1991 ZR-1 Corvette

Most people would probably be quite content with a stock ZR-1. With 405 horsepower on tap, quarter-mile times deep into the 13s and world-class handling characteristics, the average person would feel like the king of the road. Well, judging by the demeanor

Greg Pernula Aug 1, 1998 0 Comment(s)

Step By Step

John Marshall is a long way from being average. With a little help from Lingenfelter Performance, John has taken his ´94 Torch Red ZR-1 to the next level in order to annihilate the exotics (Porsches, Ferraris, etc.) which inhabit his South Florida surroundings.

John is an emergency room director in South Florida. He's used to doing things fast, and he likes fast cars. Before he bought this ZR-1, he owned Porsche 928s, twin-turbo 911s and the like. He was just into Porsches, but, as we all know, Porsches must be constantly maintained, and aren't known for their reliability. John wanted a car that combined reliability with brute power, and would be backed by a strong aftermarket.

The ZR-1 featured here is just what the doctor ordered on all counts. Drop-shipped directly to Lingenfelter, the LT5 was immediately stroked out to displace 385 cubic inches, and produced 575 horsepower at the flywheel. Since then, it has been further stroked out to 415 cubic inches, and now produces in the neighborhood of 630 horsepower.

With all this horsepower, John needed a suspension that could keep his road rocket firmly planted at all speeds--so while it was at Lingenfelter, it received the full Doug-Rippie treatment, consisting of a complete coil-over suspension with a modified ride-control module. John Greenwood put together a braking system utilizing Brembo cross-drilled rotors to bring this experiment in brute power to a halt. At the time these photos were taken, 17x10 and 17x13 Dymag wheels occupied the front and rear wheelwells. John has replaced those with 18" HRE wheels. A Mallett 3" stainless-steel, twin cross-over exhaust was pressed into service, along with Watson headers. To keep the EPA happy, Random Technology high-performance catalytic converters do their part in keeping the exiting fumes on the clean side. A Callaway single-mass flywheel resides in between the LT5 and the stock ZF 6-speed, and a 4.09 ring and pinion makes sure a full-faced grin is only a throttle mash away. The interior was pretty much left alone, except for a Doug Rippie roll bar. John's ZR-1 also features a Griffin radiator to make sure the LT5 doesn't get all hot and bothered.

John has never run the car down the quarter-mile, but similarly equipped ZR-1s have done the 1320 happy dance with times consistently dipping into the mid-10s and speeds exceeding 130 mph. The ZR-1 takes a trip to Lingenfelter every spring for upgrades, and John has just ordered a C5 convertible. Guess where it's headed when it sees the light of day? You're right--Lingenfelter. By the way, John has a prescription for anyone who wishes to tangle with his ZR-1: "Take a good look at my taillights and call me in the morning!"

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