SEMA 2011: ZR1 and ’59 Vette Combine In Supercharged ZR59

As much as we love the C1 Corvettes like the ’59 Vette, there is a special place in our automotive hearts for the  ZR1 Corvettes. The ZR1 corvette features everything we love about modern vehicles: an aerodynamic design, amazing horsepower, and near perfect suspension that creates one incredible ride. But what if you could combine the two into one complete ride that would incorporate both the historic and unique ’59 Vette and the modern powerful ZR1? That exactly what co-builders Cal West Customs, and Palmers Customs designed in the supercharged ZR59.

When walking around the 2011 SEMA show we came across this beautiful creation inside the Wilwood Brakes Booth. The co-builders took the car from a chassis with a stock corvette body on it, to one of the most custom Corvette’s in the world. Originally the design was based around the 50 year anniversary from the ’59 Vette to the ’09 ZR1. The build started with a plain ’59 receiving a lot of planning and concepts of how to incorporate the two. It took over a year of fabrication to come up with the design of the body, but it was well worth the wait.

Next the team had to decide on the powerplant, so of course they had to go with a tuned supercharged LS9 that was used in the ’09 ZR1. The blown LS9 pushes out an impressive 750 horsepower.

Here a few of the other interesting build notes that went into the ZR59

  • Art Morrison Enterprise Chassis
  • Tremec T-56 6 speed
  • Ford 9 inch with 4:11 gears and 4-bar triangulated link
  • Corvette C6 front suspension
  • Air-ride shockwaves with auto-levelers, front and rear sway bar
  • Wilwood 6 piston Front and rear brakes, 14inch drilled rotors
  • Nutek 3-piece forged aluminum rims
  • hand built side and fender moldings shaped from brass
  • Custom built stainless gas tank
  • push button ignition system

The interior features an Ipad along with a very custom gauge cluster. The gauge cluster was designed to look much like the stock cluster at a glance, but much different when you really start comparing. They wanted analog gauges, although they are not your normal gauges. They were custom painted to match, all electric, including the speedometer that is GPS driven.

This build captures everything we love from the historic vettes but yet has all the modern technology that we’ve come to expect in our rides. But that is just our opinion, what do you think of the supercharged ZR59? Leave us a comment below with your opinion of the unique ride.

About the author

John Gibson

John has been around dirt track racing his entire life. In fact, he was almost born at Monett Speedway in Monett, Missouri. He has raced everything on dirt and asphalt from karts, to Indy cars, to 650 horsepower stock cars in the USAR Pro Cup where he currently races.
Read My Articles

Corvette's in your inbox.

Build your own custom newsletter with the content you love from Corvette Online, directly to your inbox, absolutely FREE!

Free WordPress Themes

We will safeguard your e-mail and only send content you request.