1999 Chevrolet Corvette - Rabid Fire

This C5 Drag Car Puts The "Bite" On The Competition

Christopher R. Phillip Nov 1, 2008 0 Comment(s)
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"My Vette was shipped to Antwerp, Belgium, as part of the C5 Registry's 'March to LeMans' to be with the C5-R factory race cars," Fisher recalls. "The Corvettes participated in the 'Grande Parade des Pilotes' on the streets of LeMans with 50,000 people cheering us on.

"The next day, we drove two laps at La Sarthe. They were supposed to be parade laps, but how many chances does one get to 'let her rip' on the most famous race course in the world? So, after leading the 20 U.S. Corvettes around on Lap One, I got to the start/finish line and went pedal to the metal. I reached 163 mph on the Mulsanne Strait. It was a thrill that will last a lifetime."

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In 2003, Fisher felt it was time to give his Corvette another power fix. "He came back and told me he wanted the Corvette to scream," Walker says. "By this time, it had been accessorized with a heat-extraction hood, fixed headlamps, center driving lights, and six-point rollbar, and it weighed 3,400 pounds. I discussed with him an engine combo that would propel his heavier-than-stock C5 into the high-10s."

Walker installed a 6.0L LQ9 iron block that had been bored to 4.038 inches and stuffed with a Lunati forged rotating assembly to yield a whopping 422 ci. A Comp hydraulic roller cam with 242/248-degree duration, 0.622/0.618-inch lift, and a 114-degree lobe-separation angle was chosen to operate the valvetrain. For exhaust, Fisher decided upon LG Motorsports long-tube headers, 3-inch pipes, a MagnaFlow perforated cross-pipe, and SLP 2.75-inch quad tailpipes. More recently, Walker added a ported LS3/L92 top-end setup, bumping compression to 11:1.

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GM components were retained for the front and rear suspension, though QA1 adjustable shocks were added at all four corners. Stock C5 calipers clamp drilled-and-slotted Eradispeed rotors, while CCW wheels shod in fat Michelin PS2 rubber help this "batty" Corvette put the bite on the road. All maintenance work is performed by RevXtreme of Sarasota, Florida.

With a 422ci stroker under his hood, Fisher felt obligated to increase his drag-racing involvement. He joined the Summit Racing Series and entered the Florida Corvette Challenge, where he successfully took runner-up for the '05 season and Third Place in 2006.

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In 2007, Fisher decided to give his Corvette a rabid cosmetic makeover by transforming it into the ultimate homage to Meatloaf's Bat Out of Hell album. He turned to Brett Newell of Buck's Body Shop and Custom Refinishing in Lake Wales for assistance.

"He asked for something that would catch everybody's eye," Newell says. "We went through dozens of paint-chip samples and both agreed on an '08 GM paint color, Sunburst Orange Metallic, which we applied using a PPG BC/CC system. Then, armed with the BOH album cover and drawings of vicious and frightening bats, we had our airbrush artist, Mike Hobbs, recreate the album theme on the Corvette's rear fascia. He also colonized the hood and side panels with similar graphics."

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The paint and artwork were completed in April 2008, nearly 10 years after Fisher placed his original order for the car. "My goals with the car are ongoing," he says. "There's always something to make it better, faster, and more consistent.

"As far as the looks of the car, it's never going to change until I'm gone. And when I die, I want to go like my grandfather, who died peacefully in his sleep-not screaming like the passenger in his Corvette."

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