A rollcage was also installed, but with an interesting twist: The upper section for the doors is recessed, allowing a portion of the cage to swing open but eliminating the side windows in the process. As a concession to tradition, the gauges were kept traditional, with no digital readouts.
The exterior mods included not one, but two pairs of fender flares on each side, in order to overlay those massive Michelin meats (measuring 345/30-19). The width of the car is now nearly 10 inches more than stock, and the rear spoiler 1.5 inches taller. The front spoiler and cowl piece are original-spec items patterned after the James Garner Corvette racers, and the headlights are FIA-style with yellow high beams.
A C4 setup was initially planned for all four corners, but Mercer later opted for hlins custom-valved coilovers with Eibach springs. (The rearend had a C4 configuration from Newman Car Creations, but that's now being upgraded after the third member grenaded on the track). Stoppers are a combination of Alcon and Baer components, with six-piston calipers and 13.5-inch rotors. Kevin Long of Campbell admits that the brake bias was one of the trickier aspects to address, partly because the car isn't suitable for street driving and really needs to be opened up on the track to sort out the chassis.
Which leads us to the next act: that wild-ass, deafening monster under the strobe-striped hood. (By the way, the color scheme pays homage to those patriotic-looking endurance racers, but in a fresh way, using blue instead of white as a basecoat.)
The Keith Black block measures a whopping 540 cubes and is topped by a Kinsler cross-ram induction on AFR heads. The brain for this insane, fuel-injected mill is an Accel Gen 7 system. The 806 horses it produces pummel a Quaife sequential six-speed, but without the paddle-shift feature. Using the clutch on this $20,000 unit is optional: "You just wham it and go," says Campbell's Kevin Long.
All of which makes for a serious threat on the track. On one outing at a road course (the Optima Street Car Invitational, sponsored by our sister magazine Hot Rod), it took Second Place overall running on street tires, while manned by a driver who normally only competes on straight-line courses. (First place went to a '69 Camaro running on racing rubber.)
Mercer admits he hasn't been able to enjoy his Stingray as much as he'd like, but says the result is highly satisfying. "It ended up an animal," he says. "It should not be driven on the street. It's bred for the track." And when he heads out to the road course in his patriotic Corvette, his fellow Porschephiles don't quite know what to make it of it. They just shake their heads, and run for cover. The Sting has arrived.