Mealing topped the assembly with a Weiand blower intake and a Holley 930-cfm "double pumper" carb, then finished things off in grand fashion with a polished Weiand 177 supercharger. Other notable powertrain upgrades include a Comp Cams camshaft to direct the valvetrain action, a full complement of MSD ignition components, a Milodon 7-quart pan to keep things lubricated, and polished Hooker headers and side pipes to give the exhaust a plausible escape route.
The power is transmitted to the pavement via a high-stall (2,800 rpm) torque converter, a shift-kitted Pro Comp Turbo-350 automatic, a balanced driveshaft, and a Dana 44 rear stuffed with Richmond 3.70 gears. The result, according to the owner, is a dyno-verified 525 rwhp, or about three times the power the Corvette left the factory with 30 years earlier.
With the powertrain buttoned up, McDonald upgraded the car's suspension to handle the exponential power increase. He added Edelbrock IAS shocks at all four corners, along with a fiberglass leaf spring and an aftermarket sway bar in the rear. Classic good looks and a comfortable ride come courtesy of Yokohama 255/60R15 tires wrapped in American Racing Torq-Thrust II wheels.
Although it wasn't used in the aforementioned dyno test, McDonald also added an Edelbrock NOS kit complete with a heater blanket and a polished bottle. If utilized, it would infuse the already brawny Vette with an additional 100 to 250 horses of instant muscle power.
Other accoutrements include a polished March pulley system; an aluminum radiator; braided brake and cooler lines; a chrome power-brake booster, master cylinder, and alternator; and Chevy Bow Tie tall valve covers. Future mods will involve the addition of a Garlits 6-71 SC500 Streetcatcher supercharger and a new custom hood.
"My idea was to have a Vette on steroids, but still a streetable machine," McDonald says. We think he proved his point with one of his recent timeslips, a 10.4-second sizzler down the 1,320.
Considering that the '79 sauntered down the quarter-mile in 15.3 seconds when new, it's clear that McDonald's ministrations have had the desired effect. Now all he needs to do is to install a DVD player to watch Corvette Summer-while he's turning heads and racking up impressive timeslips in his unique C3, of course.