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JDP Motorsports’ Jordan Priestley Built Himself a Frankenstein Camaro to Conquer the Circuits. He Succeeded.
Frankenstein is a creature of both popular culture and folk lore; stemming its origins to the early 1800s in a novel written by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, and quite some time later, in the 1931 film adaption by James Whale. Although the creature had taken on several variations throughout history, with each creator putting their own spin on the story or on the creature itself, the same basic principal applied.
In the earliest adaption, Dr. Frankenstein the monster’s creator, “discovers a previously unknown but elemental principle of life, and that insight allows him to develop a method to imbue vitality into inanimate matter, though the exact nature of the process is left largely ambiguous. After a great deal of hesitation in exercising this power, the doctor spends two years painstakingly constructing the creature’s body (one anatomical feature at a time, from raw materials supplied by ‘the dissecting room and the slaughter-house’), which he then brings to life using his unspecified process.”
Jordan Priestly is certainly his own version of Dr. Frankenstein; taking his 2011 Camaro SS from a brand new, Silver Ice Metallic unassuming stocker, to a track-prepped, in-your-face monster that resembles a ZL1 at a glance, but with substantially more attitude. It’s been a process of dedication, hard work and the ever-evolving aftermarket supplying the key ingredients, keeping “Frankey” not only at the forefront of technology but at the center stage of autocross circuits all over America.
We recently caught up with Jordan and Frankey at the 2015 Holley LS Fest in Bowling Green, Kentucky, where these two were not only competing at the autocross at Beech Bend, but were hitting the apexes at the nearby road course at the National Corvette Museum – which was part of the event.
Now before you think this is just some bolt-on 5th-gen with a ton of aftermarket stickers and some vinyl wrap stripes, it’d behoove you not to judge so quickly. You see, Jordan is the founder and the owner of JDP Motorsports, an LS-tuning shop located in Sandy, Utah – one of the premier GM tuning shops in the country. Jordan & Co. certainly know their way around a Camaro, and they proved it in Frankey’s execution.
Starting under the hood, the LS3 block was pulled, tore down, honed, bored and stroked to 427 cubic-inches, using a complete Manley Performance rotating assembly. CMP was called upon for the machine work and assembly, while the JDP crew focused the majority of their efforts on the rest of the car.
Mounted on top of the big-bore LS3 are a pair of Brodix LS7 heads that have been ported, polished and assembled by CMP; featuring Manley valves, CMP/Bullet springs and CHE Precision 1.8 rocker arms. CMP has also installed one of their Bullet hydraulic bumpsticks in place of the mild stocker, speccing in at 246/254 duration, .648/.648 lift and an LSA of 112.
Oxygen is forced into the MSD Atomic AirForce intake manifold through a JDP/AIRAID cold-air kit, stock MAF sensor and Nick Williams 102mm drive-by wire throttle body, with the spent fumes being exited via American Racing 1-7/8-inch long-tube headers, 3-inch ARH pipes, X-pipe and mufflers.
Naturally, Jordan can’t put this car through any corners without ensuring that the oiling system was up to par, and that’s why an AVIAID billet low profile 4-stage/5-port dry sump pan and Stage 4 pump were called upon, rather than the OEM pieces. The last thing you want when taking a hard corner, especially with an engine like this, is oil starvation!
Rounding out the engine specs include a stock set of GM coil packs, JDP-calibrated Taylor plug wires and a tune with HP Tuners software. Jordan himself handled those duties on his in-house Dynojet chassis dyno, resulting in 585 hp and 530 lb-ft. of torque hitting the rollers. Big, naturally-aspirated power numbers also mean that the rest of the car had to be fortified with heavy-duty hardware to handle the abuse of a 427ci. LS3.
So sitting behind the stout stroker is a Centerforce 8.75-inch twin billet clutch, a Level-6 RPM Transmissions TR6060 and a Driveshaft Shop one-piece, 3.5-inch aluminum ‘shaft that sends power to the stock IRS rearend that’s equipped with 3.91 gears and Driveshaft Shop Level-4 road race axles. The setup has been battle-tested over and over again under extreme conditions and Jordan has had zero issues with any of it.
Now if you’re going to be competitive in road roading and autocross, you better be bringing more than a mechanically stout SS with stock suspension to the party. So Jordan seriously has stepped it up with a combination of JDP, JRi and Detroit Speed hardware throughout the car, with a Hotchkis strut tower bar tying everything together.
What also keeps the car planted to the pavement in the corners are a set of Forgeline GA1Rs in Satin Bronze with in 19×11 at all four corners, wrapped in Bridgestone RE-71R 285/35/19 all the way around. Peeking out from behind the Forgelines are Wilwood Aero binders, with 6-piston calipers and 14.25-inch 2-piece floating rotors. Needless to say, this thing stops!
In addition to all of the aftermarket and event stickers splattered all over the car, the crew at JDP have added plenty of aero to the body as well, including a ZL1 rear diffuser, ZL1 front bumper with Aero Sport Concepts (ACS) splitter, ZL1 rockers with ACS extensions, 2014 Z/28 hood and an ACS Z/28-inspired adjustable wicker. It’s certainly a blend of SS, ZL1, Z/28 and a dash of ACS components further pressing the “Frankenstein” theme. Graphic Evolution handled the custom wrap/decals.
Mr. Priestley wheels this thing from the cockpit that has been upgraded with Sparco EVO 2 seats, 6-point harnesses attached to a roll bar, a blend of Auto Meter and AEM gauges and a rear seat delete kit, courtesy of his own company. He rows the aforementioned RPM T6060 with a MGW shifter. Much of what’s featured on this Camaro is part of the JDP Stage V Track Pack, that you can apply to your own 5th-gen SS.
In the last few months that we’ve shot Frankey, Jordan has changed a few cosmetic details with the car’s body, as well as picked up a 6th-gen SS stablemate to use as the next test vehicle for JDP. However, he has no plans to sell Frankey and will continue evolving the car’s format for the foreseeable future.
- CAR: 2011 Camaro SS
- OWNER: Jordan Priestley
- ENGINE BLOCK: LS3 (bored/stroked to 427ci.)
- CRANKSHAFT: Manley; Pro Series LW 4.000 4340 forged steel
- PISTONS: Manley; 4.130 2618, forged 4cc relief
- CONNECTING RODS: Manley; 6.125 4340 forged steel H-beam, w/ARP 8740 cap screw rod bolts
- CAMSHAFT: CMP/Bullet; hydraulic, 246/254 duration, .648/.648 lift, LSA 112
- CYLINDER HEADS: Brodix; LS7 CMP/LSD custom casting
- COMPRESSION RATIO: 12.3:1
- INDUCTION: MSD Atomic AirForce, AIRAID cold-air kit, Nick Williams 102mm drive-by wire TB
- IGNITION: Stock coil packs, JDP-spec/Taylor wires
- EXHAUST: American Racing 1-7/8-inch long-tube headers, cats removed, 3-inch ARH pipes, X-pipe and mufflers
- FUEL DELIVERY: ZL1 pump, Injector Dynamics ID-850 squirters
- OILING: AVIAID billet low profile 4-stage/5-port dry sump pan, AVIAID Stage 4 pump
- TUNING: HP Tuners; tuned by Jordan at JDP
- TRANSMISSION: TR6060; Level 6 built by RPM Transmissions
- CLUTCH: Centerforce 8.75-inch twin billet
- DRIVESHAFT: Driveshaft Shop 3.5-inch aluminum
- REAREND: Stock; Driveshaft Shop Level 4 road race axles, 3.91 gears
- SUSPENSION: JDP-spec PAC racing springs (front & rear), JDP spherical bearings, Detroit Speed FE4 sway bar (front & rear), Detroit Speed/JRi double-adjustable shocks (front & rear), Detroit Speed solid aluminum mounts and trailing arms
- CHASSIS MODS: Detroit Speed driveshaft loop
- BRAKES: Wilwood Aero 6w/14.25-inch 2-piece floating rotors in nickel (front & rear)
- WHEELS: Forgeline; GA1R open lug/cap edition in Satin Bronze (19×11, front & rear)
- TIRES: Bridgestone; RE-71R 285/35/19 (front & rear)
- HP/TQ.: 585/530
- BEST 1/4-MILE ET: 11.02
- BEST 60-FT.: 1.7
Rick Seitz is the owner and founder of GMEFI Magazine, and has a true love and passion for all vehicles. When he isn’t tuning, testing, or competing with the brand’s current crop of project vehicles, he’s busy tinkering and planning the next modifications for his own cars.