The question isn't to modify or not to modify, but how much and how far do you take it, my friend. Never doubt your inner child that wants to add 500 hp to everything. Never suppress the urge to make that new car even better, it's what makes each of us happy, and happiness is good. Be proud to be "that guy!"
Straight Line Beast
I drive an '02 Z06 and have installed a cold-air kit, headers with free-flow cats, 180-degree thermostat, and a dyno tune, all of which have gained me 60 additional rear-wheel horsepower and still get 28 mpg!
Although I don't autocross, I know there is an 11-second quarter-mile in the car with street radials; if I could better my 60-foot time. What a rush for a 61-year-old man. Do it-you won't regret it!
I'm 66 and have five Corvettes in the garage, belong to the NCRS, and every darn one of my Corvettes is somewhat modified.
Like you stated, I have never owned a car that I "could" keep bone stock. Even the '61 VW I drove in college was slightly modified. If I remember correctly, 36 horsepower just did not get me up over the hills fast enough on the way home.
I say modify the Z06 the way you want to and enjoy the car. If you are anything like me, then you know half the fun is turning wrenches, so why not enjoy yourself.
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Usually, this late in the month my keyboard sounds like a machine gun-pecking away. It billows smoke like a steam locomotive and the plastic keys melt under the friction. However, recently with our second move, this time from the Placentia, California, office to our new digs here in Hipvine (Irvine, California), the brutal finger-pounding of the keyboards have slowed. Trust me, that's not a good thing either. While our month of March, which produces edit for the July issue was a bit longer for us, I still ended up asking the gods of time for more hours of daylight. I'll be honest and can speak for the CHP team when I say that we have been running ragged with callused minds. We've got a crazy event schedule in the works though, which means the once sought-after free Saturday is generally spent catching up on late edit and working on projects. No worries, we'll get it handled just as we always have.
Like I mentioned, we've got a crazy autocross-heavy event schedule with an upcoming first for Chevy High with our association with the Holley LS Fest. Even now, as this is being written, CHP is prepping the '72 Nova for an autocross event at the abandoned airstrip in El Toro, California. CHP will be participating in the Run To The Coast Experience. From there, we're off to the Goodguys autocross event on April 9-10 in Del Mar, California. We're not finished yet; we're then heading to the May 15-16, Goodguys event in Costa Mesa, California.
More recently though, the CHP team hit up the Super Chevy Show in Las Vegas. There, editor H and I played with the Z06 and Nova during the quarter-mile TNT session on Friday night and returned the following morning for the autocross portion. Aside from cliffhanging from the Nova's steering wheel, skimming across the bench seat, kicking the back end out, and plowing into the cones it was awesome. I was skeptical at first about this whole deal, but who knew autocrossing a 3,500-pound muscle car could be so much fun? By the end of my first run, I was so crossed up I didn't know which way was which. Luckily I missed stuffing the Nova's nose into the curbing. Other than some spare rubber which accumulated on the right rear quarter-panel, we left unscathed and smiling ear to ear. Cones beware!
2010 Goodguys Event Schedule
4th Meguiar's Orange County Get-Together
May 15 & 16 O.C. Fair & Expo Center, Costa Mesa, CA
American-powered rods, customs, classics, and muscle cars of all years, makes, and models. Car show, vendor exhibits, autocross, live entertainment, and more!