Drag racer Carroll H. Hynson, Jr. racked up more than 150 trophies in his career and was recently inducted into the East Coast Drag Racing Hall of Fame. He has always liked fast cars, starting out with street racing in the early '60s and later going "legit" with a strip-raced '60 Chevy Impala. In 1968, he purchased a Z/28 Camaro and ran competitively in the F Stock category for more than three years, eventually retiring from the sport in the '70s.
Ever the car buff, Hynson purchased a low-mileage '69 Corvette Coupe in 1971 and started entering it in local car shows. He eventually sold the car to a local admirer, but Hynson never lost his passion for Vettes. Years later, in 2001, his best friend-a car salesman-told him about a 5,000-mile '99 convertible that his dealership had just taken in trade. Hynson bought the car and put together a plan to make his new ride stand out from the crowd.
First, he commissioned a local painter to design ghost flames for the car. Next, he exchanged the factory wheels and many of the underhood components for chromed aftermarket pieces. An elderly lady who saw the car in this early stage exclaimed, "Hush now-that's a nice Corvette," and the Vette's rather unorthodox moniker was born. Elderly admirers notwithstanding, Hynson soon realized the car didn't have what it took to win on the competitive show circuit.
The car was clearcoated, and more chrome was added. When a trip to a local Chevrolet dealer revealed a faulty engine block, a replacement block was ordered under warranty. While the motor was pulled, Hynson convinced the dealership mechanic to install a set of Lingenfelter-modified heads he had purchased. When the tech erroneously installed an LS6 block in the car, Hynson readily accepted, and the foundation of an ultra-high-output performance engine was in place.
Later in 2001, a twin-turbo system was installed by Garwood, New Jersey-based tuner Cartek, boosting Hush Now's output to around 600 hp. This modification sparked an obsession with horsepower and a growing relationship with the staff of the shop. In 2005, Cartek was retained once again to build a 427ci motor for the car. "The build was a team effort with all of the Cartek staff working on the project," says Dave Busch, the shop's owner.
East Coast Supercharging (ECS) finished the project by installing a Paxton Novi 2000 supercharger kit and a methanol-injection system. "The car was a beast, so I added C6 Z06 chrome wheels-19 inches in the front and 20 inches in the rear-with a set of Michelin Pilot tires to get better control," Hynson says.
Next on the agenda was a mild remodeling of the interior, a task undertaken by Hot Rod Fabrications of Denton, Maryland. Black and purple materials were blended into the seats in the original pattern, while the console and door panels were highlighted in snakeskin fabric and chrome.
The interior remake was followed up with a complete sound system from AEX of Annapolis. "The American Racing headers and exhaust system gave the car an aggressive sound that would overwhelm any standard stereo," says Hynson. AEX crafted an eardrum-melting custom audio rig using high-end gear from JL Audio and Alpine, then topped off the whole package with matching snakeskin material and multiple LED accent lights.
Finally, Hynson added more chrome to the engine compartment and commissioned Imagine That Custom Painting to design an eye-catching underhood graphic that would wow showgoers. The end result of all this performance and cosmetic work has been a string of First and Second place show trophies and an undefeated record against the various Viper, Porsche, and Ferrari drivers who have been foolish enough to tangle with Hush Now on the street.
Just how fast is the car? According to Cartek, a C5 convertible with a similar engine package turned a 9.37-second quarter-mile at over 130 mph. Running on a dragstrip, however, would require the installation of a rollbar, something Hynson admits he'd consider under the right circumstances. "Only if it's chrome," he says.