A fat footprint on the tarmac not only looks great on a Corvette, it's a necessity when trying to put substantially more power to the ground than was available from the factory. And these days, considering the ease with which LS2 and LS3 performance can be exponentially increased, we figure that's an issue that concerns more than a few readers.
Problem is, stuffing wider rubber under the stock rear fenders of a C6 can be a challenge. The wheel offset, axle width, and fender-to-tire relationship conspire against anything but a marginal upgrade from the OE 10-inchers. Fortunately, Specter Werkes/Sports' rear-fender-flare kit makes it possible to install tires measuring up to a full 12 inches in width.
The flares, which are part of the company's Group 6 collection of C6 parts, extend the lip of the rear fender, while also providing adequate clearance for the upsized shoes. Best of all, they look pretty darn mean when they're filled to the brim with high-performance rubber. The $590 kit includes ready-to-paint flares, inner fender-liner extenders (which replace the stock liners), and hardware.
There is some surgery involved in adding the flares, including trimming the rear-fender sheetmetal to provide clearance for the tires' travel within the widened housings. Still, a competent body shop should have no problem performing the procedure, and even an experienced do-it-yourselfer could probably pull it off, given access to professional-grade materials.
We've outlined the basic steps of the job in the accompanying photos. It took less than half a day to complete once the parts were back from the paint shop. When finished on our photo car, the flares were filled out with 335/30-series 20-inch rear tires mounted on black HRE wheels. The car looked ready to eat a Viper or two.
And one more thing: Matching the factory paint on the flares can be challenging, even for a pro. Make sure whoever is performing the work compares the painted pieces with the body before beginning the installation. You don't want to find out after the flares are bonded to the fenders that they're a shade off in color.