We are barely into the new year and it looks like 2020 is going to be The Year of the Devil as chassis builder David Reese has unveiled his latest Radial vs the World weapon, his “El Diablo 2.0” Camaro.
Reese, owner of Reese Brothers Race Cars in Temple, Georgia, ran rampant in 2019 with his original “El Diablo” and went 3.69 on a 275 tire to reset the elapsed time world record and become the first man to the 3.60s on the small tire. With none other than Phil Shuler tuning the supercharged radial tire Camaro, Reese stomped the grudge race scene and much more.
Built originally to promote his business when he decided to go full-time, Reese was worried at first that he wouldn’t have enough customers to sustain the business. El Diablo exceeded his expectations, though, and he actually wound up with more work than he could handle as a result. “I was worried I couldn’t keep up with it, so I decided to sell El Diablo and a customer stepped up to purchase it,” explained Reese, who rolled the proceeds right back into his business with the decision to build El Diablo 2.0.
Wanting to prove he could repeat history and do it even better the second time around, Reese partnered with another customer of his, Rick Thornton. Thornton himself is an accomplished radial tire racer, and the two joined forces to put together a two-car team for 2020.
After selling 1.0, Reese knew he was “a bit behind the eight ball” to be ready for January 1, 2020, so he dedicated all of his nights, weekends, and spare waking moments starting in mid-October of 2019 to focus on 2.0. A 20-hour-a-day kind of guy, Reese made sure his customer commitments, including a new build for Larry Roach, were satisfied before working on his own project.
When the new Camaro body – manufactured by Five Star Race Car Bodies but sourced through Quarter-Max Chassis & Racing Components – arrived, Reese had barely even started the chassis itself but quickly got moving to work up the 25.1 SFI spec Reese Brother Race Cars chassis.
“We stay around the 25.1 spec because of weight. When we get into the 25.2 and 25.3s, they require larger bar diameters that create weight,” explained Reese, who was very conscious of the scales while building El Diablo 2.0. Tons of titanium was used from front to back, from the shock towers to the rear. “The chassis design is our own – it’s a mixture between [Tim] McAmis and [Jerry] Bickel and RJ Race Cars.”
Meanwhile, Thornton worked with Reher-Morrison to develop a custom engine program. The result was a 4.6” bore space small block with Wedge-style Chevrolet heads and a massive PSI C-rotor screw blower, all mated to a Liberty five-speed transmission inside a Browell bell housing with a Ty-Drive converter drive unit.
Out back, all Strange Engineering components are on board including a Strange rear end, third member, and carbon brakes while Menscer Motorsport four-way adjustable shocks in the rear are complimented by Menscer struts up front.
When everything was bolted together, Reese hit the scales to make sure he was well within range of the 2,400-pound Radial vs the World class mandate for his combination. “Duck [Donald Long] may change it, though, and we need to be at 2,250 to be competitive,” noted Reese, who is race-ready at 2,220 with him in the car so he can just add ballast as needed and go. “We scalloped the doors, the rockers, and a lot more to help take weight down.”
Once all of El Diablo’s necessary evils were wrapped up, it was time to get the car itself wrapped up – literally. Protective Film Solutions in Georgia spent 23 hours installing the absolutely flawless Hexis satin red super chrome and matte black vinyl wrap, to continue the original El Diablo’s red theme, and the result was a stunningly gorgeous work of supercharged art.
Now, the car is over at John Homier’s Homier Fabrications in Cartersville, Georgia for wiring and finishing work. “We’ll be running an MSD CDI coil-on-plug ignition setup with other MSD electronics,” Reese shared of the setup, which differs from Thornton’s FuelTech choice. Thornton’s car – a C7 Corvette that will run the same engine combination as Reese’s – is still awaiting its Cynergy Composites body and that build will be ramping up as Reese’s winds down.
Amazingly, Reese put El Diablo 2.0 together in less than three months and met his deadline of being ready by January. He will be heading over to Florida’s Bradenton Motorsports Park to go testing the week of January 20, 2020, and then will stick around the Sunshine State for the US Street Nationals the following weekend. “Then, we’ll run Lights Out 11 in February while we’re building Rick’s new car, plan to test in the middle of March with his, and run both at the Sweet 16,” laughed Reese, who certainly never rests especially since his shop is located at his home and there’s always something to be done.
With both Reese and Thornton joining forces in 2020, and with the new El Diablo 2.0 Camaro better than its predecessor, the devil most certainly did come down to Georgia.