Corvette owners never cease to amaze, with their unbridled passion and dedication to the primacy of the great American sports car. Edward Hollie of Freeport, NY is one such owner, who over four decades and generations of the venerable moniker has owned and wrenched on multiple versions.
Exactly twenty years ago, Ed was again on the hunt for a new Corvette; with his sights fixed on a C4 ZR-1. Discovering a then three-year old, zero-mile, black 1990 model at a nearby dealer, he went to have a look.
After telling his “better half,” Nancy, of his find, her woman’s intuition persuaded Ed to spend his hard earned money on a brand new Vette instead.
Her logic led him to neighborhood dealer, Paul Conte Chevrolet, where Ed purchased a factory fresh ’93 40th Anniversary edition in convertible guise.
In addition to being roofless, Ed’s 1-of-6749 special C4’s came with a four-speed auto, 5.7L 300hp LT1 engine, exclusive Ruby Red Metallic paint, matching leather with embroidered headrests and 40th anniversary badges on top of the already premium Corvette fare.
After two years of cruising pleasure, Ed yearned for more power. Wanting immediate seat of the pants returns, he installed a Vortech B-series centrifugal supercharger and stout 3.73 gears to his stock LT1. But he still wasn’t staisfied.
Receiving questionable and expensive solutions from the supercharger’s installer, he sought a second opinion. His Corvette brethren steered him to Carroll Superchargers in NJ; located in the same building as O’Donahue Racing, Ed was about to get answers—and a whole lot more.
Greg Carroll, owner/operator of Carroll Superchargers, plugged Ed’s 40th up to his laptop to investigate. Soon it was apparent that the air/fuel mixture for Ed’s new blower was insufficient. Greg installed a Superpumper adjustable fuel management regulator, with pressure adjustments up to 100psi.
With the increased flow of go-go juice, Ed’s ‘charged LT1 finally performed as expected, as his new relationship with Carroll Superchargers was born.
By 1997, Ed was ready to up-the-ante and create the street beast he envisioned. With word of mouth from his Vette buddies and consultations with O’Donahue Racing, he had found those with the tools and the talent to fulfill his plans; the die was set.
Preserving his commemorative Corvette’s authenticity, Ed removed the stock mill for safekeeping. Randy at O’Donahue racing then sourced a new LT1 block for a complete 383 stroker build-up.
The fresh block was bored 4.030 over to achieve the 383cid, followed by extensive decking and finish honing of the entire block and cylinders.
A rotating assembly, consisting of Clevite 77 engine bearings and a Callies 5140 forged, 3.75 stroke Crankshaft were balanced and installed. Completing the bulletproof bottom-end are forged Eagle H-Beam connecting rods, SRP dished aluminum pistons, and Sealed Power Speed Pro rings – all machine-gaped to the Vortech blower’s specs.
The bumpstick of choice is a Crane Cams split pattern, billet hydraulic roller with 218/226 duration at .050, .498/.518 lift and a 112 LSA. The street-mannered cam was matched with GM hydraulic roller lifters, Crane hardened pushrods and topped off with Crower stainless 1.5 ratio roller rockers and Crane dual valvesprings. LT1 aluminum cylinder heads were ported and polished, port-matched to the intake manifold, and stuffed with larger Ferrea valves, along with the rest of the aformentioned valvetrain.
Sticking with the factory ECM, Ed had it custom-tuned, and mated to the Superpumper system. Handling fuel distribution are dual Bosch in-tank pumps; one for normal-aspirated cruising feeding the 383 through 30-lb. injectors, the other supplying the blower.
Lubrication is increased by way of a TRW high volume oil pump, while a Crane ignition box starts things up with the help of MSD wires and Autolite plugs. Emissions are expelled through 2000-series Jet Hot coated SLP 1-3/4-inch stainless shorty headers, and 3-inch collectors that feed into a Borla catback that growls through aggressive wide mouth polished LT1 tips.
During the engine build-up, the stock 700R4 gearbox and torque converter were sent to Select Transmissions in Babylon, NY., receiving modifications to optimize performance. As a compliment to the tuned, yet comfy ride of the stock C4 suspension, Ed, surprisingly, left it well enough alone.
After six weeks of work, Ed’s now visceral Vette was done and ready for fun. He loved the power on demand provided by the added cubes and the locomotive-like pull of the Vortech blower.
Two years later in 1999, he wanted to send his headers out for re-coating, requiring the removal of the blower. He saw it as a perfect opportunity to ship the supercharger to Vortech, where the unit received an S-series internal upgrade, increasing boost to 20-psi., and pushing peak horsepower output to 680. In 2007, Ed sourced a Dana 44 rearend which was shipped to Paul Conte Cadillac in Freeport, New York for install, along with a set of more highway-friendly 3.42 gears.
Fast forward some five years, and Ed went to Vettech to address the braking system. Wanting to firm-up stopping power, yet keep his like-new factory Corvette wheels, Will at Vettech installed a Baer GT front kit with dual/piston PBR calipers, stainless braided lines, and 13-inch drilled/slotted rotors front and rear.
Keeping with the stock-appearing theme, the only exterior enhancements are Chevy bowtie laden taillight lenses, nice touch. The classy Corvette cockpit is stock as a rock, except for driver side window pillar mounted fuel pressure and boost gauges.
Ed’s favorite aspect of the car is its drivability and the unassuming exterior. “It drives docile around town-but when you put your foot down, you know the beast is there”, he says.