2004 Chevrolet Corvette - SE7EN

Deadly Sins Be Damned, This Car Was Built To Be Driven Hard

Chris Endres Mar 1, 2008 0 Comment(s)
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Vette Essentials supplied the retina-searing yellow skins for the seats, wheel, and shifter. Babler did the installs himself.

A peek under the hood reveals what all the fuss is about. While many are content with a few pieces of carbon fiber or chrome, Babler is not. He shipped his complete carbon underhood kit to Jaime Rodriguez, at Pure Image Design, for further customization. Rodriguez masterfully interpreted Babler's Deadly Sins theme into graveyards, sickle-bearing reapers, and even a skull or two with alarmingly overgrown incisors. There is enough fire and brimstone underhood to make Beelzebub himself proud.

Don't think for a second that this car commits the sin of being all show and no go, as Babler has carefully chosen a combination of parts to maximize power production with an eye on value and reliability. For help with this, he turned to John Boos Performance in Anoka, Minnesota. "I set very strict parameters for John to work within," says Babler, "and he hit a home run in my book."

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The Mustang view: Here's all most challengers see of Babler's Corvette.

Going the ever-popular heads-and-cam route was a no-brainer. Boos selected a pair of well-proven AFR 205 heads and milled the decks to achieve 62cc combustion chambers. The valvetrain was fitted with Comp springs, pushrods, lifters, and an XE-R-profile cam. The stock LS6 manifold was left in place but fitted with a matched set of 30-lb/hr injectors.

Not one to settle for posing on the boulevard, Babler races his evil C5 every chance he gets. He derives particular pleasure from testing himself and his machine at the bracket races. "One race in particular, I went eight rounds before I failed as a driver by not adjusting to changing weather conditions." That's pretty impressive for a street-driven, manual transmission car-on street tires, no less! Even with massive traction issues, this C5 is no slouch, running a very unsloth-like best of 12.12 at 117.36 mph.

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The back-up camera is cleverly integrated into the lens of the third brake light.

Regardless of whether he is at the track or romping down one of the countless twisty roads that populate the farmlands around his suburban Twin Cities home, all of the performance mods pay off every time Babler stomps on the noise pedal. Ever greedy for more, Babler's future plans include 3.90 gears and hardened internals for the rear. He freely admits he is a glutton for horsepower. "It's like being a drug addict...never enough!" As these mods will not keep him content for long, a naturally aspirated stroker somewhere north of 427 cubes is in the not-too-distant future.

Babler tells us he drives the car whenever the mood strikes him, which is often. And that's a good thing, because to not drive a car such as this would be the biggest sin of all.




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