If you’ve subscribed to car publications or spent any time at major classic car shows in the past five years, you undoubtedly recognize this award-winning Corvette. In the event you were living on a remote island during that time, it’s probably easiest to describe this car as one of the best looking, best performing C2s ever assembled. Envisioned as a car that would literally define the phrase “pro-tourer”, this Vette illustrates what comprehensively rethinking every single piece of a classic can create. The pieces of the car that aren’t tied to first class automotive brandings like LS7, SRIII Motorsports or Rockland Standard Gear are usually prefaced with the words custom, unique or modified. And if you’re looking for a lethal showpiece that has the allure and performance to collect trophies from the field and the track, this is the top of the mountain!
When it comes to the looks department, classic Corvette culture is much like concours culture. Most proud owners choose to restore their cars to correct showroom specifications, with some even going so far as to duplicate factory errors. That’s all the more reason this slick C2 pro-tourer, which has been painstakingly transformed into a one-of-a-kind land rocket, is not only impressively stunning, but also refreshingly modern. Go ahead and take a look at our high resolution shots and you’ll see that none of the car’s bonding seams are visible from any angle. Clicking through the carefully aligned set you’ll find the body’s fitment to be excellent all-around, perfectly incorporating a Sermersheim ’67 nose clip and flared GT Customs quarters. And when you access the zoom tool to get up close and personal with the finish, it becomes very obvious that someone invested a lot of time and money into creating a smooth, show stopping canvas. The end result is one glowing Chevrolet track warrior that, in addition to having much more presence than a candy-tinted classic, wears an appearance worthy of both its exceptional design and world beating performance.
The great thing about building a pro-touring C2 is: the aggressive look most enthusiasts strive for is pretty much standard factory fare. At the front of this striking Sting Ray, a stainless, body-width grille is caged between a red, white and black cross-flag emblem, two chrome-trimmed parking lamps and a traditional ‘razor blade’ bumper. Above that grille, a Sermersheim stinger hood frames a glossy gray stripe in famous “427” emblems. Behind that hood, bright wipers and fresh stainless trim combine with a chrome bowtie mirror and either a traditional ‘bird cage’ roof or Al Koch top to shape factory-tint glass. At the base of that mirror, simple air extractors ride between chrome GM door handles, clean “SRIII MOTORSPORTS” scripts and correct stainless rocker trim. And behind that trim, four traditional tail lights reflect two ‘razor blade’ bumpers, two stainless exhaust tips, a familiar “Corvette STING RAY” emblem and a body-matched fuel filler.
That slick combination of classy DuPont and shiny trim certainly is pretty, but now it’s time to get serious. Twisting 601 rear wheel horsepower into a massive 523 lb./ft. of torque, the lightweight, high performance LS7 rumbling beneath this car’s hood is a technological testament to the old rule: more cubic inches equals more horsepower! Founded in GM’s very successful Corvette racing program, the brutal mill utilizes forged internals, an A&A crank pin, a Katech Torquer cam, a Speartech engine harness and remote coils to flat out whip pretty much anything with four wheels. A perfect amount of air and fuel is supplied by a Nick Williams 102mm throttle body that’s been cinched to a custom, carbon fiber air box. That air and fuel mixes in a custom Marcella intake and progresses to CNC-ported cylinder heads that are built with a PSI springs, titanium retainers and factory valves. Immediately following combustion, spent gases roar through 2.5 inch stainless pipes via Jet-Hot coated headers. And a big aluminum radiator, two electric puller fans, custom MSD wires and a Katech tensioner ensure rocket-like acceleration. The modern small block rides in a super clean bay that displays OEM-level attentiveness to both engineering and assembly. And many details, like a custom Peterson Fluids dry sump, Katech valve covers, a custom core support and custom ‘up and out’ hood struts, dress up GM’s traditionally conservative aesthetics.
With a featherweight body and monstrous power on tap, it should come as no surprise that the bottom of this Corvette features a host of noteworthy upgrades. Behind the raucous engine, an Exedy dual disc clutch engages a Rockland Standard Gear ‘Tranzilla’ T56 that’s fitted with a QuickTime bell housing and Tick Performance master cylinder. That 6-speed twists power through a Denny’s chromoly driveshaft that’s married to a billet pinion yoke. That driveshaft spins a Rockland Standard Gear limited slip that’s equipped with micro-polished 3.90s, a tuned Tom’s differential and Denny’s chromoly half shafts that spin stout Spicer joints. That world class drivetrain rides in a custom SRIII Motorsports chassis that’s been completely prepped by Mark Williams Enterprises. That first rate chassis rolls on a combination of C4 and C5 Z06 suspension parts that are augmented by QA1 adjustable coil-overs, reinforced by urethane bushings and dressed in a smooth epoxy clearcoat. Turns come courtesy of power rack and pinion steering that, when combined with the car’s serious grip, incites modern feel and great performance. Solid stops are provided by 6-piston Baer calipers that squeeze 14 inch, 2-piece EradiSpeed rotors with the help of a Baer proportioning valve and a C5 Z06 master cylinder. Exhaust is handled by custom, three inch pipes that bend a ceramic coated finish around an X-shaped crossover and aggressive dual-chamber Flowmasters. And power flows to the pavement through C6 Z06 Speedlines that spin 275/35ZR18 Nitto NT05s in front of 285/35ZR18 Nitto NT05s. Aesthetically, this Chevy’s satin black undercarriage is virtually spotless, with monochromatic chassis and drivetrain components its only disturbance. And everything, from the car’s stainless brake lines and polished ARP fasteners to its Rock Valley fuel tank and Walbro fuel pump, is expertly finished, superbly detailed and ready for action.
Pop this Vette’s jet black doors and you’ll find a comfy leather interior that’s complete, tasteful and classic. Front and center is a pair of heated C5 buckets that click G-Force 4-point racing harnesses over stylish, two-tone hides. At the base of the windshield, a traditional dual-cowl dash hangs a brushed accent panel next to Vintage Air climate controls and a full set of Auto Meter Pro Comp Ultra Lite gauges. At the sides of the car, custom, two-tone door panels center bright chrome hardware on straight stainless trim. At the floor, stain-free carpet still features deep black shading thanks to “SRIII MOTORSPORTS” branded mats. At the center of the cockpit, a traditional C2 console anchors a Hurst short throw shifter in front of chrome power window switches. In front of the driver, a modern tilt steering column spins a classic Corvette rally wheel around attractive billet foot pedals. And behind the passengers, a removable roll bar frames a custom storage compartment that’s complete with an Alpine CD player, a Blaupunkt 5-channel amplifier, a JL Audio subwoofer and big Blaupunkt speakers.
As you might imagine, this killer Chevy enjoys some very prestigious accolades. Here’s a brief list of the car’s major accomplishments:
* Super Chevy Best in Show winner
* 11th Annual Auto Super Show Best in Show winner
* Holds the fastest records in Drag Race and Speed Stop Challenge at LS Fest
* Won 2 of the 3 events it entered at LS Fest
* Placed 3rd in a 120 car Grand Champion field at LS Fest
* Corvettes at Carlisle Celebrity Pick winner
* Corvettes at Carlisle Chip’s Choice participant
* Goodguys Muscle Machine of the Year finalist
* 2nd fastest car at the Goodguys Southeastern Nationals AutoCross event
* Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational participant
* Placed 18th in a 54 car field at the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational
* Hot Rod Industry Alliance feature car
* SRIII Motorsports feature car
* SEMA show car
* Multiple top 10 finishes at Pro-touring events
An incredible build like this draws the attention of more than just diehard car show groupies. Not surprisingly, in addition to its CD of build photos and simple specs sheet, this Corvette’s sale includes five of the following magazine features.
* A cover story in the November 2009 edition of Corvette Fever
* A small write up in the February 2011 edition of Hot Rod.
* A small write up in the February 2011 edition of Popular Hot Rodding.
* A small write up in the April 2011 edition of Chevy High Performance
* A small write up in the February 2012 edition of Chevy High Performance
* A centerspread in the June 2012 edition of Vette magazine
* A second, upcoming centerspread in Vette magazine
Even without admiring its clean mechanicals, anyone with the slightest automotive intuition can easily see this Vette is one serious performer. There are very few C2s, and even fewer classics, that are as capable as this roadster. And if you’re a discerning enthusiast who dreams of owning the ultimate sports car, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity!