1994 Chevrolet Corvette - Arctic Blast

A C4 Maven Builds A '94 Coupe That's Glacially Cool

Christopher R. Phillip Jul 1, 2008 0 Comment(s)
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Power moves from the crank to a 3,200- rpm lock-up torque converter, rearward to the bulletproof 4L60E, and then through a factory driveshaft to a 3.33-geared Dana 44 rear from an '89 six-speed Corvette. Webster also replaced the rear wheel bearings and the universal joints with Spicer products.

The Vette's ride and handling are meliorated with an RPO Code Z07 adjustable-suspension package employing a lowered "FHB" front spring sourced from a '91 coupe, a lowered "BMF" rear spring, and Koni adjustable shocks at all four corners. Braking comes from factory JL9 four-wheel discs. GM A-mold 17x9.5-inch wheels bolt to the hubs and are wrapped in Hankook Ventus Sport (front) and Federal SS 595 (rear) 275/40ZR17 rubber. Webster had the wheels powdercoated in white before fitting them to the car, but he kept the center covers in their stock silver color to add contrast to the nearly all-white exterior.

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The last steps of the restoration involved brightening the engine area. Webster removed the factory valve covers and painted them blue. Braided stainless-steel lines were also added to protect the hoses from damage.

The verdict? Webster says his Corvette is a blast to drive, and the modified LT1 has gobs of power. Even though his earlier Vette had more "low-end punch," he says the '94 "pulls extremely hard from 3,000-6,000 rpm." The numbers back up these statements: The LT1 produces 413.7 hp at 4,800 rpm on an engine dyno, nearly 114 more than stock.

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"They have both been great," Webster says of the two Corvettes. "The '87 was a factory-perfect example, and I didn't want to start changing it from that. It was a very reliable car. But the '94 is all power, and although it still looks pretty stock, it's a lot further from it than many people would ever be able to tell. I wouldn't say I like either one better than the other. I love them both, although the '94 is now a far better car than the '87 could've ever been."

Given the 168,000 miles on its odometer, it's hard to believe the Corvette retains its original paint and still looks factory pristine. Webster attributes it to the use of Australia's Bowden's Own car-care products. Whatever the reason, his hard work and attention to detail have paid off with some serious show-car accolades. The car took Second Place at the 2005 Corvette Classic at Southbank Parklands in Brisbane, followed by First Place at the show in 2006 and another Second in 2007.

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As much as he enjoys shows, going fast in his Corvette is even more entertaining to Webster. "On my way home from work one night I had guy following me in a modified Nissan 200SX Turbo," he tells us. "The road was two lanes, and I was cruising along, thinking how mature he was to be just cruising along, too, when he suddenly sped past me out of nowhere. Knowing there was a set of traffic lights coming up, I was hoping he would get stopped on a red, and as luck would have it, he did.

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"As he sat there revving his rice-burner, I chuckled to myself and sat there calm, reached over and shut off the Acceleration Slip Regulation (ASR), and waited for the green light. I was quietly confident as the light went green, and if the road wasn't dead straight, he wouldn't have known which way I'd gone. I must've put three car lengths on him by the time I was at 100 kph [62 mph]. Shortly after that, I was back in 'cruise home mode,' and he flew past me as if he won!"

Yes, Webster, it looks like you really are the winner. After all, you're the one with the Web site, your car is featured in VETTE, and although you're 6,350 statute miles from the Arctic Circle, driving is always a blast-an Arctic Blast that is.

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