The 48 Hour Camaro Is Fast and Fun On Air Suspension

We’re pretty good at setting up media stunts. …like putting together cars in 48 Hours or building a 33 Ford Hot Rod from Hell and then racing it against a Lamborghini. Back in the day, Bret and crew worked overtime to sing the praises of air suspension — with a special emphasis on our innovative Shockwaves®. We’re the ones who kicked the door wide open and today, air suspension is everywhere. At the start of 2018, hundreds of thousands of people at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale watched as we built the Gen-2 48 Hour Camaro. During that build we installed TQ Series coilovers along with a comprehensive selection of 100% bolt-on parts. At the season opener in Del Mar — even with”modest” 275mm wide tires at all four corners — the little Camaro was fast right out of the gate. Pretty much everywhere it goes, the Gen-2 48 Hour Camaro is a top ten finisher. It’s always fun to watch and easy to drive.

During the spring of 2018, our R&D department quietly switched the car from coilovers to Shockwave® air suspension without media hoopla or fanfare. We just swapped parts because we can. What we found is that the car is just as fast as with coilovers. Since it’s easier to tune with air suspension, the car is technically faster. The TQ Series Shockwaves® carry the same valve codes as the coilovers they replaced.  There is a slight weight penalty from the addition of an AirPOD compressor system that includes a valve block and our hot new RidePro-X system. That extra weight however, lives right on top of the rear axle where it does the most good. It’s worth noting that with RideTech suspension, coilovers and Shockwaves® are 100% interchangeable.

We ran the car with air suspension at some of the most competitive high performance driving events in the country including hyper-competitive events like Goodguys Columbus and DriveAuto-X Gateway. With Shockwave®-based air suspension the 48 Hour Gen-2 Camaro is just as fast as it was on coilovers. In fact, RideTech president Bret Voelkel says the car is faster overall due to ease of adjustability.  As Bret comments, “The Shockwaves® were certainly no hindrance to performance. In fact, they are almost an unfair advantage. At the push of a button, I can adjust air pressure in small increments to fine tune spring rate and ride height. At some tracks, this has picked up several tenths in lap times. The other advantage is being able to make small spring rate changes on the road to zero in on perfect ride quality.  The end result is a car that is faster and more comfortable with air suspension that with other options.”

Of course, with air suspension, you can also lower the car at shows and raise the car for trailer loading at the push of a button. While air suspension may not be for everyone, it’s good to know that the performance potential is real.  The comparable performance has much to do with RideTech’s adjustable monotube shock absorber technology along with lightweight composite construction and ultra high quality Firestone air springs. Add our new RidePro-X digital leveling system to the equation — with its advanced algorithm — and you get a true high performance air suspension system.

As for the Gen-2 48 Hour Camaro, we’re having a blast running the car in its current configuration — air suspension and all. It’s as much fun on the highway as it is on track. If you see the Gen-2 48 Hour Camaro at an upcoming high performance driving event, ask us for a ride. We think you’ll come away impressed.

Switching to air suspension means adding a compressor system and some form of leveling control. We used a 3 gallon AirPOD with our new RidePRO-X leveling system.
RidePRO-X includes this 3-position Power Port Module that controls the most used feature in air suspension — Height presets. The PPM can be stowed in your glove box or console on a daily basis and used as needed. You also get Auto-Ride Height on Start which puts your hot rod in position 2 when you turn the ignition key.
Like our TQ Series Coilovers, TQ Series Shockwaves® offer triple adjustment with remote reservoirs. High performance monotube shocks with precision valving are the key to great air suspension.
The 48 Hour Camaro looks perfect at ride height. You can fine tune leveling while using an app on your smartphone. Stand 15 feet away and tune vehicle height via bluetooth while you look at your car. How cool is that?
275mm rear tires are modest in size relative to modern, competitive pro-touring cars running 335mm rear tires. Regardless, the 48 Hour Camaro, with its air suspension and automatic transmission is a consistent top ten finisher.
She’s got some grip! B.F. Goodrich Rival S tires play a key role. Goodguys Autocross tracks are notoriously tight, Yet the 48 Hour Camaro runs with the best of them.
Here’s the 48 Hour Camaro during a photo shoot set at Position 1 — the car’s lowest setting. The car will go lower, but as a matter of personal preference, we don’t like our Camaro sitting too low. It’s up to you.

For an overview of the 48 Hour Camaro with complete parts list, click HERE


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