What GM engineers build on weekends

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Marco UrbanoCar and driver

From the December 2021 issue of Car and driver.

Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL) classifications are a technical classification of potential hazard, where A is relatively harmless and D is the most dangerous. Alex MacDonald’s self-built Stalker plaque reads “ASIL Z”. It also has a bicycle rack. “If he’s not carrying a bicycle, it’s not a car,” MacDonald jokes.

MacDonald is General Motors Responsible for Corvette and Camaro vehicle performance, which means, among other jobs, he’s in charge of making sure the Corvette’s chassis sings for you. It’s an engineering challenge that he appreciates, but has rules. His weekends, however, are a little more freewheeling and the stalker is the result of hundreds of hours of fabrication and unbridled creativity.

sports car alex macdonald stalker

Marco UrbanoCar and driver

Marco UrbanoCar and driver

Starting with a frame designed to accommodate the trolley of a Second generation Mazda Miata, MacDonald massaged into position a BMW N52 3.0-liter straight six from a 1-series. The transmission is a Quaife sequential manual that he purchased while attending the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Estimates the final weight of the car to be less than 1500 lbs.

The question that has been asked the most is why he didn’t build his design around a Chevrolet LS V-8.

“Why have a small block V-8 if you don’t intend to produce at least 600 horsepower?” MacDonald says. “So much power would ruin a car like this.” Plus: “It’s a dream job, but now I’m always sitting behind or in front of an LS V-8 or LT.”

sports car alex macdonald stalker

Marco UrbanoCar and driver

MacDonald spent his working days tuning the C8, then fumbling around his garage whenever he had the chance. He started the project in August 2016, but the Stalker’s inspiration dates back to the days of MacDonald’s college working on Formula SAE racing car. He once got to lead one in an annual Michigan Tech parade. It was only three miles of free-flowing traffic, but MacDonald’s goal ever since has been to take that experience to the street.

MacDonald’s dream came true in May and he has already driven more than 1300 miles in the car. When we spoke to him, the Michigan winter was coming and with it a chance to fix a few more details. He needs to fine-tune a spark map on the dyno and there are some bushings he may or may not replace.

In the spring, MacDonald will be back on his mountain bike three days a week and the Stalker will be at the start of the route.

sports car alex macdonald stalker

Marco UrbanoCar and driver

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