View Full Version : Behind the Wheel with Mike Cuthbertson powered by Optima Batteries

09-12-2017, 02:48 PM

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Written By Brandy Phillips
Photos By Brandy Phillips and Mike Cuthbertson's Facebook Page

When you see a beautifully built pro-touring vehicle, it is hard not to question the
inspiration behind the build.


When Mike Cuthbertson displayed his 1967 Chevelle at the 2014 SEMA Show in the
TMI Products Booth, his vision for the build was strictly for show. Yet, when a second
opportunity came about to go back to SEMA in 2015 for the TMI Booth, he would take
a different approach on the new build.


Rather than building a show car, his experience at Run To The Coast introduced him to
the pro-touring scene. This got his wheels turning, not only wanting to build a beautiful
car, but one that would handle and be competitive on the pro-touring race circuit.


The first version of Mike Cuthbertson’s 1968 Camaro was finished in ten weeks for the
2015 SEMA Show. Once SEMA was over, several other changes would take place in
order to make the Camaro track ready.


Within the past year, Cuthbertson has made several more changes to the Camaro after
growing his knowledge on how to make his car handle and watching his competition
grow. Cuthbertson knew that staying in the top half of the competition required the
Camaro to undergo continuous changes, even to this day.


Some changes were minor like adding a radio and sub so he would not lose out on
Design and Engineering points in the Optima Search for the Ultimate Street Car Series.
Other changes required more work like upgrading to a Speedtech Extreme front
subframe, adding several carbon fiber body panels including the hood and front
fenders, in addition to wrapping the car Intense Blue (aka Smurf Blue) so everything
would match.


Some of these changes made the ’68 Camaro more competitive, which showed during
the June 2017 NMCA West Hotchkis Autocross. Cuthbertson was awarded the Hotchkis
Cup for the weekend, running the fastest and most consistent combine lap times from
Saturday and Sunday. Victory at this event would prove that he is a force to be
reckoned with and should not be ignored.


When asked who he would like to thank for helping him over the past couple years.
First and foremost was Larry Ashley from TMI Products. Ashley was the one who got
Cuthbertson into the hobby and gave a normal hobbyist not just one, but two
opportunities to build a car for SEMA.


Furthermore, he wanted to thank his wife, Cheryl. It takes a special person to
understand the time and money that goes into this sport and building a car.


Cuthbertson also wanted to thank PCHRODS, Ron Sutton, Speedtech Performance,
Wilwood, Trackspec Motorsports, and Centerforce for their ongoing support and great
products. The time and parts from each of these companies have helped Cuthbertson
maintain a competitive edge against the other racers.


Cuthbertson is definitely one to watch out for in the upcoming months/ race seasons.
Not only will he continue to get faster, but his plans include making more changes to
the ’68 Camaro in order to keep it competitive both on and off the track.



Engine: Stock LS2 with a CAM

Horsepower / Torque: 425/408 wheel

Transmission: Tremec Magnum T56

Clutch: Centerforce

Exhaust: Magnaflow

Differential: 12 Bolt C Clip Eliminator 3:73 Gears

Brakes: Wilwood 6 Piston Front, 4 piston rear

Wheels: Bundnik Tungsten 18X12 front and rear

Tires: BFG Rival S 335 front and rear

Body & Paint: Rear qtr panels stretched and widened 2.5" with mini-tubs done by
Pinhead Fabrication, Front fenders Carbon 1.5" wider from JCG Restorations, Hood,
trunk, spoiler, cowl carbon by Anvil. Wrapped in Gloss Intense Blue

Interior: TMI Products Interior, with Cobra Carbon Fiber front race seats

Gauges: Dakota Digital

Harnesses / Roll Bar / Cage: Detroit Speed

Other modifications: Speedtech Extreme front subframe and rear torque arm,
Ride Tech triple adjustable coils overs with Ron Sutton valving

Plans for upcoming new vehicle or changes to current vehicle:
Cuthbertson has ideas for different vehicles almost on a daily basis. He still wants
a new motor for additional horsepower in the Camaro, a full floater rear axle, as
well as a few creature comforts such as AC for driving home from those HOT track
days! Yep, that’s right folks, no trailer for Cuthbertson and he wouldn’t have it any
other way.

09-18-2017, 02:02 PM
Congrats Michael and nice write up Brandy!