Bonnie and Clyde, Butch and Sundance. Individually, they were nobodies. Together, they put the world on its ear. In spite of their individual differences, they seemed to be two pieces of the same puzzle. Whatever one lacked, the other filled in the gaps, and vice-versa. They were two of a kind-just like the two 1994 Chevy Corvette ZR1s featured here. We have two different cars with completely different histories, yet together, they form a dynamic duo that makes waves wherever they go. These two gems are owned by Mike and Renee Conway, of Lake Tahoe, California, who are also two of a kind. Mike and Renee may be two different individuals but when it comes to their ZR-1s, they're on the same level.
Mike, a local TV station owner, has owned several musclecars in his lifetime, so he's no stranger to the rush of adrenaline felt from having gobs of power under his right foot. Renee, however, has always wanted a Corvette. This stems back to when she was a young teenager wanting to sport dad's brand-new '63 Corvette around town. However, her dad had no intention of letting her touch, let alone drive, his snazzy split-window coupe, thus, her want for a Corvette went unanswered for 27 years until Mother's Day in 1990, when Mike surprised her with an '84 coupe. That's when her need for speed began.
After a few years of enjoyment, she needed more power, so the '84 was traded in on an '88. When that wasn't enough, she stepped up to a '91 ZR-1, at almost twice the horsepower. Unfortunately, the ZR-1 turned out to be a lemon, and they got their money back. But Mike and Renee didn't let that sour them (pun intended) on ZR-1s, and while in Southern California for business, Mike heard about a '94 ZR-1 that was for sale. When he got there, he saw the King of the Hill as it sat there with its Competition Yellow (Code 53U) paint and light beige interior (Code 643) and liked the looks of it. It was a one-owner car, number 163, and had less than 50,000 miles on it. It wasn't long before he was driving back to Lake Tahoe in the potent coupe. After some additional research, the Conways found out that Chevrolet made 41 Competition Yellow ZR-1s in 1994, and of that 41, eight came with light beige interior, making it a pretty rare breed indeed!
With 405 horsepower on tap, the ZR-1 turned out to be a hit with the Conways, and Mike decided to get one of his own. He searched the Internet and found another low-mileage '94 for sale. After communicating with the owner, he found out that the ZR-1 was number 426, had about 8,000 miles on it, was never registered, and was-get this-Competition Yellow with light beige interior! They arranged to meet in Spearfish, South Dakota, and travel to a local Corvette show where Mike would then take possession of the Vette. The owner met Mike at the airport in a 50-foot motorhome pulling a 20-foot trailer with number 426 inside. On their way to the show, they had a little trouble with the trailer. As they crossed over some train tracks, the trailer got hung up, shearing all the bolts holding the trailer hitch.
When you're driving a 50-foot motorhome, anything less than a nuclear blast feels like a bug on the windshield, so you can imagine their surprise when they looked in the mirror and noticed that the trailer was still on the tracks-and a train was coming! Nah, just kidding. There wasn't a train in sight, but the sooner they could get the trailer off the tracks the better, not to mention the fact that they were on a hill. "I hadn't even paid for the car yet, and I had visions of the car rolling down the street into the hotel," Mike said. After a few hours and the kindly assistance of a tow truck, they extracted the trailer from the tracks, bought a new trailer hitch, and were back on the road the next morning. "We had gotten the car out of the trailer after the railroad incident," Mike commented-we don't blame him.
With the deal finally finished, Mike drove number 426 back to Lake Tahoe-of course, he couldn't resist trouncing a guy in a new C5. "This guy was going to show off to his girlfriend, at about 95 mph-he was embarrassed. The second time, from first gear at about 30 mph, he was really embarrassed. After he saw the tail end of the car, he never came near me again."
Now that both of the cars are in their possession, Mike and Renee extract their enjoyment from the LT5s the way they were meant to-by driving them. Admittedly, they drive number 163 more often due to the fact that it has more mileage, but both get driven every two weeks. They're only driven in good weather, and are immaculate inside and out.
Here's the part where some purists may spin in their proverbial graves, though probably not too much. To further enhance the driving experience, both cars have been upgraded with Doug Rippie chips and K&N filters. Number 163 has also benefited from a few extra additions, like a 3/4-inch-lowered suspension, a Borla exhaust system, and a Simpson five-point harness attached to a Belt Bar from Arizona Speed & Marine. Both cars are sporting a set of polished wheels to enhance the eye candy factor. And don't think these ZR-1s are all show and no go-both have been to the dragstrip. Number 163 turned the fastest e.t. of the two with a 12.56 at 113 mph, wihile number 426 was a few tenths behind-who says they baby these cars? Well, they are kept in a climate-controlled garage (stacked bunk-bed style!), but that's only to preserve their youthful good looks during the winter months.
We're sure that the ZR-1 pair will enjoy the continued care provided by the Conways, and we're positive that in turn, they will enjoy the continued exhilaration provided by the ZR-1s. What began as a simple Mother's Day gift quickly grew into the find of a lifetime-twice! Mike and Renee are a perfect match for this pair of brutish bunkies as well as each other. They're probably anxiously waiting for the snow to melt so they can rip up some pavement. As for now, Mike's shoveling about five feet of snow out of his driveway. Have patience-good things come to those who wait.