2001 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 - Capital Thrill

A Military Musician Orchestrates A High-Performance Corvette Symphony

Christopher R. Phillip Apr 1, 2009 0 Comment(s)
Vemp_0904_05_z 2001_chevrolet_corvette_Z06 Rear_view 1/13

The system is located in the Corvette's hatch area, where it reposes beneath a 1-inch-thick Plexiglas-and-vinyl cover fabricated by Neil Jurik of Two Brothers Customs. The methanol is routed via braided lines that run under the rear of the car, through the driver-side rocker panel, and into the engine compartment. "I drilled and tapped the throttle body to accept an AIS brass fitting and connected the lines so [the methanol] sprays directly into the top of the throttle body," Wheeler says.

To optimize the Vette's power potential, he sent it to East Coast Supercharging of Cream Ridge, New Jersey, for tuning and dyno testing. (Additional tuning was performed by Larry Hasty in Washington.) Surprising both the dyno techs and Wheeler himself, the Z06 easily pulled 547 rear-wheel horsepower with a stock block and heads, and a modest 8 pounds of boost.

Vemp_0904_06_z 2001_chevrolet_corvette_Z06 Supercharger 2/13

Beautifying The Capital
"I was extremely careful to pick parts that worked together, because I really appreciate a well- thought-out build," Wheeler says. "I started with a Motor City Mold [MCM] carbon-fiber hood with a cleared center section. The dark colors of the carbon gave the car a distinct look without being too over-the-top. The hood complements the lines of the C5 very well."

Next, he added a set of West Coast Muscle Car carbon-fiber brake ducts in the rear. "A lot of enthusiasts were just slapping carbon fiber over the top of their existing ducts, but I pulled the stock ductwork out and removed the outer shell. I epoxied the new carbon piece to the inside half and sanded the new ductwork to sit perfectly flush with the body. I can't tell you how much difference a small detail like this makes in terms of the overall appearance of a build," he says.

Vemp_0904_07_z 2001_chevrolet_corvette_Z06 Engine 3/13

With that done, Wheeler added a stylish Caravaggio rear spoiler to lend some elegance and a little extra length to the profile of the car. That piece was followed by a carbon-fiber front splitter made by Adrian Assemi of Elite Custom Auto Center in La Mesa, California, along with a set of custom "Andy Wheeler" signature emblems manufactured by Austin Barnett Designs in Brainerd, Minnesota. To complete the theme, Wheeler installed a set of Modular Concept Carbon Concept 01 wheels, which feature a gloss-black lip, a Torch Red pinstripe, and a full carbon-fiber face.

Vemp_0904_08_z 2001_chevrolet_corvette_Z06 Front_view 4/13

"The wheels really made all the difference in the exterior for me," Wheeler says. "They pull the hood and brake scoops together and really gave the car a great outward appearance. To this day, this is still the only set of carbon wheels the company has produced for a C5, and I'm proud to have worked with them."

With the exterior redecorated, Wheeler turned his talents to the engine bay. "The blower looked great, but the engine compartment lacked the visual punch the exterior had," he says. "I started by having Tony Garcia at MPH Parts paint the LS6 manifold with a hydrographic carbon-fiber process, and it turned out amazing. Then, I switched to a Reichard Racing pulley to add a little more boost to the Vortech S-Trim blower. It's painted gloss black with a nice Torch Red pinstripe to match the wheels. It's a small detail, but it really brings the outside of the car into the engine bay."

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