The Chevy V8 has been the go-to engine for transplanters, and we've seen quite a few Frankencars with them here on Nice Price or Crack Pipe. Today however, we've got a candidate that was actually born with one.
Corvette. America's Sports Car. No other car, over the years, has exemplified the American ideal quite so emblematically. From the first 300 polo-white, blue flame six-powered cars back in 1953, to the 205-plus mile per hour ZR1 of today, the Corvette has been part of our great nation's automotive landscape. Sometimes it played the role of playboy jet-setter, such as in the sixties. Other times its part was more guest-appearance by a fading star, like during the last few years of the C3.
The C5, when it debuted in 1997, represented a quantum leap in build quality and driving dynamics over its rattle-prone C4 predecessor. Also making its appearance for the first time was the third-gen LS1 small block. That engine made around 350-bhp, depending on the year, and the body - the last with pop-up headlights that had defined the marque since the 1963 C2 - carried over many of the traditional styling cues for which Corvettes are known.
This 2002 Corvette C5 was born with a Chevy V8 under its RIM plastic hood, but stock it is not. The seller has had a tremendous amount of work put into this Vette, in order to make it both a visual show winner, as well as a stop-light eater of other car's souls.
Its LS6 engine has been bored out to over 7 litres, and that, along with a number of other tricks up its sleeve, is said by the seller to be good for 630-bhp. That's without any form of forced induction, NOS or the owner's agreement to deliver his non-corporeal presence to Old Scratch upon demise. Mated to that pushrod heart throb is a built 4-speed slusher feeding a 3.73 rear end - and before you dismiss this car for having an auto, keep in mind that with over 640 ft-lbs of torque on hand, you'd probably spent 90% of your time in third if it were a stick anyway. It's said to have been all professionally done, and the wrenches who did the work even feature the car on their web site.
The seller says the car is nicknamed "the Hammer" and Hammer Time on this car is claimed to be a blistering 11.1 in the quarter and 2.9-sec zero to sixty. In driver's ed they teach you to keep a three-second distance between you and the car in front of you. In this Corvette, by the time those three seconds are up you would be more than five past the double nickel, and anybody who had been in front of you would be but a speck in the rear-view. Not only is it steroidal, but it hasn't been driven to the moon and back. The car itself only has 23K on the clock, and there's even less than that on the engine and tranny.
But this Vette isn't just about the go, there's plenty of show as well. Inside, it's reminiscent of a Stendhal novel, and with all the additional thunderbirds are go under the hood, you'll probably be glad that there's an 8-point roll cage in there in case the Hammer decides to hammer a tree or bridge abutment. Of course the decision to make a cage in such a close-fitting car heat-sink chrome might not have been the best.
Best might as well not have been the best choice of words when describing the logic of pumping over $75,000 into a car with a fairly steep depreciation curve. The seller says that he has put that, in addition to the cost of the car, into an entire $115,000 investment. But his loss is your $85,000 gain as he's willing to hammer out a deal for the the Hammer at only a buck-shy of thirty grand.
So what do you think about that $29,999 for this C5? Is that a price that makes you think it might just be Hammer time? Or, does that price make you say you can't touch this?
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