Those of you with a yen for C4 tech are probably wondering what ever became of our Polo Green '96 coupe, which appeared poised last winter to take a giant leap toward dragstrip superstardom with the addition of Trick Flow's new Fast as Cast GenX head-and-cam package ("To Top It All Off," Feb.'10)? Unfortunately our enthusiasm for the project turned out not to be shared by members of the local Corvette-tuning community, no fewer than four of whom declined to take on the job of installing the parts after learning the age of the car.
Such is the virtual pariah status to which the LT1 engine has sunk in the years since its retirement. Outmoded, down on power, and needlessly complex, the powerplant that did so much to restore the Corvette's performance luster in the early '90s is now treated by many as the mechanical equivalent of an end-stage Ebola patient-messy, intractable, and to be avoided at all costs.
Although we had originally hoped to give him a respite from sorting out our project-car hassles, we ultimately turned to Greg Lovell, at AntiVenom in Seffner, Florida, to handle the job. Unlike many newcomers to the Vette-fettling field, Lovell has been chin deep in these cars for most of his adult life, so he's well versed in the numerous idiosyncrasies afflicting older, less-popular models. After a minimum of cajoling, he agreed to take on our installation and let us hang around to photograph the affair.
In the pages that follow, we'll recap the major components of the package, bring you up to date on some new supporting items, and provide an overview of the install. In an upcoming issue (soon-we promise!), we'll be back to put the newly revitalized car through its paces at the track and on the dyno.