It takes three ingredients in large abundance to build a show-winning car of the highest caliber: creativity, time, and money. The Triple Crown of Rodding is now heading toward its fourth year and the field of cars competing continues to raise the bar. Held in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, the Painless Performance Products Triple Crown of Rodding Presented by STREET RODDER takes place within the Shades of the Past Hot Rod Roundup at Dollywood's Splash Country. For 2018 it was Stuart Adams' Detroit Speedconstructed 1969 Camaro from the Magnificent 7 front row that took Best Street Machine in the Triple Crown of Rodding.

STREET RODDER interviewed Kyle Tucker about the Camaro, "This is the fourth Camaro we have built for Stuart Adams. Stuart wanted a Camaro that was 1969 in appearance, built with modern-day performance and an eloquent look and feel inside and out. There weren't too many limitations other than he told me to build a Camaro like I'd always wanted to build. It was not an open-budget build but it definitely took on its own demeanor as the build progressed." It took nine long years for Detroit Speed to build the Camaro, and with the Ridler Award in mind from the very start it was under the most clandestine of conditions. Even to industry insiders it was a surprise when Detroit Speed's 1969 Camaro came to light.

Since it wasn't an open-budget build it's easy to surmise Kyle Tucker and Stuart Adams must be the best of friends because there's extreme detail to this car that money couldn't buy. If it weren't for build photos documenting every step of the way, the hidden features and amount of attention to designing and fabricating every part of this car, the knowledge would be buried forever.

Backtracking to what Detroit Speed had to work with, "'TUX' started off as a green-on-green 1969 Camaro coupe. It had a 307 engine with an automatic transmission and the ugliest hubcaps you could pick as an option. But it was a survivor car that had not been modified and it was a solid car to start from, so a strategy was laid out and disassembly began.

"The plan for the car was to look very simple and original from the outside. I would say achieving the ride height and keeping the car at that ride height at all times became a challenge as we built the car. The car's roofline is less than 48 inches off the ground. To achieve the ride height and have full suspension travel required many modifications, including handmade front and rear inner fenders that were then raised in the body. This problem created challenges like modifying the rear quarter glass in the car and mounting the regulator. Rather than fix the window and not have it roll up or down we cut the lower radius of the glass, so it would clear the raised rear outer wheeltub when it rolled down.

"The level of detail was held at a high level and very consistent throughout the build. This can be challenging to keep the vision and keep the detail consistent in all areas of the car. An example of this is the detail and consistency of the fasteners in the car. They are all ARP stainless steel 12-point fasteners, each have ball-milled heads, and the flange machined to accept a custom stainless steel washer. ARP made hundreds of custom fasteners that they previously did not make so we could have a consistent look from front to back in the car. Another area where we spent many hours is the chrome trim on the car. Rather than a mixture of chrome and polished stainless steel like all Camaros have we had all bright finishes consistent and bright chrome plated by Advanced Plating. The driprail, for example, bolts on the car. This was done to achieve a very small and consistent gap to the roofline but also so we could make the driprail one piece and then have it chrome plated rather than multiple pieces of stainless steel like the original driprail. The front and rear glass trim is custom made from aluminum. These are one-piece custom glass trim rather than multiple pieces of stainless steel like the original. The car was taken to Advanced Plating to have the trim custom fit through the copper phase of plating to the front and rear glass openings." The copper phase meaning the one-piece window surrounds (moldings) were copper plated, block sanded, and then copper plated again. It's to get the waves out; this process repeated until the copper plating had been block-sanded absolutely flat and then the moldings moved on to nickel and finally chrome plating.

While the judging for the Triple Crown contenders was taking place we asked Tucker to point out the unique concealed features on the Camaro. "The car has many hidden features, like power pull door latches from a BMW. You shut the door flush to the weatherstrip and the latches automatically pull the door to the latched position.

The parts for TUX originated from several different ideas and car makes along the way, including Chevrolet, Ford, Oldsmobile, Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, and Pontiac.

It has Oldsmobile 442 outside mirrors, Mercedes hood hinge components, Pontiac Firebird cowl panel, Porsche interior grab handles on the console, and Porsche cluster housing that the one-off Classic Instruments gauges fit inside."

Based in Mooresville, North Carolina, Detroit Speed is all about improving performance and handling. The front suspension retains full travel with a custom hand-built narrowed Detroit Speed hydro-formed subframe and Detroit Speed spindles carrying Baer 6R monoblock calipers and Baer R-Spec 15-inch rotors. Brake booster and master cylinder are Detroit Speed. For rear suspension is a custom-made narrowed Detroit Speed Quadra-Link with Detroit Speed 9-inch Ford differential with limited slip and Detroit Speed Panhard rod and antisway bar. The rear brakes are Baer 6R monoblock calipers with 14-inch Baer R-spec rotors.

Not even the wheels or tires escaped detailed customization; the front wheels are Forgeline 19x10 custom directional-design with chrome-plated hoops, blacked inner hoops, and custom-machined center caps, and the matching rear wheels are 20x12. With shaved sidewalls, the front tires are 275/35-19 Michelin Pilot Sports with 335/30-20 Michelin Pilot Sports in the rear.

From fabricating bare metal to painting TUX in PPG black paint, every bit of the Camaro was done in-house at Detroit Speed with the exception of the chrome, engine and transmission, and interior. The Harrop supercharged and Infinity Boxinjected LS3 was blueprinted by Kurt Urban Performance and mated with a TREMEC T56 built by Bowler Performance Transmissions. The driveshaft is from Dynotech Engineering.

Rounding out a very successful year on the show circuit it was Friday, November 2, 2018, at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas where TUX in a field of 300 contenders broken down by elimination into 12 finalists ultimately won SEMA's 2018 Battle of the Builders title.