The family that handles guns together, stays together. As proof, meet Mark and Nida Del Campo. They're a match made in heaven: He's been in the Marine Corps on active duty for 20 years, while she's an ex-Marine now in law enforcement. No surprise, then, that one of their favorite pastimes is hanging out at the shooting range, sharpening their aim. Not exactly the plot of a Harlequin romance, but it works for them.
They have another high-caliber hobby as well: a fully loaded '04 C5. Blacked out in a stealth-mode color scheme, this baby is armed for bear with a blown-and-built 402-cube mill that fires off 750 horses and 707 lb-ft at the rear wheels.
What led them to create such a high-velocity Vette? They already had some history with Corvettes before loading this bad boy into the breech.
"I first had a taste of the Corvette lifestyle when I purchased an '86 C4 back in 2002," Mark recalls. "It was a red coupe, and I enjoyed the times I was able to drive it. But I had more problems with that car than you can imagine, which led me to search for my first C5."
That led to buying a 30,000-mile '01 automatic (which the Campos still have) back in 2004. The '01 has Halltech's Stinger air intake, along with 1 3/4-inch American Racing headers and GHL Bullets out back, all installed by Andy Green at A&A Corvette Performance in Oxnard, California. That ride wasn't just for the street, either.
"We took the '01 out to Willow Springs International Raceway in Rosamond to participate in our very first road-racing event with Speedventures," he adds. "That was the most thrilling experience we've ever had with the Corvette." But the exhilaration of pulling the trigger on the track left them with a yearning for more.
Initially they considered a Z06. While checking around for a deal on one, "I got a message from Andy of A&A about this newer C5," Mark relates. "I mentioned to Nida that this would be even faster than a Z06, and that we should go and take a look at it."
Originally, the car had a 383 with a ProCharger D-1 head unit, 1 3/4-inch Stainless Works headers, and Borla stingers. But all was not right with the setup.
"Once I heard the car, I said, 'Something needs to change,'" Mark recalls. In other words, a lot more firepower was needed. Prior to picking up the Vette, he asked Green at A&A to swap the 383 for a 402 and add an AIS methanol injection. To keep up with the fueling demands of the bigger mill, Green also installed one of his fuel systems pumping through 75-pound injectors.