Deflecting unwanted attention on the street is a tricky art form, and successful sneakiness can conceal a hidden gem, in broad daylight. Hiding in plain sight is easier said than done, especially when piloting a high-horsepower chariot. Those extra ponies can create a great deal of noise, increasing the complexity of the camouflage that's required. Certain steps should be taken to keep unwarranted interactions from happening, until the moment of competition, when the horses are let loose to wreak havoc on the competition. For then, the fight is on, and some spooling may be required. To prepare for that moment, follow this example, and always have one or two secrets still left up your sleeve.
Step One: Pick your poison. The first step when starting a street stealth project may be the most important of all to follow, and it involves picking a sleeper-worthy car to pilot. Many variations will work, and selecting wisely is key. Depending on one's daily driver or weekend warrior needs, selections may vary. For Ariel Capote, utility and everyday comfort was of upmost importance, as he planned to daily drive his decision all over the sunny State of Florida. He decided to pull the trigger on a 2011 Chevrolet Silverado, after having owned a '97 C5 Corvette and an '07 Cadillac CTS-V. Obviously a departure from a superb sports car history, Ariel knew that certain modifications would be required, in order to meet personal performance expectations. We'll get to the modification step shortly, but let's talk about Capote's cargo hauler color choice first.
Even an all-black paint scheme can trip all kinds of sensors, creating a whirlwind of suspicion and red flags. Certainly, no traffic law should be ignored, but a dark or neutral color might help blending in, when traversing the Floridian highway system for Ariel's work as an IT consultant. He wanted a "black on black look, without the standard 'murder' look." It's quite obvious that Ariel chose a stealth scheme, and if you plan to blend in, follow his example. The truck complements the color, as most pickups get ignored and presumptively placed into the slow category.
Step Two: Boost may be required. As an IT consultant, Ariel is used rapid-fire results, and stock Silverado power was going to be just plain boring for his stealth street sleeper, daily driven truck. So, after the low-key truck and color combination were picked out, it was time to move onto the second stealth step, and upgrade the somewhat saggy (for a street fighter) stock power plant. Here's where a goal comes in handy, in order to prioritize performance. Ariel says, "I wanted the truck, with the GM L9H 6.2-liter, to perform equal to, or better than, the new 5.0 Mustangs." With that goal in mind, and after Ariel added the Belltech suspension, Boss Motorsports 330-series 22-inch wheels wrapped in 285s, and a Street Scene front bumper, it was time to move on to the engine upgrades. Ariel turned to Greg Lovell and AntiVenom EFI in Seffner, Florida for some help. Starting with Trick Performance headers, a cold-air intake, and an AntiVenom tune, the Silverado ended up at 357 rear-wheel horsepower. After an LS9 camshaft, the horsepower was bumped up to 396 at the wheels. From there, Ariel added the FTI 3200-stall converter, and began researching his forced induction options. The street sleeper Silverado would be shooting up and down the Sunshine State, and would greatly benefit from some boost.
With Greg Lovell's help, Ariel decided to add a turbo to his truck, happily choosing the Trick Performance Stage 5 Turbo Kit. The intercooled kit uses an 80/83mm turbocharger, with 3.5-inch piping. To beef things up a bit more, the AntiVenom crew installed machine-forged pistons and forged rods, replaced the heads with GM L92 truck versions, and added LS9 head gaskets. The throttle body was also modified, matching CTS-V specs. The truck was now capable of keeping up with the added ponies, so the turbo kit was installed. AntiVenom custom tuned Ariel's stealth Silverado, and it produced 613 rear-wheel horsepower and 550 rear-wheel torque, running at 10-pounds of boost. Talk about a transformation! Step two was successfully completed, and thanks to the added power, within two weeks of tuning, the stock transmission (6L80) had to go, and AntiVenom replaced it with a 6L90, and a custom 5-inch driveshaft from Driveshaft Specialist. The transplanted transmission is sporting dual coolers, since the higher stall converter (3200 rpm) generates a lot of heat. One of the fans is small, and cools the transmission when the Silverado is stationary, and the other is larger for when the truck is moving. As stated earlier, the newly boosted stealth setup is currently daily driven (150-300 miles a day).
Step Three: Hide the goods. Ariel was already benefiting from added horsepower and gas millage, but wanted to add a few sneaky attributes to insure stock looks. The next part of the project was to ensure that the Silverado blended in during daily interactions, and with 613 horsepower at the wheels, the task was tricky. Time for the turbo debrief. For starters, the turbo is literally camouflaged into the surrounding engine bay, complete with a ceramic-coted hot side, and a powder-coated cold side. The ceramic coating helps with the heat, and the powder-coat helps to conceal the rest of the turbo. Continuing with the stealth look is the Lakewood Tru-Cool intercooler that's not your typical silver tone. Unless you are specifically looking for an intercooler, it stays well hidden. Along with the camouflaged engine bay, and thanks to the Banks muffler, the truck merely hums, keeping eardrums happy, while deflecting unwanted attention.
Final Step: Hit the track. Now that the sneaky Silverado's performance components have been combined, and the truck has taken its new setup to the street, it's time to test it on the track. Sure, simply street driving the Silverado would suffice, but why not put down the ponies, and acquire some bragging rights? At the track, since there is no reason to be sneaky, the boost is upped to 12 psi, and Nitto NT555Rs are thrown on the back, wrapping American Racing 18-inch wheels. Thanks to the Nitto drag radials, the Silverado gets a little better traction, but still fights for grip. Ariel's fastest run was a 12.3 ET at 112.91 mph, with a 2.014-second 60-foot time. He says that traction is his biggest issue, especially from 20-60 miles per hour. With a harder launch, and by adding some weight to the bed, he is hoping to break into the elevens. Rightfully so, the Silverado should have no trouble inching into the elevens, especially since the boosted power plant is pumping out 613 horsepower to the wheels.
Okay, obviously there are countless ways to create a stealthy street fighter that's a daily driver. Ariel's Silverado would simply slip by an untrained eye, turbo and all, and is a great example of one. His Sunshine State truck is an ongoing project, and Ariel still has a few tricks up his sleeve for the future, including bigger tires, brakes, and a different stall converter combination. Afterwards, he plans on fine-tuning his turbo truck at the track, while daily driving it the rest of the time. As of now, the Silverado's odometer sits at nearly 67,000 miles, and it's still going strong. For his sneaky setup, Ariel would like to take the opportunity to thank Greg and Kyle at AntiVenom EFI, Rich at Trick Performance Products, and Chris at Ideal Automotive. With a great team of modification gurus, Ariel ended up with stealthy boosted daily driven cargo hauler that anyone would be proud of.
Car: 2011 Chevrolet Silverado
Owner: Ariel Capote
Block: GM 376 cubic-inch L9H
Compression ratio: 10:1
Cam: LS9, hydraulic
Rocker arms: Stock
Throttle body: CTS-V, AntiVenom
Fuel injectors: Stock
Fuel pump: Stock
Engine management: AntiVenom
Power adder: Trick Performance Products Stage 5 Kit, BorgWarner 80/83mm
Boost: 10psi street, 12psi track
Exhaust system: Trick Performance Products headers and X-pipe, Banks muffler
Clutch: FTI 3200 Triple Dish
Driveshaft: 5-inch Driveshaft Specialist
Front suspension: Belltech Performance lowering kit
Rear suspension: Belltech Performance lowering kit
Rear end: GM 14-bolt, 3.73 gears
Wheels: Boss Motorsports 330 22x9, American Racing Fuel 321 18x8.5 (track)
Front tires: 285/45/22
Rear tires: 285/45/22, Nitto 555R 305/45/18 (track)
Race weight: 5850 lbs with driver
Best ET/mph: 12.3/112.91
Best 60-ft. time: 2.014
Current mileage: 64,000
Miles driven weekly: 150-300