Of course, the vintage motor also needed its share of rejuvenation, but it proved too much for the local mechanic who started the process. Luckily, Chris heard about Don Barry Classics in Jacksonville, Florida, which was more than up to the task. The motor was bored 0.030-inch over, and then fitted with new rods, 10:1 pistons, and a Comp Cams cam. Putting in the automotive equivalent of a Big Gulp, the Edelbrock aluminum heads, Edelbrock Performer intake, and 750 Holley carb promote free breathing. Fire for the air/ fuel mix comes from an MSD 6AL electronic ignition and Blaster coil, sending precisely timed explosions through 8.5mm MSD Super Conductor wire. Once the power pulses are complete, JBA Tri-Y stainless steel headers duct what's left out though 2.5-inch tubes, an H-pipe, and a pair of Flowmaster 40-Series mufflers, creating the perfect muscle car rumble in the process. A polished B&M Super Cooler moderates oil temps while a Flex-a-lite Black Magic electric fan and Northern Aluminum radiator ensure water temps stay in the green. The engine is mated with a new TCI C6 Super Street Fighter transmission, upgraded with a TCI shift improvement kit and Street Bandit shifter from B&M. Power makes its way to the rear wheels through a powdercoated 9-inch Traction-Lok rear with 31-spline axles and 3.50 gears. With 500 hp available at 4,800 rpm and 525 lb-ft of torque at 5,500 rpm, the mighty motor still can't quite slow the Earth's rotation, but it's more than enough to discipline the brash Bow Tie Boys in the neighborhood!
Once the suspension, brakes, and engine were up to modern safety and reliability standards, the team at Don Barry prepped the car for paint. Chris had a few design touches in mind that the team used to create sketches of the final look. With just a few adjustments, it coveredthe car with Glasurit 3-stage paint beginning with a custom-mixed gunmetal gray on top, maroon on the bottom, and silver flames on the fiberglass hood. As the perfect Pony accent, Advance Window Tinting in Jacksonville created the flaming Mustang mural on the side glass. Raceline Striker wheels, 17x8 up front and 17x10 in the rear were wrapped in Nitto 40- and 45-series rubber, adding style as well as traction, should an unsuspecting Camaro be foolish enough to challenge
The interior got its share of TLC beginning with a pair of black Corbeau seats sporting custom red inserts. Rear seats were upholstered to match. The dash was outfitted with a set of Auto Meter gauges and an Old Air Products A/C system. The driver keeps hands and feet in close touch, thanks to the Billet Specialties steering wheel and pedal set. The car was complete except for one thing.
Since you can't have a cool custom without a hot stereo, the all-Pioneer system begins with the touch screen DVD player in the dash that feeds the pair of 12-inch subs in a custom enclosure in the trunk. Two pioneer amps are also visible in the trunk with a third hidden behind the forward panel. The same panel also hides the car's multiple Optima batteries. There are four 6-inch component sets in the rear package tray and two more positioned in the kick panels. Dynamat insulation throughout minimizes unwanted sonic intrusion.
What does the future hold for what started out to be just a nice daily driver? Chris is serious about taking it to the next level and has his eye on a new Roush, all-aluminum 468 V-8 to replace the current engine. If you think the current crop of Corvette drivers in the neighborhood are already a little uneasy, stand by. Their day is just going to get worse!