Milwaukee’s Bennett Coachworks Creates the ZR1-Based 860hp Corvette ZX-1


Milwaukee's Bennett Coachworks Creates the ZR1-Based 860hp Corvette ZX-1

If an “ordinary” ZR1 isn’t enough for you, you might want to check out this ZX-1 that’s been hopped up to a whopping 860-hp by Bennett Coachworks out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

This particular monster pictured at Automobile Magazine will be displayed in the lobby of Brembo’s North American headquarters in Plymouth, Michigan before its new owner – Datanational Corp. CEO Paul Greenstone – takes possession.

In a 2011 interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, company owner Bob Bennett said he and his crew of seven other full-time employees and one part-timer have a combined total of 300 years experience, and it shows on the ZX-1.

To construct his masterpiece, Bennett starts with the skeleton frame of a C6 Corvette, then adds a custom-designed chassis. Every ZX-1 is different, with customers able to choose from several options. The base model starts at about $40,000.

Bennett and Motor City Speed in Walled Lake, Michigan added a lot of goodies under the hood of this cyber gray C6, including headers, camshaft, valves and injectors, and exhaust to the stock engine. To make sure the car stops as well as it goes, they also add a full Brembo Gran Turismo kit, with 14-inch front discs with six-piston calipers, and 13-inch rear discs with four-piston calipers.

The interior features upgraded seats, and the body also goes under the knife. The car is almost a foot wider in the back and eight inches wider in the front and six inches longer overall.

“It’s a radical departure from the original C6 Corvette styling,” Bennett says. “You park one of these next to a stock C6, and it makes the C6 look anemic.”

He says that changes to the aerodynamics increase the volume of air pointed toward cooling systems and add a racier look with flared wheel arches and deep cuts into the body panels on the doors and quarter panels.

Of course, for enough money, Bennett will make whatever changes to the car you want, including more work on the interior and running gear.

Bennett, 57, was a researcher and development tech for Arntz Engineering in San Francisco in the early 1980s, the first AC Cobra replica company. He came back to Wisconsin and worked for Concept Coach Builders in Milwaukee as director of operations before opening his own shop in 1996.

Milwaukee's Bennett Coachworks Creates the ZR1-Based 860hp Corvette ZX-1 Milwaukee's Bennett Coachworks Creates the ZR1-Based 860hp Corvette ZX-1 Milwaukee's Bennett Coachworks Creates the ZR1-Based 860hp Corvette ZX-1

While he works on ordinary cars like Lincolns and Olds and Pontiacs, he specializes in the exotic. Cars from his shop have won several best in class awards from Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, and out of six entries at the World of Wheels Hot Rod and Custom Auto Show, Bennett’s cars captured five wins.

Automobile Magazine

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