Everyone’s path to Corvette fever is different. Some get there through a love of preserving history and some through undeniable performance-per-dollar value Corvettes have always offered. Others still derive the fever from experiences from their youth that stick with them. That was precisely what hooked Bill Cobb of Medina, Ohio.
“When I was 10 years old,” Cobb recalled, “my father came home with a red 1976 Corvette and two short years later he traded that ’76 for a 1978 Silver Anniversary with every option. I was immediately hooked.” But just as Cobb was coming of age to take the wheel himself, everything fell apart. He told us that his dad “ended up selling the car 21 days short of my 16th birthday because, as he put it, he wasn’t going to do hand-to-hand combat with me for the keys every Friday night.” For 15-year-old Cobb, this new reality was crushing. “I have honestly never recovered,” he told us. But it all worked out for the better because Cobb’s love for Corvettes only got stronger over those years—the classic “you want what you can’t have” scenario.
Even though his dad let go of the ’78, Cobb still found a way to get his fix of Corvettes by spending his summers working for a guy named John Drahos who, not coincidently, is the owner of Corvette Conspiracy in Cleveland, and has been for 40 years now. “I will always treasure that awesome experience and the memories I have,” said Cobb. “They are a part of what fueled my passion.” Unfortunately, life happened and responsibility took hold of him. It wasn’t until much later when he picked up a black ’02 Corvette convertible that Cobb got his first taste of Corvette ownership. It was good, but didn’t quite hit the spot. Then in 2006, he made a trip down to his local dealership and put in an order for a brand-new 2007 Z06. “I took delivery in the fall of 2006,” Cobb told us, “and have never been happier with an automobile!”
He drove and enjoyed the Corvette in its stock form for a few years, but then started to notice some of the builds that his old friend Drahos was turning out at Corvette Conspiracy. More specifically, the huge power they were adding to late-model Vettes via ProCharger superchargers. All of a sudden, his dream-come-true C6 Corvette wasn’t all that exciting any longer—it needed more.
The guys at Corvette Conspiracy began by pulling the entire drivetrain and sending the engine out to ERL Performance where the LS7 received their Superdeck treatment, sleeving the cylinders so they could withstand way more power than stock. Then back at Corvette Conspiracy, the rotating assembly was upgraded to match. They went with a Callies crankshaft and Callies Ultra H-Beam rods with Wiseco pistons. As for the top end, a Lingenfelter GT9 camshaft was tossed in and then the stock heads were ported for more flow. The LS7’s air and fuel capabilities were further enhanced with a FAST intake manifold and 102mm throttle body. Then the fuel injectors were upgraded to Aeromotive 85lb units. Finally, the engine needed more oiling capabilities so a Katech billet oil pump was installed.
With all of the supporting mods done, Corvette Conspiracy got to the fun stuff and installed ProCharger’s D-1SC centrifugal supercharger along with an air-to-air intercooler. The result? Double the factory horsepower. Once they got everything back together and bolted on the Pfadt Tri-Y header exhaust system with X-pipe and Billy Boat Fusion mufflers, they ran it on a chassis dyno. The Corvette put down an astounding 890 horsepower to the rear wheels. Add in a bit of correction for drivetrain loss and that’s just over 1,000 hp at the crank compared to the factory-advertised 505 hp.
As for the rest of the drivetrain, the stock transaxle was retained but got a new twin-disc clutch and B&M shifter. Driveshaft Shop supplied them with a new torque tube to tie everything together.
From the outside, Cobb’s C6 doesn’t let on that it’s hiding a 1,000-horsepower mill under the hood. The only visual differences over stock are the 19x10 front and 20x13 rear HRE wheels shod in Nitto Invo rubber, the fronts getting 285/30R19 and the rears 345/25R20. Inside, the whole interior was gutted and covered in Dynamat then put right back in place. A fuel pressure gauge is hidden in the ashtray and some higher-quality Kenwood and Boston Acoustics speakers replaced the stock units, but other than that, it’s all just as Chevrolet designed it.
The whole build process likely took a lot more money and time than Cobb might have preferred, but the lucky man his is, he had his wife Amy’s patience and support through it all. Without her support, we wouldn’t get to enjoy his one-of-a-kind Z06. So for that, Amy, we thank you. And once the Vette was done, Cobb showed it at the annual Cleveland, Ohio, Piston Power Show in 2013 and took home Best in Class. Then he came back the next year and did it again.
When we asked how he typically uses the Corvette he replied saying, “As needed—mostly for therapy.” Can you think of a better way to blow off some steam after a long work week than taking your 890-wheel-horsepower Corvette Z06 for a drive? We can’t. Vette
Photos by John Machaqueiro