What do you get when you take one bright-red C5 Z06 Corvette, a small-block Ford engine and an owner that doesn’t know what to do with them? You mash ’em up, stick a honking gear-drive ProCharger on the front, and go racing, that’s what you do!
We realize that you Corvette purists will immediately turn your noses up at us and potentially click right on out of this post, but stick around – maybe our commentary is enough to keep you here.
The modern small-block Ford engine can easily be considered the small-block Chevrolet’s main rival in popularity – there are dozens of manufacturers that frankly wouldn’t exist without the Mustang and its legions of supporters, and the parts and pieces that exist for these engines are boundless, making a high-horsepower build well within the realm of possibility for a hobbyist.
Piedmont Custom Motorsports, based in Raleigh, North Carolina, is putting this machine together for one of their customers and is breaking down many barriers in the process. They’ve told us that the 25.3-spec rollcage and 9-inch Ford rearend were done at NRC Motorsports in South Carolina, then the car showed up at their shop for completion.
The aforementioned Ford engine is a 408-cube Windsor stroker with low-compression pistons and a ProCharger F-3 supercharger driven by one of Chris Alston‘s CDS gear-drives, running through a Powerglide transmission. Custom headers needed to be fabbed up to make the engine fit, and the Piedmont Motorsports team is in the process of working on the custom intake tubing and fuel system, which will have their own custom tank installed. The car also wears a set of Piedmont’s own fuel rails, and a set of 500 pound-per-hour fuel injectors to keep everything firing has been installed into the manifold.
Also on tap for the PCM team are the tasks of wiring and plumbing, and then it will be time to install the engine management system. As of this writing, owner Mike Sellars has not decided between a F.A.S.T. XFI or BigStuff 3 engine management system, but when he pulls the trigger the Piedmont team will be installing and tuning the ECU. The car will run on alcohol and should be one hell of a screamer when it’s complete.
So, even if you’re a tried-and-true ‘Vette purist, this machine should tickle your fancy, if only for the simple fact that it’s different. And if you’re not into it, well, the line forms over there to the right. We love it. Check out the rest of the pics.