Video: Cleetus McFarland’s Skeleton C5 Corvette Goes 9s

In case you haven’t been following along, Cleetus McFarland–our favorite resident redneck–recently acquired a salvage (or should we say savage?)-title C5 Corvette with the intentions of stripping it down, basically to its frame, and making it faster than it rightfully should be. To add fuel to the fire, Cleetus’ boss Kyle Loftis, owner of 1320video, decided to pick up a C5Z at roughly the same time. This lead to some internal strife and a challenge, the product of which is Cleetus taking his Corvette, which has been lovingly named Leroy in honor of the owner it was originally built for, to new levels of savagery.

Any gear head knows that you can’t have two vehicles, and big egos, without finding out which is better and badder–especially when they are both C5s. This led to a build off between Kyle and Cleetus. Kyle, with his C5Z he calls Unicorn, decided to go twin turbo via a Huron Speed turbo kit. He also upgraded the engine to a Thompson Motorsports 370 for good measure. Running on E85, the C5Z should be good for well north of 1,000 rear-wheel horsepower.

The Unicorn Corvette (left) is a twin turbo C5Z with a 370 cubic inch Thompson-Motorsport built LS. Leroy (right) is a stripped down bare-bones C5 that is hardly recognizable as a Corvette but easily recognizable as a savage.

And while the Unicorn is producing some crazy power, it’s also a lot heavier than a bare-bones C5 which first weighed in just this side of 2,500 pounds. To give Leroy the oomph it needs to keep pace with the Unicorn, Cleetus took it to Fasterproms where they fitted a TVS1900 supercharger from an LSA along with PRC heads, a custom ground camshaft, and long tube headers all from Texas-Speed & Performance. The car’s fuel system was also upgraded and is delivering hefty doses of E85 as well. This enabled the C5 to make slightly more than 700 rear-wheel horsepower. The stock clutch was ditched in favor of a Monster Clutch and the entire exterior of the car was covered with an “exoskeleton” roll cage bringing the car’s weight up to 2,700 pounds.

Once the car was put back together, and some proper burnouts had been done, Cleetus took it straight to Bradenton Motorsports Park to find out what his new creation could do. It was hot and very humid and Cleetus was sent home disappointed with a fastest pass of 10.76. Obviously, the car had a lot more in it and they returned to Fasterproms for a wider set of slicks to give ol’ Leroy a fighting chance at some traction. With a set of 335/30R18 Hoosier slicks on the back of the Corvette, they set off to set a new record with the car.

As you can see in the video, Cleetus was thrilled with the first “shake down” pass with the car as it goes 10.25 at 136 mph–all while short shifting it out of second. As the day turned to night, the car just continued to go faster and faster culminating with the car turning in its best pass ever, a 9.98 at 136.5 mph. Cleetus cut a blistering 1.40 60-foot time on the final pass and his excitement is obvious.

We’re pretty amazed what the salvage savage Corvette has been capable of but Cleetus says it’s not over yet. Apparently Leroy is headed to round two of modifications and will return even badder than before. The real question is will it be enough to take dow the Unicorn? With track times like that, we’re sure it’s going to be a heated battle and we can’t wait to find out.

Here you can see all the stats from Cleetus' fastest run (left) and Cleetus unleashing those bald eagles (right).


About the author

Chase Christensen

Chase Christensen hails from Salt Lake City, and grew up around high-performance GM vehicles. He took possession of his very first F-body— an ’86 Trans Am— at the age of 13 and has been wrenching ever since.
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