2012 Open House
Wixom Performance Build will be hosing it annual Open House on August 16th, 2012. Click on the "Visit PBC Link" at the top of the page for information and registration/request forms.
Corvette Engine Build Experience
Rick Hendrick Builds Custom Engine for 2012 COPO Camaro
Motorsports legend revved up about high-performance drag racing
WIXOM, Mich. – Rick Hendrick, owner of NASCAR team Hendrick Motorsports and chairman of Hendrick Automotive Group, built the engine for his 2012 COPO Camaro at General Motors’ Performance Build Center today, as part of Chevrolet’s series of customer engine build experiences.
In 2011, Hendrick also took part in Chevrolet’s Corvette engine build experience.
“Last year’s Corvette engine build was such a memorable experience that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to do it again with a COPO Camaro. As a Chevy enthusiast and collector, it’s a real privilege to do something like this,” Hendrick said. “I want to thank everyone at the Performance Build Center for having me back. It means so much to spend time with people who share my passion for cars and work so hard to produce some of the best engines in the world.”
In addition to the Corvette Engine Build Experience and COPO Engine Build Experience, Chevrolet also has a Crate Engine Build Experience. These engine-building opportunities offer customers the convenience and assurance of purchasing a factory-engineered performance engine with the personal satisfaction of building one’s own engine for a project vehicle.
“Building an engine is a time-honored tradition in hot rodding, and this program allows enthusiasts to enjoy that magical do-it-yourself feeling, while still enjoying the value of a GM Powertrain-engineered and factory-warrantied engine,” said Jim Campbell, GM U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “For hands-on hot rodders, these programs truly enable them to say they did it all when it came to building their project. There’s nothing else like it in the industry.”
In March, Chevrolet announced it will build 69 COPO Camaros for 2012, the brand’s first purpose-built Camaro drag-racing specialty car designed to compete with the quickest in NHRA’s Stock Eliminator and Super Stock classes. National records for quarter-mile times in these contests are in the nine-second range. As such, the COPO Camaros are expected to be the quickest Camaros ever offered by Chevrolet.
“The COPO Camaro is going to shake up the sportsman drag racing ranks this summer and give Chevy fans a great new reason to cheer on the Bowtie,” Campbell said. “COPO builds off the strengths that have made the Camaro the best-selling sports car in America. And while it was developed strictly for the drag strip, the COPO Camaro is infused with the same performance pedigree that every Camaro shares.”
The 69-car production for the 2012 COPO Camaro matches the number of “ZL-1” COPO Camaros made in 1969. COPO stands for Central Office Production Order and was Chevrolet’s special-order system used by dealers to build high-performance models in the 1960s.
The new COPO Camaros will be built using factory “body-in-white” body structures produced at the Oshawa, Ontario plant that manufactures regular-production Camaros. They are the same body-in-white body shells available to all racers under Chevrolet Performance part number 19243374.
Build Your Own Crate Engine
Mr. Jeff Kasper recently became our first crate engine guest builder. Jeff completed an LS7 to be installed in his Pontiac Solstice. It was a pleasure working with Jeff and he put together a very nice video of his day at Wixom. See attached link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSuSdkE9H2w
There was big excitement at Wixom on November 29, 2011. That is the day we assembled the 100 Millionth small block Chevy engine. In addition to many media guests were some of the most influential GM Powertrain engineers and executives responsible for reaching such a milestone of durability and longevity. Many of the guests and dignitaries eagerly took part in the 100 millionth build.
The final ceremonial bolt torquing was completed by Tom Stephens, Ed Koerner, David Cole and Sam Winegarden.
See attached link for some highlights of the 100 Millionth build:
Also we have recently had some exciting media guests touring our facility and learning our engine build process. Look for upcoming news regarding broadcast information. Sorry, we can’t spill the beans yet…
Profile / History
The GM Powertrain Performance Build Center (PBC), located in Wixom, Michigan produces specialized, high-image powertrains for General Motors’ premier vehicles. This low-volume facility is capable of assembling 15,000 engines per year.
Today, approximately 30 employees make up the team that hand-builds each ZR1 Corvette LS9, Z06 Corvette LS7, and Grand Sport Manual Coupe Corvette LS3-Dry Sump engines. A skilled builder assembles the complete engine. The highly skilled technicians have experience at assembling and testing complete engines from their previous positions within GM. They are trained to accomplish every task involved in building the engine, including engine component and process inspection.
After assembly, each engine is cold tested and balanced to assure that the engine meets all the standards and quality requirements demanded from such high performance cars.
Work began in 2004 with a $10 Million dollar investment to build the 100,000 sq ft. center. The first products produced at the facility were the LS7 engine for the Z06 Corvette and the LC3 S/C Northstar for the STS-V and XLR-V Cadillacs.