The Grand Sport Corvettes of the '90s were known for their racing heritage: distinct color schemes and road- and track-worthy power boost. Stemming from rare-edition Corvettes like the '59 fuelies, '63 Le Mans-specific Z06s, L88s, '78 Pace Cars, and ZR-1s, the Grand Sports were meant for that niche of the Corvette enthusiast market. Unfortunately, GM failed to recognize the fan base the Grand Sports wielded. The desire for the GS label to return was huge and, with the production of the subsequent C5 and C6 platforms, aftermarket shops and fans began to punch out their own modernized versions of the famed Grand Sport.
Such was the case with Andy Roderick of Bowling Green, Kentucky. Of course, you couldn't blame him since he lives only miles away from the production line. He has a collection of Chevrolets, including a red '04 Corvette convertible for his wife, an '03 Avalanche, a '95 Lumina van, and an '03 SSR retro pickup. Not only does Andy's collection boast all these Bow Ties, but he also admits to having owned a total of 12 Corvettes at one time or another. When the C5 body style was released to the public, Andy ran after this '02 hot-rod Electron Blue Z06 coupe.
Not content with having a mere 405-horse Z06, Andy thought it appropriate to clone the look of the infamous Grand Sport. He started the project by having the '02 wheeled off to Taylor's House of Color in Louisville. There, the car was masked and sprayed with the distinguishing white center stripe and red hash marks across the driver-side fender. Aftermarket polished screens filled the air ducts in the front fascia, as an ACI front spoiler helped give the coupe a more menacing grin. A Specter Werkes rear fascia was attached to the rear and was paint-matched to the color scheme, and a race-style chromed gas cap was bolted down. Black Z06-style rims with chrome studs were also added by Corvette Wheel Specialists, which greatly added to the authenticity and overall GS look of the car. The Grand Sport conversion was low and agressive, but was only halfway completed. For the interior, Andy's work was cut out for him.
Mid America Motorworks was enlisted to convert the Z06 to a Grand Sport. A red console cover embroidered with a Corvette logo was fabricated for the coupe. Similarly, red leather door pulls and red door-handle covers were also added. Red floor mats with embroidered Z06 logos with a matching cargo mat were woven, and a red and black leather shift boot was wrapped around the stick shift. A Breathless Performance shifter kit was installed for smoother gear rowing. All these modifications helped complete Andy's vision of turning his Z06 into the C5 Grand Sport the factory never made.
The best thing about the Corvette enthusiast market is the availability of parts to customize and modify any Corvette to one's tastes. Such was the case with Andy Roderick and his one-of-a-kind '02 Z06 Grand Sport.