If you search our site for mentions of YouTuber Emelia Hartford and her twin-turbo C8 (which might be the most recognizable 2020 Corvette in the world), you’ll find a roller-coaster of an ownership experience.
Emelia’s custom Arctic White and orange Stingray famously blew up under the pressure of its first twin-turbo system. It then earned the nickname “Phoenix” when it rose from the ashes as the fastest and most powerful eighth-generation Corvette on the planet.
From those tremendous highs, Emelia and Phoenix were knocked off of their pedestal by FuelTech’s 1,075-horse C8. The last time we checked in with the girl and her car, things were looking up again as they partnered with Hoonigan to see how the ‘Vette’s four-digit power stacked up against Porsche’s ultra-quick electric “Tesla killer.”
At the end of April, Emelia headed to the desert with Phoenix and her grandma’s old Buick Regal, “Mimi,” that has been treated to its own 1,500-horse under-hood (if the hood still fit) treatment. More specifically, the high-HP convoy’s destination was Las Vegas Motor Speedway and LS Fest West, an event dedicated to machines powered by the LS and LT V8s that General Motors has been pumping out at a rigorous pace since the LS1 broke cover with the C5 in 1997. A YouTuber, her crew, two cars that produce more than 2,500 combined HP, and a drag strip sounds like a sure-fire way to continue upward momentum, but it, in a word, wasn’t.
Day one of the event was a downer for all participants as strong crosswinds caused organizers to suspend races. On day two, Emelia and her blacked-out ode to her grandma were able to get in two passes on the Strip-adjacent strip. The faster of the two came in at 11.47, a far cry from the mid-9s that she’s been seeing with Phoenix, but not too shabby for a boxy relic of the decade of greed.
Sadly, things fell apart again when the dreamsicle’s twin snails spooled up at the Christmas tree. Being a NHRA-certified drag strip, the marshal was forced to flag Emelia and her C8. The rules state that any vehicle capable of sub-10-second passes requires a roll cage, harnesses, and a special license to operate. She was eventually given the green light, as long as she kept the time over 10-flat. When the resulting run lit up the board with a 9.71-second pass, Phoenix was DQ’d and shown the door! Here’s hoping that the next chapter in Hartford’s C8 journey is a good one; we’ll be watching!
Emelia Hartford / YouTube
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