Now in his 80s, longtime Corvette enthusiast Dick Guldstrand reflects in this video on Electric Federal about his work in the 1990s on the Guldstrand GS90, which was based on the C4 Corvette ZR-1.
“Well, the GS90 got started because we decided there was something that had to be done for the car to keep the Corvette going,” Guldstrand recalls. “We had heard all these rumors about the Corvette being canceled and that it was not an exciting car so we took it upon ourselves to develop a whole body based on the LT5 engine” being used in the C4 ZR-1.
Guldstrand admits at that time getting 400 horsepower out of a production car was “pretty amazing,” plus he notes, “that engine would run over 7,000 RPM so it was a tremendously exciting engine to put in the chassis of a Corvette.”
The problem? “We felt (the ZR-1) was lackluster because it looked like all other Corvettes,” he said, “so we agreed to do this body change.”
“We kept the modifications to a minimum so that it would be a base Corvette. We’ve learned very quickly how to make a small fortune building special cars. You start with a very large fortune and build a few special cars and you end up with a very small fortune,” he says with a chuckle.
Guldstrand says they kept the changes on the interior to a minimum, just putting a dash plaque inside that said GS90.
The body and suspension were a different story, however.
Styling was a throwback to the 1963 Ferrari GTO with bold and muscular lines and a few cues from the C2, not to mention six tail lights on each side and exposed head lights foreshadowing the C6 Corvette. Then there was the distinctive Nassau blue paint job with a single white racing stripe.
“The GS90, because of the wheels and tires we included on it,” Guldstrand says, “is a much better handling car. It’s very stable at high speed; I’ve had it up to 190 miles per hour and it’s really a pleasure to drive.”
Guldstrand also included every trick in his bag when it came to things like thicker anti-roll bars and coil-over shocks.
Looking back, “Goldie” is glad he undertook the project. “To be sure,” he says, “when we built the car, we wanted to make a statement and I think it was really worth it with the camaraderie that we developed, the excitement we built, the acceptance of Chevrolet’s design group and all, really stepped a lot of us one step further down the road.”
Guldstrand says he is “so very, very proud” of the GS90.
“It’s lasted the test of time,” he says. “It’s still great. People still love it. It stops traffic. I think that it made a statement and in the line of Corvettes I’m really proud to be I think quite close to the top.”