It appears that Joey Grande and his team over at 9K Racing out of Covina, California are causing quite the stir of emotions with their latest project, the C5.6 “Celivette.” Grande’s vision for this build has been focused on functionality and styling. Using parts from nine different vehicles, this Corvette will be a definite head-turner on the streets as well as various automotive track and show events. Grande’s vision for this build is based on style and functionality, with a mentality to track the car from time to time.
Starting Off Right
For starters, Grande picked up a 5th generation Corvette FRC off of Craigslist for a great price and immediately got it up on jack stands in the corner of his shop, awaiting the transformation. Eagerly stripping down the car to see what he was working with, Grande parted out a lot of stuff off the car for a little extra cash and kept the essentials.
With everything stripped off of the car, just leaving the trunk and hood in place, Grande purchased a replica Supervette C6 ZR1 widebody kit with an APR rear diffuser along with a 2F Performance C5.6 front bumper and Extreme Dimensions C5.6 Rear bumper. The day the kit was delivered, Grande wasted no time cutting it up into pieces to mate with his C5’s virgin fenders and quarter panels, while also mocking up the front and rear bumpers for fitment purposes.
One touch we thought was really cool is the carbon fiber Honda NSX GT side mirrors. They give that sleek, racecar feel that is present in this build. Another crazy, off-the-beaten-path modification in this build was Grande’s decision to commence a Toyota Celica headlight conversion.
We’ve never seen this headlight conversion done to a Corvette, or any car for that matter, but it’s different, and we like different. Trying to not use so much filler on the modified body panels, Grande and his crew put carbon fiber and fiberglass to use, and with the body of the C5 being composite rather than metal already, it all worked out.
From the unfinished product, we can already see a little bit of C7-esque shape in the front end, which actually looks pretty cool, at least to our eyes.
Keeping Up With The Times
Another aspect of this build is comfort. You’d think that Grande would go with some C6 seats to keep the whole Corvette mashup theme going, but instead opted for some lightweight Honda S2000 seats, which definitely caught us by surprise. Speaking of surprises, Grande left nothing on this build untouched. He decided to do away with the stock door handles and retrofit some early ’90s Mazda Miata door handles to give a smooth look to the door, as the factory door handles were not up to par with the build.
With plans to drop in an LS6 motor with an individual throttle body setup after the LS1 gives way, Grande is going to add some hood vents for extra air flow and heat extraction. He is doing so by utilizing some hood vent and fender vent molds from a Nissan GT-R that he had lying around the shop. Why not, right?
The rear wing is another key feature to the build that Grande doesn’t want to skimp on. He’s been throwing ideas around about a Rocket Bunny rear wing, APR trunk lip spoiler, or even a rear wing from a rare Lotus Esprit.
While Grande and his team are working hard to finish this build, we are eager to see what the final product will look like along with a bunch of enthusiastic and supportive forum users. You can check out Grande’s detailed build thread over on Corvetteforum.com for even more info – we know we’ll be watching.