Over the course of the next two show seasons, Crisafi racked up 30-plus First Place awards in Tri-State–area car shows, but that merely whetted his appetite for even more mods. In 2009, he color-coordinated the Z's cabin with Velocity Yellow custom seat and interior trim and a DS Vettes custom steering wheel, which were sewn and installed by Automat in Hicksville, New York.
Was he finished?
"Not even close," he says.
As a prelude to the 2010 show season, Crisafi took the Vette to Checkers Auto Appearance Center in Egg Harbor, New Jersey, for a host of exterior and engine-bay appearance upgrades. "I was already earning First Places at every show I entered," he says. "I wanted to [take] my car to the next level--a real show stopper," he says.
Checkers owner Steve Amadio suggested backlit Z06 emblems, which he made by cutting the outlines of the factory Z06 cloisonné badges from the Corvette's carbon-fiber fenders, installing flush-mount acrylic inserts, airbrushing them with the Z06 logo, and illuminating them with LED bars. Crisafi controls the light show with programmable switches mounted inside the glovebox. "Not only can I light the Z06 emblems with a flick of the switch, but I can flash them fast or slow, and fade them in or out," he says.
Checkers then turned up the heat on the Z's engine-bay aesthetics, including ceramic-coating the long-tubes to match the red color of the silicone hoses that Crisafi had previously installed, painting the fuel rails Velocity Yellow (complete with Corvette and 427 callouts, and a carbon-fiber-style center band), airbrushing checkered-flag designs on the Callaway Honker CAI airbox and radiator cover, installing stainless-steel covers, and more. When they were done, the underhood area was ready to take on all comers.
Amadio and his team then added one-off details to the Corvette's exterior: airbrushing Z06 logos onto the headlight assemblies' inserts, applying carbon-fiber-style hydrographics to the headlight pods, and painting the wheel drums black, with a contrasting Corvette logo on each in Velocity Yellow.
Final touches were performed by a local craftsman who goes by the moniker "J.T." He applied hand-pinstriping on the door coves and a "Skream'n Bee" logo on the rear-bumper cover.
To date, Crisafi's Z has tallied more than 40 First Place show awards--and he's proven his Z has as much go as show by storming the (Englishtown, New Jersey) Raceway Park quarter-mile strip in 11.1 seconds.
What does the future hold for this zippy Z? "I've taken many First Places and Best of Shows, and I really feel I've transformed my Corvette into a rolling work of art," Crisafi concludes. "Beyond that, I've been blessed with the best honor a Corvette owner can ever wish for--I'm in VETTE magazine!"
What can we say to top that except, "Never argue with a cop"?
Lou Crisafi thanks Ed Gentile from TKO Performance in Long Island, who helped him with parts and advice.
|Owner||Lou Crisafi; Brooklyn, NY|
|Block||Stock cast aluminum with pressed-in cylinder sleeves and six-bolt, forged-steel main bearing caps|
|Heads||Cartek LS7X aluminum with Comp 921 valvesprings, titanium retainers, steel locators, and new valve seals; hand porting and polishing by Brooklyn Vettes|
|Valves||2.20 titanium/1.61 sodium-filled|
|Camshaft||Cartek LS7X cam (227/242-deg duration, 0.608/0.610-in lift, 116-deg LSA)|
|Rocker Arms||1.8-ratio, offset (intake only)|
|Pistons||Stock hypereutectic aluminum|
|Crankshaft||Stock forged steel|
|Rods||Stock forged titanium|
|Intake Manifold||Stock composite|
|Throttle Body||Ported stock 90mm|
|Ignition||Stock coil-near-plug, GM Performance Parts high-performance wires, NGK TR55 plugs|
|Engine Management||Stock ECU with Cartek race-performance tune|
|Exhaust System||American Racing long-tube headers (ceramic coated by Checker Auto) with 1.875-in primaries, X-style crossover with integrated high-flow catalytic converters, Corsa Sport Exhaust|
|Transmission||Stock TR-6060 six-speed manual|
|Front Brakes||Stock six-piston calipers with cross-drilled rotors|
|Rear Brakes||Stock four-piston calipers with cross-drilled rotors|
|Wheels||West Coast Corvette 946 chrome, 18x9.5/19x12 (front/rear)|
|Front Tires||Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar Extended Mobility, 285/35ZR18|
|Rear Tires||Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar Extended Mobility, 325/30ZR19|
|Miles Driven Weekly||Approximately 30|