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2007 Chevy Corvette - Exceeding Expectations

Andrew Oswald's 9-second 2007 Chevy Corvette is as subtle as it is surprising.

Randall D. Allen Jul 30, 2012
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To the average car enthusiast, it sounds like just another C6 with a louder-than-stock exhaust and an aftermarket camshaft. And that's exactly what Andrew Oswald had in mind when he designed it: to blend in, seem like every other lightly modded C6 on the street... and then unleash the beast to leave the other "fast" street cars in the dust.

According to Oswald, "Nobody believes that a stock-block LS2 can propel a C6 into the 9s reliably--and certainly not in something you jump in and drive to work." And yet Oswald's car has turned a best e.t. of 9.74 seconds with a 150-horsepower shot of nitrous, making it the fastest stock-block-LS2, manual-transmission C6 in the country.

Oswald, a personal banker, purchased the 1LT-equipped '07 coupe new and swore to keep it stock. "That worked well for a while, until I was surfing the Internet and came upon a YouTube video of a C6 with a camshaft and exhaust," he says. "Just the sound of the power emanating through the computer convinced me that those mods would be the final touches for a great car."

Little did Oswald know that those two alterations--combined with a single pass at the dragstrip--would unleash an addiction that would transform this street-driven coupe C6 into a legitimate contender for the top spot on the Corvette Forum's Fast List for "LS2-internal M6s."

To propel a street C6 into the 9s, most enthusiasts' first choice is to stroke the LS engine into the 427- to 454ci range and add a supercharger or turbocharger kit. But what about the Vette owner who lusts for those performance figures, but isn't in a financial position to underwrite such a build? While the factory LS2 block--with its comparatively diminutive 6.0-liter displacement, hypereutectic pistons, and powder-cracked rods--is known to hold together into the 600hp range, few dare to push the output much higher.

Oswald comments, "To produce over 800 hp on the stock block takes a careful selection of parts and the right people to install and tune the combination. This build didn't happen overnight but was instead the culmination of over four years of effort in order to accomplish my goals."

With an LG Motorsports cam, headers, and exhaust system installed, the car put out just over 500 crankshaft horsepower and ran mid-11-second quarter-mile times on drag radials. To crack into the 10s on motor alone, Oswald started by addressing the cylinder heads and intake side of the power equation, while also reducing the C6's weight.

A Callaway Honker cold-air intake pulls in dense air, which then flows through a Lingenfelter 100mm mass airflow sensor and on into the LS2 throttle body. Rather than reusing the restrictive LS2 intake manifold, Oswald sourced a FAST LSX 92mm unit, which was ported by Vengeance Racing and then painted gloss black. The LG G6X3 cam really started paying dividends when the stock heads were replaced with a set of Trick Flow 225s that Total Engine Airflow had modified with 65cc combustion chambers.

As Oswald amassed dozens of practice runs at the track, his elapsed times started to plummet. Not surprisingly, the stock clutch and differential eventually needed to be upgraded, so LG installed an RPS BC2 LSX twin disc unit and an RPM Transmissions Stage III differential with 4.10 gears and beefed-up halfshafts. The fortified parts shaved weight and made 2,800-3000-rpm clutch dumps permissible, which, when combined with Mickey Thompson E.T. Street tires, yielded 1.57 60-foot times.

Additional efforts to reduce poundage included installing a Meziere electric water pump and a Braille lightweight battery. The culmination of these efforts was an astonishing 10.58 e.t. with a trap speed of 131.4 mph, setting a new motor-only record for six-speed LS2 cars.

While others might have rested on their laurels, Oswald set a new goal of having a daily driven 9-second C6. After careful research a plan of attack was formulated with Dave Vasser, owner of Nitrous Outlet. The idea they came up with was to combine the company's LS1/LS2 EFI Plate System with a NANO Nitrous kit, and have Vasser and technician David Clark do a rare install in their shop outside of Waco, Texas. The resulting system is operated via one of Nitrous Outlet's Corvette-specific switch panels.

Once Oswald was back in the Dallas area, LG installed a Lingenfelter timing-retard module and tweaked the tune to ensure it would be safe both on and off the bottle. Set up for a 150hp "shot," the plate system delivered as promised on the chassis dyno. All that remained was to set up the Nitrous Outlet progressive controller and head to the track to see if the car would break into the 9s.

With the controller dialed in, the C6 was ready to go. Oswald elaborates: "The nitrous is set to come in between 3,500 and 6,800 rpm, and it ramps from 50 to 100 percent a full second into a run. This ramp rate worked perfectly, as the first time on spray it pinned me back in the seat--I knew it had to be the fastest pass to date.

"That was confirmed when my buddy, Joseph White, handed me a timeslip that showed 9.74 with a 1.46-second 60-foot time. We both jumped around like kids from the exhilaration of the achievement. What an adrenaline rush."

Not one to rest on his laurels, Oswald's next goals are to reach 9.50 on spray and 10.38 on motor alone. Potential changes being bandied about include a conversion to E85 fuel, a larger intake manifold, and even a "drag pack" wheel/tire package. But regardless of what modifications he makes in the future, this subtle screamer seems destined to continue defying expectations.

Andrew Oswald thanks Louis Gigliotti, Dave Vasser, Joseph White, and the many other technicians who lent their considerable expertise to this build.

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07 Lest you think this C6 is only fast on juice, it's run a blistering 10.58 at 131.4 on motor alone. Enabling the custom Nitrous Outlet plate kit bumps power from 526 to 672 horses and torque from 478 to 696 lb-ft.

Spec Sheet

'07 Coupe

Owner Andrew Oswald; Lewisville, TX
Block LS2 aluminum
Displacement 364 ci
Heads Trick Flow 225, milled to 62 cc by Total Engine Airflow
Valves Trick Flow 2.055/1.575 stainless steel
Camshaft LG Motorsports G6X3 hydraulic roller
Rocker arms Stock 1.70-ratio
Pistons Stock LS2 hypereutectic
Rods Stock LS2 powdered-metal steel
Crankshaft Stock LS2 iron
Intake Manifold FAST 92mm, ported by Vengeance Racing
Throttle Body Stock LS2 90mm
Fuel Injectors LS3 47-lb/hr
Ignition Stock coil-on-plug
Power Adder Nitrous Outlet Custom Plate/NANO nitrous system
Exhaust System LG Motorsports C6 Z06 1-3/4-in stainless-steel long-tube headers and 3-in “X” center section, B&B Bullet 3-in after-cat exhaust
Transmission Stock Tremec T56 six-speed manual with MGW shifter
Clutch RPS BC2 LSX billet-carbon twin-disc with aluminum flywheel
Driveshaft Stock
Front Suspension Stock F55, lowered on West Coast Corvette lowering bolts
Rear Suspension Stock F55, lowered on West Coast Corvette lowering bolts
RearEnd RPM Transmissions Stage III differential with 4.10 gears and C5 Z06 halfshafts
Brakes C5 two-piston calipers with 12.6-in rotors (front), C6 single-piston calipers with 12.0-in rotors (rear)
Wheels Black-powdercoated C6; 18x8.5 (front), 19x10 (rear)
Tires BFGoodrich KDW; 245/40ZR18 (front), 285/35ZR19 (rear)
Fuel Octane 93
Weight 3,100 lbs with driver (3,150 with driver and nitrous)
Current mileage 57,000



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