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    We’re fascinated by the top speed of supercars. It wasn’t that long ago that 200mph on a road car was incomprehensible. Now it’s pretty much the norm for supercars. But how many of us have actually gone 200 miles per hour? About ten years ago I met a guy who ran a school for people who wanted to go 200 miles per hour. He would give you some training and then take you out on the salt flats, and if the car didn’t hit a timed 200mph you got your money back. He had Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Porsches and other assorted vehicles, and when it came right down to it a lot of these cars would go 196, 197, 198. Not quite 200. His secret weapon, to make sure he got paid, was to go back to the garage and pull out the Mercedes McLaren SLR. That was the one car he had that always did a real-world 200mph-plus.

    / #Chevrolet-Corvette-ZR1 / #2018-Chevrolet-Corvette-ZR1 / #Chevrolet-Corvette / #Chevrolet-Corvette-ZR1-C7 / #Chevrolet-Corvette-C7 / #GM / #Chevrolet / #2018

    For supercars, going 200mph is like being a seven-foot- tall basketball player. In America they always say a team has a particular number of seven-footers. In reality, like the cars that go 196, 197 or 198, many of those guys are six-foot-eight or six-foot-nine. Apparently there are only 2800 people in the entire world who are seven feet tall, in a population of 7.4 billion.

    So when Chevrolet said the new Corvette had a top speed of 200mph-plus, I thought, why not try and prove it?

    The Corvette we chose was the new #Chevrolet-Corvette-ZR1 . I have the last version of the ZR1 with 640bhp, which was a mind-numbing figure back in 2009. This new Corvette is rated at over 750. Although I enjoy driving my ZR1, the concept of top speed seems silly because there is no place on the street where you can even come close to those numbers. But hey, that’s what sells magazines.

    What really surprised me was how receptive to the idea Chevrolet was. It wasn’t long ago that most American manufacturers would shy away from the idea of putting their vehicles up against Europe’s and Japan’s finest, but not any more. The new Ford GT, the Camaros, the Mustangs, the Corvettes, these are all world-class cars. And something I never thought I’d see in my lifetime was a Cadillac running at Le Mans.

    We went to the GM Milford proving ground in Milford, Michigan. This was the car industry’s first dedicated facility when it opened in 1924. The banked circular track is 4.5 miles long. Over 4800 people work in the 107 buildings inside the proving ground, security is at the Pentagon level and everything works with military precision. I hooked up with Tadge Juechter, the Corvette’s chief engineer. He’s a Stanford graduate who’s been with General Motors for 37 years. He’s been to my garage a number of times, so I was thrilled to be able, finally, to look at some of his stuff.

    I knew the new mid-engined Corvette was here somewhere. I saw a couple of car covers go on pretty quickly as we went from room to room, but Tadge was slyly coy on the subject. When we got to the proving ground, a totally stock 2018 Corvette ZR1 was waiting for us. It had all its emissions gear, it had production Corvette tyres and it was running on pump gas.

    I got in the driver’s seat, Tadge beside me in the passenger seat. After a few warm-up laps to get heat into the tyres I asked Tadge what it was like to drive a Corvette at 200mph. He said: ‘I have no idea! I’ve never gone 200mph in a Corvette.’ So the first time you’re doing this is with a retired chat show host who’s never been on this track in his life?

    It’s amazing how far aerodynamics have come in the last decade. A decade ago I drove the Porsche Carrera GT around Talladega Raceway and my highest speed was 190mph. On the corners I felt the car moving around and it was nerve-wracking. After about 50 laps I got the thumbsup from the crew, so I lifted off the throttle on the straight. Big mistake. The back end snapped round and I spun about five times. Luckily I remembered the old adage that you always run into what you’re looking at.

    So when I saw the wall I turned my head and managed to contain my spin in the middle of the straight. No damage to myself or the car, but the tyres were toast. That’s what was on my mind as we passed 200 in the Corvette. The dial kept fluctuating between 204 and 205. Because the track is banked, they said it was the equivalent of about 208. The amazing part was how easy it was to do. After a few minutes 200 felt like 100. On the cool-down lap, 150 felt like 60.

    When I was a kid, there were very few people in the 200mph club. Now it’s open to anyone who wants to give it a try. So what’s the next frontier?

    ‘I ASKED THE CHIEF ENGINEER WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO DRIVE A CORVETTE AT 200MPH. HE SAID: “I HAVE NO IDEA”’
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    Return of veteran ’Vette. Replica honours the five original Corvette Grand Sports. Words Glen Waddington.

    / #GM-LT1-V8 / #Tremec-T-56 / #Tremec / #GM-LT1 / #GM-V8 / #GM / #V8 / #1962-Chevrolet-Corvette / #Chevrolet-Corvette-C2 / #Chevrolet-Corvette-Grand-Sports / #Chevrolet-Corvette-Grand-Sports-C2 / #Chevrolet-Corvette-GM-LT1-V8 / #Chevrolet / #Tremec-T56

    A 1962 #Chevrolet-Corvette in the new car pages? Don’t worry, we haven’t gone mad. This is the latest offering from Superformance, the company that brought you the Pete Brockapproved Cobra Daytona Coupe replica.

    Zora Arkus-Duntov isn’t around to sanction this one, but #GM has licensed its production. Duntov, the engineer behind the ’Vette, originally planned a run of 125 cars, set to dominate the international road racing community, and the Grand Sport qualified as a GT production car – but only five had been built before GM executives pulled the plug and ordered their destruction. All five survived, but try prising one from the hands of its collector owner.

    Which is where Superformance comes in. The cars are sold as TKM: ‘turn-key minus engine/transmission’. But Superformance is on hand to offer the final jigsaw pieces too. This test car is fitted with a 460bhp 6.2-litre GM-LT1-V8 and Tremec T-56 six-speed manual gearbox. Out back is the regular transverse-leaf suspension layout and the whole is wrapped in an ‘aesthetically and dimensionally correct’ glassfibre body, just like the real thing. Inside there’s a periodstyle steering wheel but greater comfort: power steering for a start, plus air-con and electric windows. Optionally you can install a ‘Touring interior package’, which offers more of an authentic look. The wheels are the correct raw matt Halibrand alloys.

    Price? Call it $170,000 built and finished to this spec, though you can spend above that to gain a more powerful engine and different cosmetics.

    You’d have to question whether such power is necessary though: this car isn’t lacking. There’s massive shove from the off, accompanied by a traditional V8 beat and thrillingly raw exhaust – side-exiting, naturally. Heard the racing ’Vettes thunder down Goodwood’s start/finish straight? The loudest cars at the event, and that jackhammer racket is authentically replicated here. It’s worth the entry price on its own.

    Control weights are surprisingly light, with excellent brake moderation, light yet extremely precise and feelsome steering, and a satisfyingly substantial yet free-moving gearshift. You soon settle in and enjoy the flow, despite the threatening noises-off from under the door. Over Laureles Grade from the Laguna Seca raceway, the Grand Sport looks as though it’s escaped from its natural environment, yet it feels perfectly at home, riding ruts with enough body movement to let you know what’s going on yet without too much harshness. Power oversteer can only ever be a twitch of the throttle away but, as this twisting rollercoaster road proves, the Grand Sport is really a benign yet rapid device. If one of those five originals remains beyond your means, you can have an awful lot of fun pretending in this one.

    Left and below The right looks, inside and out, plus the correct chassis spec. Pictured car sports a period-correct 377 engine, too.
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    / #1956 / #Chevrolet-Corvette / #Chevrolet-Corvette-C1 / #Chevrolet / #GM / #1956-Chevrolet-Corvette /

    For sale at Barrett-Jackson, January 15, barrett-jackson.com

    Why buy it? Desirable higher performance model with 225bhp thanks to dual fourbarrel carburettors. Presents well with good chrome and what has to be the best Fifties Corvette colour – Cascade Green. Highly original and still has its Wonderbar radio.
    Price estimate
    No reserve
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    Car 1979 #Chevrolet-Corvette-T-Roof-Coupe-C3 £14,995 / #Chevrolet-Corvette-T-Roof-Coupe / #Chevrolet-Corvette-C3 / #Chevrolet-Corvette / #Chevrolet /

    This refreshed C3 has a plethora of performance upgrades and would be a top daily runner, reports Ross Alkureishi.

    This feisty Corvette has had the same owner for 23 years, and Claremont Corvette proprietor Tom Falconer has recently been using it as his daily driver. It’s well known to the firm and Falconer cites the uprated performance as a strong point. Under the bonnet there’s some surface corrosion on supporting brackets and it looks well used, but there are no leaks from the engine itself. The #L82-V8 has had some serious upgrade work carried out including Edelbrock aluminium exhaust manifolds, long-duration camshaft, roller rockers and a new Holley carburettor. Gases exit via a custom dual exhaust system – manifolds are covered in heat wrap but it’s coming loose in places. The net result is an estimated power output of 300bhp, compared to the standard car’s 225bhp. There’s extensive paperwork covering its life since it was imported to the UK in 1994, but none before. It was off the road in a heated garage for 18 years after it was imported.

    Originally brown, it has been resprayed Porsche Guards Red and the finish is striking. The bodywork sports the optional larger RPO D80 spoilers and at first sight appears blemish-free. Closer inspection reveals a few chips – including on the offside wing near the door and on the lower nearside front spoiler – but these have been touched in well. There’s a small black graze on the front bumper. Open the doors and you can see that the new colour has been sprayed directly over the existing paint coat, with a little overspray here and there. It’ll never win any show prizes but the overall exterior effect is good.


    The light beige cabin is holding up nicely, supporting the car’s claimed 57,707 mileage and. The seats are rip-free and carpets clean, protected by a set of Claremont Corvettebranded mats. The leather steering wheel is a bit worn and the centre horn button is cracked and could do with replacement.


    All four General XP2000 255/60 R15 tyres have plenty of tread left and while the steel wheels show surface corrosion, the centre caps are in good order. Underneath, the chassis appears to be solid, and the exhaust system looks recent. The engine starts first time and quickly gets up to temperature. These Chevy V8s run best hot, and the gauge sat at 200ºF throughout.

    Power output is impressive and it pulls well from low down right through the rev range, with shifts on the auto ’box smooth and free from worrying clonks. The powerassisted steering feels light but that’s how they are, and it’s free from play. The brakes bite well, pulling the car up without drama. With its fresh paint, a nice interior and grunt aplenty this C3 is priced realistically and should entertain its next owner.

    Interior presents well, but the steering wheel’s horn button needs replacing.

    Modifications mean the 5.3-litre V8 produces an estimated 75bhp more than standard.

    CHOOSE YOUR C3 CORVETTE

    Third-generation (C3) Corvette Stingray launched in 1968 with styling influenced by 1965 Mako Shark II show car. Available as Coupe and Convertible, though former is a Targa with removable roof panels (and rear window). OHV V8 available in 5343cc small-block and 6977cc big-block forms, with power ranging from 300-435bhp.

    Chrome front bumper replaced by body-coloured polyeurethane item in 1973 and rear window now fixed. Steel beams in doors improve side impact protection. Power now ranges from 180-275bhp. Big-block dropped for 1975, which is last year for convertibles. First appearance for emissionsreducing catalytic converters.

    Facelift for 1978 with a fastback-style glass roofline. Special two-tone Light Silver over Charcoal paint scheme is instant bestseller.

    Shovel-nose bumper for 1980 incorporates front spoiler, rear redesigned to house a spoiler too. One engine choice for final year (1984), the L-83 ‘crossfire’ fuel-injected unit, good for 200bhp.

    TECHNICAL DATA SPECIFICATION #1979 C3 Corvette T-Roof Coupe
    Price £14,995
    Contact Claremont Corvette, Snodland, Kent (01634 244444, claremont.corvette.co.uk).
    Engine 5343cc #V8 ohv, four-barrel #Holley carb
    Power 300bhp @ 4000rpm (est)
    Torque n/a
    Performance Top speed 118mph,
    0-60mph 6.5sec (est)
    Fuel consumption: 17mpg (est)
    Length: 4704mm
    Width: 1753mm
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    BASE DESIRES #BMW E46 sedan #Chevrolet-Corvette engined GM-LS3

    Hailing from the Philippines, this wide-body, air-ride, #GM-LS3 V8-engined #E46 drift Saloon is about as wild as they come. From humble base model to a supercar-slaying saloon, we check out the ‘ #BM-Vette ’ that has put Philippines tuner, Car Porn Racing, on the map.

    There is a lot to be said for building a radical project around a base model car. For starters, poverty-spec cars are always the cheapest to buy because of their low-power engines, unadorned exteriors and parsimonious levels of interior trim. Some people may already see these as primary advantages, but the benefits run deeper than that. A lack of features also means that humble models are the lightest in the range; and as we should all know by now, the cheapest way to make your car go faster is to make it lighter. Let’s put some flesh on the bones of that statement. The entry-level E46 3 Series has a weight advantage of 120kg over the admittedly much more desirable #330i SE, a figure that would take an awful lot of effort to replicate through stripping-out and the fitment of lightweight, carbon fibre parts. Both cars share the same inherently capable chassis and equally fine build quality. And if your project is going to include an engine conversion then you can immediately ignore the fact that the #316i offers half the power of the six-cylinder version. Suddenly the little four-pot-powered #BMW-E46 is looking much more attractive.

    Perhaps this was why Ian King, serial car modifier and proprietor of the Philippines-based Car Porn Racing tuning outfit, suddenly started to covet his wife’s unassuming #E46-316i saloon. His head had recently been filled with dreams of creating a race-prepared but still street-friendly vehicle similar to a #Porsche-911-GT3 , and here was a rear-wheel drive machine that he already owned… but couldn’t yet pull the skin off a rice pudding.

    Ian’s solution to this issue involved a complete strip down, a stitch-welded chassis and the fitment of an all-encompassing roll-cage in a contrasting colour, just like a GT3. Pretty good so far. But then he chose to install a #General-Motors LS-series V8 E-Rod crate engine, a decision that may not please purists with an all-BMW persuasion, however it is hard to argue with the logic or end results. The LS may technically be classed as a pushrod engine but that tends to minimise its many other qualities, such as its light weight, compact size, aluminium construction and incredible power output – 436hp and 424lb ft in the case of the 6.2-litre LS3 version Ian sourced, the same unit found in late-model Chevrolet Corvettes.


    Though requisite products are available in the aftermarket to tackle this particular conversion, Ian made his own engine mounts. He also fabricated a slimmer sump to clear the front crossmember, reinforced the original subframe to cope with quadruple the power and torque, and had the foresight to buy a clever DeWitts radiator that incorporates all the engine’s cooling needs — water, oil and power steering — in a single unit to minimise visual complication under the bonnet. The BMW’s original CANbus wiring was whipped out and replaced with a standalone E-Rod ECU kit that simply controls the engine. During this process all traction control, anti-lock braking and stability management systems were deleted, leaving the car in the raw state needed for impromptu drift challenges. What little information Ian needs to keep an eye on is now displayed in a small collection of #VDO gauges.


    The gearbox accompanying the engine swap is Tremec’s highly-regarded TR-6060 six-speed manual, which also came from the Corvette. It was supported on custom mounts and connected to an #E46-M3 rear differential via a custom-length driveshaft with the right fixing on each end. Though BMW Motorsport offers alternative, shorter ratios for the differential, Ian stuck with the 3.62:1 gear set as the best compromise between engine revs and outright speed, while also tapping into the engine’s broad torque curve. Put it this way; with a free-flowing AEM intake and custom exhaust manifolds leading to a centre-exit Varex exhaust system, this setup is enough for Ian to claim a supercar-rivalling 4.3 second 0-62mph time and a 190mph top speed.

    With an hydraulic handbrake plumbed in and some half-decent wheels, tyres and suspension also fitted, this setup was more than enough to satiate Ian’s need for sideways speed. But then he started dreaming about the daring aero styling produced by Japanese scene-stealers such as Kei ‘Rocket Bunny’ Miura, RAUH-Welt Begriff and Liberty Walk. He wondered whether there was some way of remodelling the exterior so it was as dramatic to look at as it was to drive…

    So began the latest chapter in Ian’s wife’s long-forgotten 3 Series story. Out came the previous suspension setup, replaced with a high-tech AirRex air strut package with AccuAir digital ride height management. Essentially, it offers the best of both worlds – the 12-way damping performance of a coilover for optimum ride quality allied to the remote ride height adjustment of an airbag. Ground Control products then replaced the tie rods, bump stops and rear arms, Powerflex bushes were inserted to strengthen all major connection points, and Hotchkis anti-roll bars were used to link each side of the chassis.

    The aggressive widths and offsets (10.5x18” and ET-3 up front, 12x18” and ET-22 out back) of a set of gorgeous new Rotiform Classic BLQ split-rim alloys pushed the rims far outside the reach of the original bodywork. But as the plan was always to mimic the dramatic over-fender styling that is popular in Japan at the moment, Ian set to work extending the bodywork to perfectly hug the arc of the rolling stock. Foundation structures were laid in metal before the precise outer shape was carefully moulded directly on the car using a mixture of fibreglass and filler. Here, the four-door bodyshell put Ian at a distinct disadvantage, especially in the complex area of the rear quarter panel where the blistered arch has to incorporate the door opening. However, after examining the photos we think you will agree that the whole wide-body conversion has been incredibly well-integrated. The adoption of certain body swages has also been sympathetically carried out.

    Interestingly, the Midnight blue paintwork is not paint in the strictest sense of the word. Produced by Plasti Dip, it is an ingenious rubberised protective coating that has more in common with a vinyl wrap than a traditional paint job. Applied by spray gun, it looks like satin paint but can be peeled off at any time to reveal undamaged original paintwork underneath. Elements of the body have been ‘painted’ in a contrasting black colour, from the M3-style side grille to the door handles and even the tail pipe of the central-exit exhaust system.


    With so much effort put in to make this #BMW-E46-GM-V8 a master of both visual and physical disciplines, it has attracted great attention within the BMW scene and also put Ian’s Car Porn Racing business on the worldwide tuning map. However, the irony of this increasing workload is that Ian has had little free time to put his ‘BM-Vette’ through its paces. There’s evidently a thread of truth in this but we also happen to know that Ian simply cannot help making small, progressive refinements to the design, handling and usability. And that tends to keep it in the bodyshop when it could be out there smoking supercars. Look, Ian, stop thinking and get driving!

    TECHNICAL DATA FILE DETAIL

    ENGINE: GM LS3 6.2-litre V8, Corvette valve covers, AEM intake, custom fuel surge tank, swirl pot, fuel pressure regulator, custom Car Porn Racing manifolds, X-pipe with heat wrap, centre-exit Varex variable exhaust system custom black Plasti Dip tip, custom sump, custom engine mounts, GM E-Rod standalone ECU, DeWitts three-in-one radiator, custom steering shaft. TR-6060 six-speed manual transmission, #RAM-Street-Dual clutch kit, custom driveshaft, #E46-M3 rear differential.


    CHASSIS: 10.5x18” ET-3 (front) and 12x18” ET-22 (rear) Rotiform Classic BLQ forged threepiece split-rim alloys with polished lip and gold centres, with 245/40 (front) and 275/35 (rear) Nitto Invo tyres. Seamwelded bodyshell, weldin roll-cage, AirRex air bag coilover suspension, AccuAir e-Level air management with custom TMP2 setup, Hotchkis tubular anti-roll bars, Powerflex polyurethane bushes, Ground Control front tie rods with bump stops, Ground Control rear arms, custom transmission mounts with damper, reinforced subframe mounts. Stoptech big brake kit, custom twin-caliper rear handbrake, braided brake lines.

    EXTERIOR: Car Porn Racing custom wide-body conversion (bumpers, side skirts, arch flares), Car Porn Racing chin spoiler, Car Porn Racing bonnet, Car Porn Racing boot lid, Plasti Dip Midnight blue respray, blue angel eyes, 4000k yellow foglights, black carbon badges, LED rear lenses.

    INTERIOR: Recaro reclining seats, Simpsons five-point harnesses, Momo Drift steering wheel, KSport hydraulic handbrake, Corvette eight-ball gear knob, VDO gauges (speedo, tacho, water temperature, fuel, oil temperature, oil pressure), remote control for Varex exhaust, custom alloy doorcards with leather wraps and racing handles.

    CONTACT: Car Porn Racing (www. carpornracing. com)
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