One of the draws of SEMA is that you know you are going to see some cool custom cars and in our opinion, one of the best custom vettes on display at this year’s show was Rod Saboury’s 1963 Split Window Corvette he calls “Black Widow”. If Rod’s name rings a bell, it’s because Saboury was also the man behind the World’s fastest street Legal 1963 Corvette drag car which we featured just last month.
It wasn’t easy combining the beauty of a 1963 Split Window with the mechanical prowess of a modern-day ZR1. But builder Anthony Luca managed to pull it off for car owner Joe Bongiorno – after more than 2,000 hours of work and much improvisation and deep thinking.
General Motors has celebrated a major milestone today at Wixom’s Performance Build Center by building its 100-millionth small block engine. The engine chosen as the milestone motor is none other than the Corvette ZR1′s 638 horsepower LS9. Since 1955, the small block has been used in GM vehicles around the world and can also be found marine and industrial applications as well.
There are some nice custom show cars at the SEMA automotive convention in Las Vegas and then there is the 1959 Corvette ZR59 on display at the Wilwood Disc Brakes booth. Starting as a humble 1959 Corvette, the ZR59 now boasts modern supercar performance without losing the original distinctive look of a C1 roadster.
It was back in May we first learned about the Endora SC-1, a new German custom coach that will be powered by America’s finest V8 Small block engines. Sure we’ve seen custom supercars built on the Corvette chassis before. The Bertone Mantide and Rossi 66 are two of our favorites. But with these latest renderings, the German-based SC-1 is beginning to look distinctly Corvette-like and is moving up our charts of favorite vaporware vettes.
Article and photos contributed by Steve Burns
As part of the NCRS national convention last week we were able to participate in a tour of GM’s Performance Build Center. The facility is located about an hour northwest of Detroit in Wixom, MI. The low-volume plant hand assembles all of the dry sump motors for Corvettes. Previously, they also made the powerplants for the Cadillac STS-V and XLR-V. You can learn more about this unique facility and take a photo tour with us after the break.
It seems our new favorite tuners in Houston have a thing for LS9 crate motors. We featured Fastlane last week as wicked photos of a Chevy Silverado with an LS9 surfaced on their facebook page. Now we’ve got some photos of another LS9 install, this one more appropriate as the supercharged 6.2 liter V8 finds a new home in a classic 1971 Corvette.
If you’ve ever met a custom tuner, you’ll find they are some of the most optimistic people on this earth. Case in point? Houston tuner Fastlane managed to stuff a 638-hp supercharged LS9 Corvette ZR1 engine into a Silverado pickup truck. We’re not sure why it was decided that a Silverado get this kind of power upgrade, but now that it’s in there, we think the end result is pretty awesome.
Article Contributed by Larry Johnson
Exhibition Corvettes were abundant at the show this year. Let’s face it; Corvettes make great eye-candy for any manufacturer who wants the traffic to stop at their booth. GM also brought a few interesting Corvettes and a classic on a trailer behind a new dually. If you had the time, you could watch the factory guys assemble (and disassemble) the powerplant for the ZR1. And yes, the E-rod Corvette was front and center. The yet to be released carbon fiber Z06 in Supersonic Blue was complete with factory applied race numbers. Jake was looking full of attitude in his newest rendition.
Earlier this week, radio host Todd Schnitt became the first consumer to participate in the Corvette Engine Build Experience which allowed him to assemble his own engine that will then be installed in his new 2011 Corvette ZR1 at the Bowling Green Assembly Plant. Here is a video of Schnitt assembling his supercharged 638-horsepower engine and some of his comments regarding the engine build program.