Mercury Rising – Chad Farischon’s ’69 Camaro Captures Goodguys 2021 PPG Street Machine of the Year Title
When Chad Farischon wanted to put his own unique twist on a 1969 Camaro, he knew he was fighting an uphill battle. But the battle was won when his “Mercury Rising” Jupiter Red ’69 Camaro built by Mountain Home Street Rods in Arkansas was crowned the Goodguys 2021 PPG Street Machine of the Year at the 23rd Summit Racing Nationals presented by PPG in Columbus, Ohio.
Farischon started with an already-finished original RS/SS car that was built in 2007-2009 and powered by a 572ci big block Chevy. It was a solid car that had already earned magazine features, but bigger plans were in store. Chad wanted a purpose-engineered and built ’69 Camaro for AutoCross and road course racing, but that could also be a comfortable cruiser. He wanted modern technical advancements, but didn’t want to change the iconic styling cues of a ’69 Camaro.
To accomplish this goal, Farischon and Mountain Home Street Rods started with detailed exterior and interior renderings created by Ben Hermance from Hermance Design. The body modifications were extensive, yet subtle, and included a number of carbon fiber parts and accents including the vented hood, engine bay panels, interior trim, front and rear air diffusers, and more. Other modifications include flush-fit front and rear glass, extended rockers, tucked bumpers, custom license plate pocket, modified fuel fill location, and tucked drip rails. When finished, Mountain Home Street Rods laid down the Jupiter Red paint in house.
The 572ci big block was pulled out and set aside for a new Mercury Racing SB4 engine to slide into place that pumps out 750 horsepower at 8,000 RPM. The 32-valve engine is accented with carbon fiber parts and pieces as well as a custom intake and coil covers from Michigan Machine Worx. Delivering the 750 horsepower is a road race-prepped T-56 transmission paired with a Centerforce DYAD clutch controlled by a White Lightning shifter.
Putting the power to the ground is a package of Detroit Speed suspension products and a set of Forgeline AL305 wheels wrapped with Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires – 18×10 up front with 275/45 tires and 19×12 out back with 345/30 tires. Tucked behind the spoked wheels are Wilwood Race Spec AERO 6 and AERO 4 disc brakes front and rear.
More modern touches highlight the custom interior work including a Fesler dash and dash pad, an IDIDIT column topped with a Sparco wheel, MoTeC 12-inch digital dash, Recaro Sportser GT seats, Vintage Air climate control, and Clayton Machine Works pedals. Distinct Customs in Norman, OK handled the upholstery needs using Relicate Italian leather and suede materials.
Chad Farischon’s Mercury Rising Camaro earned the title of Goodguys 2021 PPG Street Machine of the Year in a tough field with 13 strong contenders vying for the award. Congratulations to Chad and the Mountain Home Street Rods crew on winning a Goodguys Top 12 title!
Photos by John Jackson, Steven Bunker & Damon Lee