This month marks the reappearance (again) of our '96 LT1 Corvette, a car whose halting progress toward the goal of achieving C5 Z06-quality acceleration without pauperizing its owner has been unfolding seemingly since the days of the optional whitewall. To date, the Polo Green coupe has been the beneficiary of a number of cost-effective modifications, ranging in scope and difficulty from a comprehensive valvetrain upgrade to a quick-and-easy (and surprisingly effective) ultrasonic fuel-injector cleaning.
In this installment, we'll tackle the car's exhaust system. Given that replacing the OEM rear-section exhaust setup is typically one of the first alterations made by any mod-inclined Vette owner, you may be wondering what took us so long to reach this point. The answer has to do with the limitations imposed by a dwindling C4 aftermarket and our longstanding predilection for covering only the latest, most notable performance hardware whenever possible.
While converter-back systems for the C4 abound, long-tube headers-critical for making maximum power in a high-output Gen II engine- are about as common as yeti sightings in Cozumel. When we learned late last year that Stainless Works was cooking up a full, header-to-tips system for the '92-'96 model, we signed on to be the first to install and test the new parts. The highlights of the daylong job-performed once again by the inveterate Vette nuts at AntiVenom EFI in Seffner, Florida-follow, along with some subjective impressions and post-install dyno results.