The Right Stuf

Skin deep is just the start...

Drew Hardin Jul 21, 2005 0 Comment(s)
0508_5z 1999_Chevrolet_Corvette_Coupe Intake_View 1/10

Air for the Magna Charger moves through this AFE dual-flow intake kit.

Why was hood fitting necessary? Beforestarting the bodywork, Dean decided to add some driveline beef to hisVette in the form of an intercooled Magnuson supercharger. Thecombination of the intercooler (which is integrated with the intakemanifold) and the Magna Charger's twin-screw case required ataller-than-stock hood, which is what led Dean to the ACI piece in thefirst place. But cracks in the hood's fresh paint were evidence that theblown small-block's rumble was making contact with the bulge, so Mikehad to perform some custom 'glass work to provide the necessaryclearance.

0508_6z 1999_Chevrolet_Corvette_Coupe Magna_Charger_Decal_Close_View 2/10

Yes, the Magna Charger system for the LS1 is 50-state smog legal.

The Magna Charger pumped up the LS1's output by more than 150hp on the chassis dyno, but Dean wasn't quite finished yet. He replacedthe stock exhaust system with Billy Boat stainless steel Tri-Flo headersand pipes, which, when coupled with some choice tuning tricks,ultimately pushed the Vette's output to over 600 horses and more than500 lb-ft of torque at the wheels. Ask Dean how he likes the powerplantand the former drag racer (fuel altereds and early Funny Cars back inthe day) smiles. "On the way to Vegas I was going about 65 mph in Fourthgear, stood on it, and completely broke the tires loose," he says.

0508_7z 1999_Chevrolet_Corvette_Coupe Muffler_Close_View 3/10

At the other end of the power equation is a Billy Boat stainless-steelheader and exhaust system, feeding these stainless trumpets.

Thetires Dean was burning down weren't junk either: BFGoodrich g-Force KDWsmounted to Weld Evo 705 Axis II rims. West Coast Corvettes gets thecredit for lowering the Vette's suspension by more than 31/2 inches,while Hrant Auto Service in Pasadena helped sort out the rest of thechassis and install the brakes--a hybrid system that uses BaerEradiSpeed rotors and Stainless Steel Brakes three-piston calipers infront, and Z06 calipers clamping the Baer rotors in back.

All theengine, powertrain, and chassis work was completed before Dean took thecar to Mike Face for paint. Once Mike had the hood and other body piecesin place, he shot the car with House of Kolor paints starting with aPavo Purple metallic base coat. Striper Lil' Louie masked off the ghostflames, which started life as a silver metallic base coat on top of thePavo Purple. Next, the whole car was shot with purple candy to give itits light purple/dark purple effect. Lil' Louie then came back to maskoff the traditional flames, which are built on a white base coat andconsist of Sunrise Yellow on the nose, fading to Sunset Yellow and thento Tangelo at the flame ends. Lil' Louie pinstriped the flames--darkpurple on the ghost licks, red on the brighter ones--and then the wholecar was treated to no fewer than 10 coats of clear to give it anultra-smooth, miles-deep finish.

As we talked to Dean, he explainedthat, a year after the upgrades began, the Vette is still a work inprogress. The interior is virtually untouched, and he's trying to figureout what to do in there. He's got his work cut out for him if he thinkshe can top this car's gorgeous exterior.

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