By day, he fine-tunes future suspension systems as GM’s vehicle-dynamics authority. At night, he constructs the sweetest ’69 Camaros big money can buy. Mark Stielow, Pro Touring’s 46-year-old pope, coined the movement’s name and co-wrote its bible with how-to author Will Handzel (Pro Touring Engineered Performance, $26.95,

Stielow’s path to hot-rodding fame started in the garage of his father’s Kansas City garbage-hauling business. While he was a mechanical-engineering student at the University of Missouri, Stielow captained the school’s Formula SAE team, which he parlayed into a job tracking Camaros racing in the SCCA’s Showroom Stock series.

After receiving his engineering degree in 1991, Stielow joined GM as a Chevy Caprice development engineer. He graduated to GM’s motorsports technology department before becoming Summit Racing’s chief product-development engineer in 1995.

Stielow returned to GM in 1999 to design and develop . . . door handles. In 2000, he was mercifully promoted to a ride-and-handling development job at GM’s Milford proving grounds where he collaborated with the legendary John Heinricy on the development of the company’s SS and V-series models. In his spare time, Stielow built “Mule,” his eighth ’69 Camaro, with which Popular Hot Rodding mesmerized its readers in 22 how-to installments. It was Mule more than any other single car that set the mold—and the bar awfully high—for the burgeoning Pro Touring world. Mule also visited GM’s design studio during development of the current ’69-inspired Camaro.

Building the Red Devil put a six-figure dent in Stielow’s savings and consumed 24 months of his evenings and weekends, time and money he considers well spent. “This is my ultimate hot rod, the best Camaro I’ve built to date,” he notes. “It’s fast, it handles well, and it’s a comfortable cruiser.”

Stielow has no intention of selling Red Devil. If you want a clone, he’ll refer you to his allies Kyle and Stacy Tucker at Detroit Speed. Their estimated cost? $250,000.

Too pricey? Eventually, you’ll be able to race a digitized version of the Red Devil in a future Gran Turismo video game.

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