on Bumblebee emblems than horsepower and a set of factory wheels painted bright yellow with weird Transformer logos all over the spokes. This is, as you can clearly see, not one of those cars. In fact, this is pretty much the exact opposite of one of those Camaros, thanks to the slick black paint, the aggressive body modifications, and the 800hp blown LS3 under the hood.

As Chris Spade, the owner of this gorgeous fifth-gen tells it, “When my SS was stock, it had enough power to keep me happy and was loud enough to grab some attention. But after about a year and a half, so many people in my area had a fifth-gen that it didn’t really have that awing effect that it once did. So I decided to make a few exterior mods and a ton of engine mods.” Starting from the back, which is the view most Ford guys get to see, it’s all about the black, with everything from the exhaust tip cutouts to the taillights being coated in the stealthy stuff. An RPI Designs’ Havoc spoiler lets would-be challengers know this isn’t a factory Camaro anymore, which ties in nicely with the factory GM ground effects and the big blacked-out wheel and tire combo. Up front, which is a rare sight for Mustang and exotic drivers around Chris’s town, the theme carries over, with blacked out lights, emblems, and splitters working in conjunction with the mean VIS carbon fiber hood to give the Camaro a no-nonsense appearance.

And no-nonsense is a perfect way to describe the powertrain in this machine, as Chris set out to create a street car worthy of such a bold look. “When I first brought this car to PCM of NC I said one thing: ‘What do we have to do to this car to make it put 800-plus horsepower to the ground?’ Alvin and Kelly Anderson were both extremely helpful during the whole process. They made sure that not only could it make 800 rwhp, but also that all the complementing parts could handle the power.” As you can probably guess, the stock LS3 engine was the first to go, replaced instead with a Texas Speed and Performance built 418 cubic-inch mill capable of producing big power on motor alone. The fully forged 418 features a Callies 4-inch stroke Comp Star crankshaft, matching 6.125-inch connecting rods, and slugs from Wiseco built with a nice -20cc dish for a boost friendly compression of 10.25:1. Comp Cams stepped up for the hydraulic roller camshaft, which was cut with a massive split duration (227/259-degrees) and over .614-inch of lift on both the intake and exhaust lobes. With a 118-degree LSA, it’s definitely a boost ready stick and that’s a perfect complement for the West Coast Cylinder Heads CNC-ported GM LSA-casting cylinder heads stuck atop the engine.

If you didn’t notice the mention of boost in the last paragraph, we’ll get you up to speed right now. Boost is the name of the game with Nemesis, and a large ProCharger F-1R does the compressing under that carbon hood. Attached to the crank by a gnarly cog drive setup, the F-1R is currently set to make 15 pounds of boost at redline, which is enough to make exactly 798 rwhp and 675 lb-ft of torque on the dyno. “This car was built with plenty of room to grow. When the car was first put together we decided to go with 2000cc injectors and a smaller pulley, during initial dyno tuning the car made well over 800 rwhp at only 60-percent throttle. Because the engine was new and not broken in, PCM of NC and I decided it would be an all-around better decision to start out with a bigger pulley and only 1000cc injectors. I made the call on that simply because the last car I drove was less than 500 rwhp, I didn’t want to jump into a car with more than double that right off the bat. So we found a happy medium. It currently makes 798 rwhp on 15 pounds of boost. If/when I decide I need more power, all it will take is a pulley swap and the bigger injectors.”

Impressively, Chris is making that kind of power through a stout drivetrain, which is certainly not set up to be dyno friendly. Long gone is the stock 6L80E transmission, replaced instead by an RPM Transmissions’ built 4L80E and a Yank 3400-stall. “One thing that sets this car aside from all the rest is that PCM of NC actually built a custom wiring harness to control my transmission. My car originally came with a 6180E transmission, but because of how much power I wanted to push to the ground, I needed a stronger transmission. PCM of NC installed a 4180E and controls it with an OEM GM transmission controller via a conversion harness they manufacture and sell. This allows seamless operation and allows tuning with any software for excellent results. It also retains a working transmission temperature gauge. This is the first and only (so far) harness available with these capabilities.” Backing the 4L80E is a Driveshaft Shop 9-inch rear end housing that DSS stuffed with a set of 3.50 gears and an Eaton True Trac differential for track launches and daily driving simplicity. A set of DSS 1400hp axles can also be found under Chris’s Camaro, which can turn those 20x10-inch Vertini Monaco wheels into smoke machines with just the blip of a throttle, although Chris states that “even pushing all that horsepower to the ground, it still hooks fairly well.” And that’s probably thanks to the Pfadt suspension found underneath this fifth-gen, which wears a set of Pfadt lowering springs, front and rear sway bars, and a complete set of rear suspension bushings. The trailing arms and toe rods were also upgraded to Pfadt units, and the rear subframe bushings were swapped for a set of solid units, to help keep the Camaro planted. “With the Pfadt Stage 3 kit, the car handles extremely well, it’s very tight and responsive.”

“There is no one thing I like about my car. It’s a combination of three things: the speed, the power, and the roar when I step on the gas! Even the lope at idle is enough to make lesser men roll up their windows.” It’s that combination that really makes this fifth-gen a stand-out performer, with enough power on tap to back up the looks, and enough attitude to get everyone interested. Of course, Chris tries to play it cool on the streets of North Carolina, but if you ask a certain GT500 in town who’s boss, you might find out that the Camaro has a bit of a reputation. Want to see more? Check out Spade Speed Channel on YouTube or just try Chris for yourself on the freeway…we have a feeling he’ll be up for proving just how serious his 800-rwhp Camaro SS really is.


Data File

Car: 2010 Camaro SS

Owner: Chris Spade

Block: GM L99, 418cid

Compression ratio: 10.25:1

Heads: GM LSA, CNC ported by West Coast Cylinder Heads, 2.165 intake, 1.590 exhaust valves

Cam: Comp Cams hydraulic roller, 227/259 duration at .050, .614/.624 inches of lift, 118 LSA

Rocker arms: Stock, 1.7-ratio

Pistons: Wiseco, forged

Rings: Wiseco

Crankshaft: Callies, forged

Rods: Callies, forged

Throttle body: Stock 90mm

Fuel injectors: 95 lb/hr

Fuel pump: Fore Innovations Level 4, twin in-tank

Ignition: Stock coil-near-plug, MSD wires, NGK TR8 plugs

Engine management: Stock, tuned by Alvin Anderson of PCM of NC

Power Adder: ProCharger F-1R supercharger

Boost: 15psi

Intercooler: ProCharger, air-to-air

Exhaust system: Kooks 2-inch long-tube headers, 3-inch X-pipe, Kooks mufflers

Transmission: 4L80E, built by RPM Transmissions

Torque Converter: Yank 3400-stall

Driveshaft: Drive Shaft Shop, 4-inch

Front suspension: Pfadt lowering springs, sway bar, stock control arms

Rear suspension: Pfadt lowering springs, sway bar, trailing arms, toe rods, solid subframe bushings

Rear end: Drive Shaftshop 9-inch IRS, 3.50 gear, DSS 1400hp axles, Eaton True Trac differential

Brakes: Stock Brembo 4-piston front and rear

Front wheels: Vertini Monaco 20x8.5

Rear wheels: Vertini Monaco 20x10

Front tires: Nitto Invo 285/30/20

Rear tires: Nitto Invo 315/35/20

Fuel: 93-octane

HP/TQ: 798/675