With all the parts in place, a quick testdrive revealed a freshly invigorated sonic palette sure to appeal to all but the most hard-core of Vette enthusiasts. At idle, the Stainless Works system evinced a deep, mellow burble only marginally louder than stock. Cabin drone-the bte noir of Corvette performance exhausts-was imperceptible at highway speeds, with only the faintest hint of popping evident during high-rpm deceleration. At wide-open throttle, the tone transitioned to a horripilation-inducing howl reminiscent of an old NASCAR stocker.
On the AntiVenom chassis dyno, the Vette cooked up 295 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels, bettering its previous best marks by 9 hp and 1 lb-ft, respectively. That's a bit less than we would have expected for an all-encompassing exhaustsystem upgrade, but perhaps not all that surprising given the lightly modded nature of the car. Doubtless the extra flow offered by the SW setup will prove even more valuable as we get deeper into our power-building regimen. Until then, the reduced weight, improved looks, and enhanced sound characteristics of the system make it a worthwhile addition to our no-nonsense '96.