Let's be clear about this from the start: The project outlined in this story won't increase the top speed of your C6; nor will it improve its lateral acceleration. It won't shave half a second from its quarter-mile acceleration, and don't bother writing to ask about the impact on downforce at 120 mph.
This is a story about aesthetics. It's about personalization. And it's about a do-it-yourself project that, provided you can tell a straight-slot screwdriver from a Phillips, you can perform at home and achieve excellent results.
We're talking about a set of GTR carbon-fiber headlamps and stainless-steel-accented taillights from Specter Werkes/Sports. In the simplest sense, they replace the stock lamps and lenses, but there's more to the project than that. They transform an otherwise stock-appearing car into something more distinctive, but in a way that doesn't impact driveability or reliability.
Both the headlamps and taillights are the same as the ones used on Specter's GTR supercar. The headlamps dramatically alter the front-end appearance of the car, replacing the body-color lamp assemblies with units draped in real carbon fiber beneath the lens cover. As for the taillights, they've got blacked-out outer-edge styling and a stainless-steel center trim ring, yielding a more detailed look than the stock lenses.
Installing the taillights couldn't be simpler. A single screw holds each lens housing in place; after it's removed and the bulb disconnected, the Specter housing simply replaces the stocker. The Specter headlamp assemblies are also direct replacements for the stock units, but there's a little more to the job than being handy with a screwdriver.
Swapping the headlamps requires that you first remove the front fenders; this will allow you to reach the hardware that secures the lamps to the chassis. Care and patience are the watchwords here, to prevent scratching or damaging these relatively delicate pieces-particularly the carbon-fiber fenders of Z06 and ZR1 models. (By the way, we think the GTR headlamps complement the other exposed carbon pieces on the ZR1 like, say, a dollop of Cool Whip on a slice of pumpkin pie.)
Specter Werkes/Sports lists the headlamp kit for $1,895 and the taillight kit for $555. If the former seems pricey, keep in mind it includes both the left and right assemblies, fully assembled with production-spec projector beams and DOT-approved lenses-and it's only about $75 more than you'd pay the parts-counter guy for stock replacements.
So no, not every enhancement to your Corvette has to be made in the quest for greater horsepower. High-performance styling has its place, too. And in that regard, this project is the equivalent of a 200 shot of nitrous.
Drop-Top Wide Body: Specter's Z06 Fender Kit For Convertibles
In the Corvette corner of the Internet, one of the more popular topics has been the feasibility of adapting the wider Z06 rear fenders to the convertible body. Some say it can be done with some light nipping and tucking of the Z06 parts, while others advise against the project altogether.
To fulfill a customer's request to perform that very modification, Specter Werkes/Sports tackled the wide-body swap. It was a success, and Specter's president, Jeff Nowicki, determined that the necessary procedures could be packaged in a kit for installation by a car owner or body shop.
In a nutshell, the change involves trimming a section of the stock Z06 fender (requiring a Dremel-type tool to slice through the tough carbon material) and bonding an insert to it that matches the top contour of the convertible fender. The insert requires paint matching, but if the fender is trimmed carefully, it shouldn't require a touch-up.
The kit should be available as this issue hits the newsstand, so if you're interested in giving your convertible the styling of the Z06, give Specter a call.
Oh, and don't forget you'll need a pair of Z06 carbon-fiber rear fenders, too. The last time we checked, they listed at an eye-watering $1,739 apiece at your Chevy dealer (some sweet talk might bring it down a bit). Such is the price for standing out from the crowd.