Backing up this serious engine is an equally serious auto trans. The 4L60E is built to Level V specs by RPM and complemented with a 3,400-stall FTI converter. “We chose RPM’s trans because it is a direct fit, and they don’t fail, even behind big engines,” Lovell explains. Once power flows through a Driveshaft Shop ’shaft, it makes its way through a swapped-in Z06 rear. After that, around 600 lb-ft of twist is Michelin’s problem.
Speaking of putting rubber to the road, Lovell offered up a few more clues as to the mystery man’s goals for the C5.
“This car was to be an all-around superstar. Sure, Anciello wanted the largest commonly available engine, along with a cubic-inch number to brag about. But the plan was not to simply do one thing well—it was to do all things very well.”
On that note, let’s talk suspension. While AntiVenom was dropping in the big crate, the shop was also enhancing the C5’s already formidable cornering prowess. Pfadt coilovers were added front and rear; in addition to more-precise handling, they lowered the car by 1.25 inches. The factory 23mm front and 19mm rear sway bars were replaced with 34mm/28mm units, and the wheels were upgraded to chrome WCC C6 rims wearing Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires. C6 Z51 brakes are a powerful upgrade over the stockers, and they fill out those big rims well.
A handful of tasteful exterior effects—ACP hood, fascia, spoiler, and black accents—were added for a more aggressive look. When it hit the paint booth, the ’99 was drenched in ’09 Victory Red, with the rear getting straight black. Topping off the flawless paint, contemporary “LSX 620 HP” and classic “454” badges warn would-be competitors of impending danger.
But as we hear it, Anciello doesn’t get many takers—and those who try soon regret it. “Joe said that anyone who has ever tried him gave up very quickly,” Lovell says. “We found that the car will break the tires loose at 120 miles an hour.” Yeah, adding nearly 300 ponies to a low-13-second sports car will do that.
And about that horsepower: The LSX454 is rated at 620 ponies from the factory—and GM has been known to be a touch conservative. With all of Anciello’s extra mods and a solid custom tune, we have to wonder: Is he sandbagging on the power numbers? Just like its owner, that will remain a mystery.
|Owner||Joe Anciello; Tampa, FL|
|Heads||GMPP LSX-LS7 aluminum|
|Valves||2.20-in titanium intake/1.61-in hollow exhaust|
|Camshaft||GMPP hydraulic roller (236/246-deg duration at 0.050, 0.648/0.648-in lift, 110-deg LSA)|
|Pistons||GMPP forged aluminum|
|Crankshaft||GMPP 4340 forged steel; 4.125 in, eight-bolt flange|
|Rods||GMPP 4340 forged steel, 6-in|
|Intake Manifold||FAST LSXR with 100mm Comtech Performance throttle body|
|Fuel Pump||255-lph Racetronix in-tank|
|Fuel Injector||GM 42-lb/hr|
|Ignition||Hidden stock coils with MSD wires|
|Engine Management||Stock PCM|
|Exhaust System||American Racing 1.875-in headers and “X” crossover, 3-to-2.5-in Borla Classic S-Type “Stinger” exhaust|
|Transmission||Level V 4L60E by RPM Transmissions|
|Torque Converter||FTI with 3,400-rpm stall speed|
|Rearend||’02 Z06 with 3.42 gears|
|Front Suspension||34mm sway bar, Pfadt coilovers|
|Rear Suspension||28mm sway bar, Pfadt coilovers|
|Front Brakes||13-in C6 Z51 rotors, polished calipers|
|Rear Brakes||12-in C6 Z51 rotors, polished calipers|
|Wheels||West Coast Corvettes chrome C6; 18x9 front, 19x10.5 rear|
|Front Tires||Michelin PS2 255/35ZR18|
|Rear Tires||Michelin PS2 305/30ZR19|
|Miles Driven Weekly||50|
05 The interior was redone prior to the 454 build. Red-leather accents separate this ’99 Vette from the pack. 06 Skull-and-crossbones seat embroidery lets gawkers know there’s power behind the flash. 07 Classy throwback “454” emblems adorn the hood and front fascia. 08 Additional interior enhancements include a Pioneer stereo/nav system mounted in the factory dash.