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The 'Glass Menagerie - Readers' Rides - January 2014

Jan 30, 2014
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Track-Time Toy

Who: Lewis Frazer Where: Janesville, WI  What: 2001 C5 Z06


Here's my little toy. It's been upgraded with a DTE Stage 4 rear with 4:11 gears; long-tube headers with new cats and a Borla exhaust system; a head-and-camshaft package; a Zex nitrous system with chrome bottle; MSD 8.5mm plug wires; a BBK chrome intake; an 80mm throttle body; an aftermarket air-intake system; a ram-air hood; AutoMeter fuel-pressure and nitrous gauges in an A-pillar pod; slotted-and-drilled brake rotors; and a Diablosport Predator programmer.


Along with those upgrades, I've added appearance items such as the left-front fender stripes; glass-cut "Corvette" letters on the engine covers; blue LED interior lights; a billet taillight set; HID headlights; and plenty of stainless and aluminum dress-up hardware. The sound system is from JL Audio and Alpine.

The car is far from a "trailer queen": It's not only shown at local car shows, it gets raced on a 1.95-mile road course, and at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

Was Black, Now Orange

Who: Carl Leveling Where: Hebron, NY What: 2008 C6 coupe


This is my 2008 base-model Vette with a six-speed manual transmission. I bought it around a year and a half ago as a certified pre-owned car with about 25,000 miles on the clock. I then removed every body part that was black (even the A pillars) and had my body shop paint it Atomic Orange.


The orange theme has even been extended to the interior, with both the seat upholstery and the side panels. The engine compartment, meanwhile, has been redone with an ignition-coil relocation kit and a set of GM Performance valve covers to spruce up that area.

I love orange so much, I'm wondering whether I should carry that theme over to the wheels and tires!

LS Shark

Who: Bob Funari Where: Long Beach, CA What: 1973 C3 convertible


I have always admired the design of the 1973 Corvette. There's a clarity and simplicity in the lines. The combination of the urethane front nose with the traditional chrome rear bumpers is unique to this model year. This particular car has flared rear fenders to accommodate the 12-inch rear tires—a necessity to transfer the huge output of the 454ci engine to the ground.

As with many of the automobiles in my collection, the car has been performance-enhanced, in this case with a GM Performance LSX 454 crate engine, a Tremec five-speed transmission, a heavy-duty rear differential, and Wilwood brakes. Although the engine is derived from the LS-series Chevrolet small-block, it produces a tremendous amount of torque, which gives it acceleration and performance on a par with the latest Corvette ZR1.

Grandma's Vette

Who: John Killen Where: Florence, AL What: 1980 C3


I recently entered my C3 in the Modified class at the Corvette Homecoming, where it won First Place for the second year in a row. The 350 and four-speed are fun, but when the nitrous is turned on, it's really a blast.

I feel blessed to be able to enjoy this hobby, and it's all because of my grandmother. In 2008 I was laid off and forced to put the Vette up for sale. My grandmother, to whom I was very close, passed away that same week at the age of 92. When her will was read, she'd left me enough money to pay off the car.

It's funny how life works. I lost someone very dear to me, and I guess it was her way of repaying me for the years we spent together. I guess good things do happen to people who just want to help others, without ever expecting anything in return.

I tell kids all the time that this is "Grandma's Vette." I don't think anyone's ever believed that.

Perma-Grin Starter

Who: Bruce Bauer Where: Southport, NC What: 1998 C5 convertible 


My brother's car, "Bucks County Beauty," was published in the "'Glass Menagerie" section of your May 2013 issue. That encouraged me to send in this information, because my car is definitely better.

I was partial to British sports cars for most of my life, but I thought I would try a Corvette. With that in mind, I contacted my friend, Lee Baierl, of Baierl Chevrolet in Pittsburgh.

After he stopped laughing about my midlife crisis, he offered me a "new Corvette" he had on the lot. When I informed him that I couldn't afford a new one, he explained that the car in question was a black 1998 convertible with a tan interior, a manual transmission, and only 9,000 miles on the odometer. On top of that, it had HRE wheels.

I told him I would fly to Pittsburgh and drive it home. It's been "perma-grins" ever since.


Who: Paul and Margaret Barrow Where: Livermore, CA What: 2008 C6 convertible 


Here are a few pics of my first Corvette. We ordered it from a dealer here in the Bay Area and picked it up at the NCM on my birthday! From there we drove it to Richmond, Virginia, to visit my daughter, then to Colorado Springs to visit some friends, and finally down to Route 66 for the rest of the trip home.


In 2010, I looked into trading it for a new Grand Sport, but I would have lost too much money on the deal. In 2011, the money figures were even worse. So, I decided to build my own.

I installed the GS fenders; Z06 front bumper cover, wheels, and tires; and ZR1 rear spoiler and front splitter. I also added a custom hood; body-color door handles; a two-tone console lid and armrest pads; leather shifter and brake-lever boots with cashmere stitching; cashmere Lloyd's mats; a Borla Stinger exhaust; and other goodies. The suspension and brakes remain original Z51. With all the Corvette parts from different bodies, I decided to name the car "FrankenVette."


Life can't get any better than driving with the top down and a big grin, and getting lots of thumbs-up along the way. Thanks for a great magazine!

Is your Vette menagerie material?

Just send a photo (or photos) of the car, a brief description, and whatever else you'd like to VETTE Magazine, c/o 'Glass Menagerie, 9036 Brittany Way, Tampa, FL 33619. You can also email the information to vette@sorc.com with "Glass" in the subject line. So what are you waiting for?



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