By: Christopher R. Phillip
Photography: Patrick Hill
Model: Christy Colley
Stylist: Shelley Giard-Talbott
In the days preceding the '07 Performance Racing Industry (PRI, www.performanceracing.com) show in Orlando, the unmistakable sound of twin turbos could be heard announcingthe arrival of a special guest at VETTE HQ in nearby Tampa. Collectivelyleaving our desks to determine the source of the forced-inductionfusillade, we discovered a C6 convertible adorned in LeMans Blue,clothed in sponsorship decals, and proudly declaring the name "Fidanza"(www.fidanza.com) across its front windshield.
Out from the road rocket stepped Bob Scheid, the performance-partsmanufacturer's VP. He had traveled from Fidanza's corporate office inPerry, Ohio, to give us a personal tour of his company's extrovertedtest-cum-show car. "This is my daily driver," Scheid said, pointing tothe Lambo-doored '05, "and it makes 975 hp at the rear wheels."
While Editor Heath and his office manservant familiarized themselveswith the car's formidable dynamic capabilities, your author sat downwith Scheid to learn how he and the folks at Fidanza brought a run-of-the-mill C6 up to the millenniummark in flywheel horsepower.
"Our roots trace back to Jaguar E-Type racing and the SCCA NationalClass C championship in 1980," he said. "Street and track performance ismore than our business--it's our passion and legacy. Our Corvette C6 isevidence of just that, and it's not just a show car. We use it to testour new Corvette products."
Let's face it. Most companies won't build a 975rwhp Corvette just tocollect data on the reliability and durability of the products theyoffer. But according to Scheid, this was the most obvious way forFidanza to show that its Corvette clutches, flywheels, and shifters areamong the best in the business.
"Our customers see the benefit in knowing that the same parts we sell tothem, we also use on our own cars. And we're picky. We practice what wepreach," he said. "When a customer has a question about the driveablityor performance of our Corvette parts, we can speak with firsthandknowledge.
"Most of our employees, including me, are Corvette nuts. They havecertain expectations when they spend their hard-earned money on a performance part, and we try to exceed those with our products."