The license-plate frame on Josh Feingold's '98 Corvette appropriately reads "My 25-Year Obsession."
Josh's dream of owning a Corvette began when he was 10. A neighbor of his pulled his '67 out of the garage every Sunday to fire it up. "I wanted a Corvette from the time I was 10 years old," he says. "I was just getting my permit when a guy in the neighborhood who had a Corvette got killed in a wreck. It was all over the papers, which were making a big deal out of the 'fiberglass car.' My parents said I would never get a Corvette because they're fiberglass."
So the dream had to wait for 25 years. Josh, who lives in Los Angeles, got his business up and running; and, at the ripe old age of 35, he finally got his Corvette, taking delivery of the F45, six-speed car in April 1998. Over the past five years, the car has evolved into a supercharged street-legal beast that has posted 593 rear-wheel horsepower at about 6,000 rpm and 543 pounds of rear-wheel torque at 4,800 rpm.
The car's LS1 engine has gone through an evolution during that time. He started with the typical modifications: intake, exhaust, and a K&N filter element. Still retaining the original block and 350ci sizing, the stock crank was polished and fitted with Prolite forged rods. Diamond dished, forged blower pistons net a compression ratio of about 9.8:1. The front of the crank is topped off with an SFI-approved ATI Performance Products Super damper. Nelson Racing put the short-block together with a Z06 oil pump. Andy Green at A&A Corvette Specialties mated engine with car and installed the Vortech T-Trim supercharger, which provides 10 pounds of boost, onto Carroll brackets.
Spent gasses exit through 1 7/8-inch long-tube headers from Grotyohann Motorsports along with 3-inch collectors, "very high-flow" Random Technology catalytic converters, a MagnaFlow "X" pipe, and Borla Stinger mufflers.
A lot of work went into getting the fuel-delivery system right. The car features Siemens 55-pound injectors, a Lingenfelter high-flow fuel pump, and a Kenne Bell booster pump. Josh credits Steve Cole at The Turbo Shop for the setup, which also did additional dyno tuning at R&D Dyno Service in Gardena. The vacuum line that comes off the adjustable fuel-pressure regulator is tied into the line that goes to the Carroll blow-off valve. A solenoid in the line kicks on the booster pump at 3 pounds of boost to ensure the engine sees enough fuel. The car gets 60 pounds of fuel pressure during part-throttle driving; but, as soon as the engine sees boost, the extra fuel pressure comes in on a one-to-one basis.
The cam is a custom-ground piece from Competition Cams. While the Comp cam and roller lifters open the valves via chrome-moly Manley pushrods, REV 1116 dual springs snap them shut in a timely manner. The heads are from CNC Cylinder Heads Inc., and they've been completely ported and polished. ARP studs hold the heads in place, and the whole thing is cooled off with a 160-degree thermostat, a double-row aluminum radiator from Be Cool, and a variable high-speed fan setup.
Air is sucked into the beast through a Donaldson Blackwing air intake and a ported throttle body. The area around the fog lights has been completely cut out and fitted with Z06 screens for air inlets. A Haltech scoop that matches the Z06 screens replaces the front license plate; good thing, because the intercooler is fitted with a pair of Setrab oil coolers-one in the air dam and the other behind the Haltech scoop. It's all connected with braided stainless lines and AN fittings. Mike Sagner at Specialty Automotive fabricated the custom tubes.
The transmission is one of the few stock items in the driveline. The only upgrade is the addition of a dual-disc McLeod clutch with an adjustable master cylinder. The slave cylinder is a Z06 piece. The rearend is from Mallett Cars Ltd. and boasts 3.73:1 gears.
The car gets its handling from a suspension equipped with QA1 12-way adjustable shocks, custom-valved by Frank Yunes at AO Engineering. Hotchkiss sway bars and end links keep everything level in the turns with the help of a set of C5R-GTS springs. Stopping power is supplied by eight-piston Brembo calipers all the way around that have been painted to match the custom exterior color. They put the squeeze on slotted 14-inch rotors up front and 16.6-inchers in the rear. The rear brakes are kept cool by functional Z06 vents mounted in the bodywork.
On the street, the car rolls on BFGoodrich g-Force T/As mounted on LPE/HRE 18x9.5-inch wheels up front and 18x10.5-inch on the rear. At the track, the car wears Goodyear Eagle racing slicks mounted on 18x11-inch CCW wheels up front and 18x12-inch in back.
The interior is mostly stock except for the addition of pod-mounted fuel and boost-pressure gauges from Auto Meter. Other additions include a four-point rollcage from Doug Rippie Motorsports, a Crow five-point harness, and a B&M Ripper shifter.
On the outside, the car sports an RKSport hood, and the whole package is topped off with a custom Ruby Pearl Micah paint job with silver trim sprayed by Prestige Coach Craft in Marina Del Rey. One whimsical addition to the exterior trim is a set of Mercedes "Kompressor" badges aimed at letting everyone know about the supercharger lurking under the hood. A receiver hitch allows Josh to mount a custom rack to haul race tires to and from the track.
Future modifications include adapting a windshield-washer setup from a Mitsubishi to squirt a mist from the windshield-washer tank onto the intercooler. Plans call for it to be tied into the same pressure sensor that kicks in additional fuel at 3 pounds of boost so it will kick on and mist the intercooler.
"I like canyon running and I drive it on the weekends," Josh says. "It's not a daily driver; but it's not a full-on racecar, although we've done the brakes, suspension, [and] added the supercharger. We're around 700 flywheel horsepower on the car."