If you are a Corvette enthusiast, the 2016 Corvette Dream Giveaway should be at the top of your grand prize wish list. This annual event awards one lucky winner with the titles to a vintage and a new Corvette. In addition, $50,000 is included to help pay the winner’s taxes on the prize. In February 2017, one lucky winner will be awarded this year’s two Corvette Dream Giveaway vehicles in Clearwater, Florida. The first is an 800hp, 2016 Lingenfelter Signature Edition Z06 convertible and the second is an ultra-rare 396ci/four-speed 1965 Sting Ray convertible. You can enter to win these two dream Vettes when you go to www.winthevettes.com or call (877) 700-8946.
To get a closer look at the 2016 Lingenfelter Signature Edition Z06 convertible, we travelled to Lingenfelter Performance Engineering headquarters in Brighton, Michigan. Our contact was Ken Lingenfelter, who just so happens to own the company. Ken is a distant cousin of the late John Lingenfelter and founder of the company. Ken scheduled us to drive the 800hp Signature Edition Z06, but little did we realize that we’d have two days to inspect and thrash this supercharged monster.
Upon our arrival, Ken gave us a tour of his impressive car collection, which houses 150 exotic cars, including approximately 65 Corvettes! Each year, the company opens the collection for over 100 fundraising events and raises money for various charities. Ken has been on-board with Corvette Dream Giveaway since its inception in 2008 and is a big supporter of the charities that it supports, like Mothers Against Drunk Driving, National Guard Educational Foundation, Disabled American Veterans and New Beginning Children’s Homes.
We were itching to inspect the Signature Edition Z06 and it didn’t take long before we were face to face with this supercar Vette. Our first impression was it looks like a standard Z06. However, upon closer inspection we noticed prominent badges attached to the front fenders that proclaimed “Lingenfelter Signature Edition Serial #001.” The Lingenfelter name is also affixed to the top of the windshield and between the rear taillights. All of these enhancements are in red, including the front hood vent and a side stripe that starts on each front fender and ends in front of the door. Anyone who is familiar with Corvettes knows that the Lingenfelter name means horsepower. For example, in 2002, a Lingenfelter-prepped 2000 fixed roof coupe (FRC) Corvette was faster than an F/18 Blue Angels jet in the quarter-mile. This streetable rocket ran an 8.95 at 153.6 mph and got to 60 mph in 1.97 seconds.
The same kind of engineering knowledge that was used in that record-setting FRC Vette has been applied to this Signature Edition Z06. Here are some of the modifications Lingenfelter’s engineers performed on the LT4 to bring its power level up from 650 to 800 horsepower.
• Engine removal and disassembly
• Installing Lingenfelter CNC ported and polished LT4 cylinder heads
• Three-angle valve job and hand blending of the valve seats
• Lingenfelter dual valvesprings and titanium retainers with 10-degree locks
• Lingenfelter GT35 LT4 hydraulic roller camshaft
• Ported and polished throttle body
• Edelbrock TVS 2300 supercharger
• Professional engine reassembly
• Custom engine control module reprogramming
• Custom long-tube exhaust headers
With all of this power packed under the hood we were anxious to see how this open-top Vette performed. Ken handed us the key fob and invited us to follow his beautiful 599 Ferrari GTO to a fundraiser at the Detroit Zoo. The zoo was 31 miles from our location and we gladly accepted his offer. As we pulled out of the Lingenfelter parking lot, we were impressed at how docile this eight-speed automatic beast was. The suspension setting was on T (Touring) and the exhaust note was quiet. We turned the suspension setting to S (Sport) and the exhaust note came alive. Following the Ferrari was easy as we cruised along at 75 mph. That all changed when we got into the 6 p.m. Detroit traffic and began creeping along at 20 mph. The grand prize Vette never stumbled or overheated, even with the A/C blasting welcome cold air.
When we arrived at the zoo, the parking lot was empty of cars, but lined with cones that marked off an eighth-mile temporary track. This was the entrance to the fundraiser and we were allowed to “exercise” the throttle on the Corvette down this straightaway.
I tightly held onto the steering wheel and let the beast go! The sticky rear Michelins, which are part of the Z07 track package on this Vette, were struggling for traction and the throttle had to be modulated to control the fishtailing at the rear of the car. The digital speedometer swept past the 100-mph line in a blink of the eye and it was time for us to use the Z07’s massive carbon-ceramic brakes to slow it down. It was a blast to experience this kind of power.
This event was filled with every kind of exotic car brand that you can imagine. But when we were standing near the Signature Edition Z06 later, some of these exotic car owners were overheard saying, “Did you hear this thing blasting down the parking lot? It’s a beast!” I smiled and silently agreed.
Hopefully whomever the lucky person is that wins this Corvette (and the matching 1965 Sting Ray convertible) knows how to drive a Corvette with this extreme level of performance. Otherwise, I will be happy to provide lessons.
Remember, you have until December 28, 2016, at 11:59 p.m. EST to enter to win these beautiful Corvettes by going to www.winthevettes.com. (For more information on Lingenfelter Performance Engineering go to www.lingenfelter.com.)