1998 Chevy Corvette - The Greatest Spectacle In Racing

1998 Marked A New Corvette Pace Car And A New Way Of Life For Walker Bower

James Miles Oct 1, 2004 0 Comment(s)
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Over the next six years, Walker reworked his '98 in a way that would make even the most jaded enthusiast sit up and take notice. Starting with the engine, he had the original LS1 yanked out and replaced with a 7.0-liter (427-cid) Lingenfelter Performance Engineering C5-R Twin Turbo. With a little build-up work using Lunati and LPE, Walker's Pace Car now makes 729 hp at 5,100 rpm with a torque rating of 800 at 4,300. It's amazing what a race engine packed with goodies, such as ported and polished '03 LS6 heads, will do. But all of this would be moot without a way to get this power to the back wheels. So for this, Bower backs his engine up with the help of the Borg Warner T-56 six-speed that points to a Getrag factory-built rear with a set of 3.73:1 gears. Under the chassis you'll find Hotchkis front and rear anti-rollbars, shocks out of an '04 Z06, and '98 Z51 springs.

To help get air to the powerplant, a '02 Z06 intake using K&N's finest cleans the incoming breath that rushes through the Garret twin turbochargers with 5-psi maximum boost before making its way out the Corsa Performance exhaust made pretty with a set of Corsa Pace Car Edition tips. Sitting just above these tips is a Specter Werks Group 5 rear bumper, while further forward is where Austin Corvette of Austin, Texas, installed a Caravaggio Pace Car deck lid hiding LPE mini-tubs so that the HRE 845 19X12s wrapped in a pair of Michelin Pilot 345/30-19 would fit. The front remains unaltered and sits on a set of HRE 18x9.5 845Rs wrapped in 265/35-18 rubber of the same make. As for stopping this monster? Well, the Baer Pro Plus kit helps up front, while the rear is slowed down with by the original '98 C5 brakes.

The interior was decorated with a few details, like a Caravaggio steering wheel and shift boot and an Autometer shift light, decorate the otherwise original interior.

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While some may argue that all this power is too much for the road and Walker agrees that the top speed is "faster than he'll ever need," he's not afraid to drive it long distances-2,400-miles being his best trip yet. As for the fuel economy for drives to the NCM Labor Day, Birthday Bash, and Pace Car Reunion, Walker gave us a quick, "Who cares?" And who would with a C5 that has walked away with many awards at such events. Not to bad for a Corvette Walker Bower bought without even sitting down in. Buyer beware? Certainly so!




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