The halls of SEMA 2016 are filled with vehicles of all types that all have one thing in common: they are show-worthy. Why else would they be sitting on display at the biggest automotive aftermarket show? We like walking the rows and looking at the sheetmetal, but we often wonder just how many miles those pretty wheels will turn in anger after the show. At this year’s show, we found one car that will not be living a gentle life after the trucks carted away all of the displays: this 1970 Corvette, built by Hot Rod Chassis and Cycle and being run by Victory Speed Equipment (the guys behind the “Violent Valiant” 1964 Plymouth seen in the Optima Ultimate Street Car series), debuted on the floor on Tuesday to great fanfare and will be hitting racetracks all over the country next year.
The outside of the Corvette was designed with a nod to the C3 Corvettes that ran LeMans, especially the Greenwood cars of 1972-73. The fender flares are huge, the tail spoiler is exaggerated, the L-88 hoodscoop is present, and in addition to yellow Cibie fog lights, the hidden headlights have been exposed and covered with clear plastic for the final road-racer feel. Under that scoop is a Barowski Performance 427ci LS engine that is running a Hilborn EFI-R individual runner fuel injector system, a Tech-AFX fuel delivery system, Moroso oil system and accessories, and a Hurst-Driveline Conversions Magnum kit with a Hurst shifter. The big engine feeds from an Aeromotive Phantom 340 Stealth fuel system. The suspension is a C7-R cantilever front suspension up front with a Flaming River Road Race steering rack, and out back a Skunkworks Interceptor IRS with Trans Am Cantilever shocks handle things. A C&R Racing-prepared Hammerhead IRS differential and G-Force CV shafts have the unenviable job of taking the punishment from that 427 and putting it down to the ground through American Racing VF482 wheels and Falken Azenis tires, and Alcon disc brakes (six-piston front, four piston rear) slow this car down in a hurry.
The build quality is top-notch, the car sounds like violence when it’s sitting still, and knowing that it’s going to be running just as hard as the other big dogs out there makes us smile. The wheels have been a bit polarizing for some, but this is a form-follows-function car…everything has to work, not just look pretty, and we don’t doubt that it works. In fact, shortly after leaving the Convention Center the Corvette was taken to Las Vegas motor Speedway where it got thrashed on as part of the final Optima Ultimate Street Car of the year. A good start to a great debut!