So it’s the last year of the sixth-generation Corvette. How do you usher out the car with the same level of excitement it enjoyed upon its introduction in late 2004? For Chevrolet, the answer was simple: a 427 convertible. But what if even that big-inch bruiser isn’t sufficiently exhilarating for your needs? What do you do?
For Jimmy Page (no, not the Led Zeppelin guitarist), having one of Edelbrock’s new 720hp, 416ci LS engine packages dropped into a ’13 Grand Sport convertible was the perfect way to celebrate the C6’s spectacular nine-year production run.
VETTE magazine caught the conversion from start to finish. We’ll share with you the highlights of the build and its results momentarily, but first the backstory.
In April 2012, Page learned that Redline Motorsports had relocated from upstate New York to a new facility in Pompano Beach, Florida, just a short drive from his home. Having previously bought a 427-powered ’11 Camaro HTR-600 from Redline, he found the late-model performance tuner’s southward move especially fortuitous.
He met with Redline owner Howard Tanner, and soon the two men had hatched the idea for another über-performance LS car. Within a day of that tête-à-tête, Page was on the phone to Rosner Chevrolet in Melbourne, Florida, ordering a beautiful new Arctic White ’13 Grand Sport drop-top with a contrasting red-leather interior.
Once the car’s production week was set in stone, Tanner dialed up Edelbrock Performance and ordered one of the company’s new 416ci LS engines (PN 46720, MSRP $14,878.95), along with an E-Force supercharger (PN 1591, MSRP $8,805.95).
The supercharged 416 package is brutal. It’s built by Shaver Specialty Racing Engines of Torrance, California, which has been creating competition race engines since the 1930s. Ron Shaver, a third-generation engine builder, starts with a new LS3 block, bores it to 4.065-inches, and drops in a bulletproof Manley rotating assembly—specifically, a forged-steel crank, H-beam connecting rods, and forged-aluminum pistons good for a blower-amenable 9.5:1 compression ratio.
Topping this big-cube small-block are a set of LSA heads, which are outfitted with 2.165-/1.59-inch valves, Edelbrock Sure Seat beehive valve springs, and 1.7:1 rockers. Completing the package is the highly regarded E-Force blower, which uses a modified version of the Eaton TVS2300 rotating assembly found on the ZR1’s 638hp LS9.
“The E-Force’s supercharger assembly is inverted, allowing for 12 inches of intake runner for maximum low-end torque. It also has a short and less restrictive intake path for improved airflow,” Edelbrock spokesman Eric Blakely says.
The camshaft’s custom grind (215-/247- degree duration, 0.629-/0.656-inch lift, 121-degree lobe separation) was designed and optimized for the E-Force system. “We did extensive testing with various cams to find one that offered the best driveability along with maximum power output,” Blakely says. “We also wanted something that was going to last a long time [and provide] reliability for the life of the engine.
“The whole system is designed to deliver great performance throughout the rpm range, and we rate it at 720 hp and 695 lb-ft at the flywheel,” he summarizes.
Now let’s get to the action and watch how Redline Motorsports installs this ZR1-killing powerplant into an otherwise unassuming Grand Sport. Then we’ll see how this potent ’vert performs, both on the dyno and at Palm Beach International Speedway’s quarter-mile ’strip.
|Edelbrock Performance (310) 781-2222 www.edelbrock.com|
|Redline Motorsports (954) 703-5560 www.redline-motorsports.net|