Driving a brand new C5 Corvette home for the first time can be an exhilarating ride for even the most unresponsive buyer. Once the feel of the power and handling gets under your skin, there is little hope for a cure for "Corvette Fever." The problem arises when time washes away its symptoms and available horsepower no longer satisfies the need for speed. Only a larger dose will do!
Tony de Montigny was in need of such a fix. He began to feel his C5 needed to be "opened up." Bassani eased his discomfort by allowing his Corvette to breathe easily, while giving him a sweet sound to wrap his ears around. This was only further enhanced by the West Coast Corvettes-supplied Bassani C5 X-pipe. Tony will be the first to tell you that his Corvette has never sounded better. Coupled with the Jet chip and a K&N air-induction system, this exhaust would give Tony 318 rear-wheel horsepower, an increase of 15 hp over the stock 303. Torque also increased from 320 at 4,250 rpm to a best of 326 at 4,500 rpm.
This increase will suffice for a while, but there is always more to be found and those who will set out to find it. A BBK throttle body was added, along with Comp Cams roller lifters and a Comp Cams 54-414-11 camshaft. Tony says that this modification, along with CNC Cylinder Heads-prepared heads and a More Performance MAF housing would produce gains of over 60 hp--enough to appease the horsepower hungry, at least for a time.
Of course, with the added horsepower and torque, the clutch had to be upgraded or it would have been grenaded. A Centerforce clutch assembly keeps all of the power headed down to the rear wheels where it should be, and the Xtreme Motorsports-supplied Ripper shifter makes sure the gears don't get confused about where they should go.
The go-factor of Tony's ride was now respectable, so it was time to address the show-factor. With the classy lines of the C5, the wheels had to have class as well as strength. For that, Tony contacted Hickock Custom Wheels in Tustin, California.
Hickock's Sprint 8-spoke wheel was just the ticket. The 18-inch rims measure 9.5 for the front and 11 inches for the rear. Coupling them with Bridgestone S-02 (255x40 front and 295x35 rear) gives this Millennium Yellow Corvette a classic look and excellent grip on the road. To make the most of that grip, a composite mono-spring was obtained from Vette Brakes and Products along with a C5 brake upgrade kit, giving this Corvette "whoa" as well as "go." The wheel, tire, and suspension upgrades make for a package that, as Tony puts it, "handles like a slot car on rails." And it looks great doing it, too!
With all of this mod-momentum going, what else was Tony to do? For Tony de Montigny, the long road of modifications ends at RKSport. He used the company's rear spoiler, hood, white-faced gauges, and 10-piece carbon-fiber kit, leaving no doubt the car is modified. As you can see, the modifications, both mechanical and aesthetic, combine to create a package that still carries the salient lines of a C5 fresh from the line in Bowling Green. It also gives Tony some relief when his Fever is a little high.