1999 Chevrolet Corvette - Aiming For The Nines

Modified '99 Made To Run Quick, Drive Home

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Dash Stack See if you can find where Joe put the on/off switch for the Nitrous Express go-go gas system.

About that engine, Jim says, "You know, some people hunt and some people fish. This Corvette's the `drug of choice' for me and my best friend Randy. We've done this stuff for 20 years together." He adds that they're now building a 440 LSX block for a car they haven't bought yet. "We're going to buy it in 2009, and as soon as it comes home, it'll be transplanted." He says they haven't decided if they'll drive it home from Bowling Green or trailer it back with zero miles on it, but either way it may get a Z06 body kit along with the engine they're building. And what of the '09-vintage stuff they'll be taking off? "We may actually keep all that," he says. "We're looking at maybe doing a '63-'67 Vette, kind of a Pro Touring project. At worst, it will make for some great decorations in my new 50 x 65-foot garage."

Meanwhile, how did the '99 Vette do at the YearOne Shootout after it cleared tech inspection and completed the 25-mile highway-driving loop before Jim turned it loose on Atlanta Dragway's quarter-mile strip? "I ran 11.20 [seconds] there. The car's run 10.80 at 129 miles an hour, on all motor."

But wait--there's more. As in more power (and quicker times), thanks to the Nitrous Express nitrous-oxide injection system that had just been installed, but not fully dialed in, before the Shootout. "We're hoping to spray it into the nines, but I haven't sprayed it yet," Joe says. "We were trying to get it operational for the Shootout, but we had some issues with the car even running. That's because while I was at work my buddy washed the car, and something got wet. It kept going into limp mode, and we literally had to let it dry out."

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When it's dry, the Nassau Blue '99 is capable of better than 11.20 in the quarter-mile--and that's with Joe not launching it hard. "I did that with a 1.7 60-foot time," he says. "I don't pull the 1.3-1.4 60-foot times like a lot of the guys do. Even though I've got some parts in the car, it's nice to be able to drive on home."

If you're looking to get your LS-engined Vette into the nines on the quarter-mile, or if you just want a little better performance than the stock setup delivers, Joe has this advice: "There's so much that you can do. We've worked on everything from the LT1 cars to the LT4s. These LS cars make such good power, even with just bolt-ons. You have to decide what level you want--but, like a small drug user who ends up a bigger drug user--how much power ends up being enough?

"Our goal was to create a nine-second car that we could drive anywhere with the air conditioner on, and that's what we've done. There's no doubt that, once we put the nitrous to it, it'll run some 9.80s-9.90s, and then we can drive it home."

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