The red Corvette that suckered Cleetus out of a few grand has proven to be an interesting watch because it’s the first time I’ve seen a YouTube car build that actually had a real-deal “lemons into lemonade” issue take place. The lemon part involved a truck 5.3L that took the place of several powertrains’ worth of overkill power and resulting carnage. In as-acquired form, it barely managed to squeak out 280 horsepower…pretty damn lame, especially once the team found out from a former owner that the transmission and rear end were no-joke race units and were built to take some brutal punishment. So, it was off to get turbocharged and to get some engine work to see if an iron-block truck mill could actually crank out some grunt. Outside of the turbo and some minor stuff, everything that has gone into the Corvette has been straight from the pile of parts in the shop, from the camshaft to the intake that’s a take-off from Leroy the Savage itself.
Cleetus is ready to let the Corvette live and die on the dyno. He’s willing to crank the boost up until either he’s happy, the car is making truckloads of power, or the guts are falling out of the sides of the block. Which way is it gonna go?