You never know who or what you’re going to see at the SEMA Show, and that’s what makes it such a happening. It could be anyone from a wide array of celebrities to famous gearheads. This time out we have run into Tapout’s Skyscrape, Kenny Wayne Sheppard, and almost ran over Jay Leno — sorry about that, Jay. We also found the Unicorn ‘Vette that is wildly popular on the internet, owned by Kyle Loftis. If you don’t know Kyle, he is the creator of the notorious 1320Video that gearheads glue themselves to on YouTube.
Kyle’s first car was an arctic white ’99 FRC Corvette but he always wanted the Speedway White. When he was attending a Street Car Takeover event, he noticed a Z06 that was painted the ultra-rare Speedway color. It turns out the car was for sale, but he and his and his crew were headed to the streets of “Mexico” for a long night of street racing. The next day Kyle’s buddy asked if he was interested in buying the ‘Vette, which Kyle completely forgot.
He quickly made the call and three hours later he was the owner of the what would be the Unicorn ‘Vette. So why is it called the Unicorn? Only 352 Speedway White C5 Corvettes were made in 2001, and of those 156 had the red interior. With this car being 1 in 156 in the world, the Unicorn title is appropriate, especially when you consider the car is now 17 years old.
This Z06 is an immaculate vehicle, and you can tell that a ton of work has been put in to keep it that way — especially after the fire. For those of you that haven’t followed this project, about a year ago while Kyle was at the track when his beloved Corvette caught fire. At about half track you could see a small flame develop and then rather quickly the entire car was covered in smoke. As Kyle made a left turn, the flames began to roll out from under the car, and it was apparent the C5 was in trouble. Luckily, the fire crew was there and got the flames put out before it was too late.
Since that day, Kyle has added a fire suppression system and has all of the correct safety equipment including a roll bar from RPM Roll Bars to run 9.99 safely. Kyle said, “It’s all been fixed really well, and I don’t remember the fire any more other than having to pull the pin out of the fire extinguisher.”
While the car has been certified for 9.99, it has already surpassed that elapsed time and gone a 9.70.
“The goal for the car is to go eights eventually,” Kyle continued. “Everyone is comparing the car to Leroy the Savage, which weighs 2940-pounds, but the Unicorn weighs in at 3,840.” With the weight advantage of Leroy, it’s obvious why Kyle’s Corvette isn’t more competitive with the infamous ‘Vette kart and it was never Kyle’s intention to have a full-blown racecar anyway. He loves the car as it sits and being able to drive it on the street and maintain drivability was the end goal.
According to Kyle, the C5 dyno’ed 1,100-horsepower on 21-pounds of boost without the use of nitrous. The Unicorn ‘Vette sports a newly-built 427 Texas Speed and Performance LS with LS3 heads and a complete Nitrous Outlet nitrous system. The Huron Speed, twin-turbo kit has been upgraded with Precision Turbo 64/66’s ball bearings turbos over the older units. For the drivetrain, Kyle chose an RPM Transmission stage-six built TR6060 six-speed transmission along with an RPM Stage 5 C-6 rear differential.
Since axle breakage has been a problem, Gforce Performance Engineering axles replaced the stock units for more reliability. The Weld Racing wheels beadlock wheels add a little flare to the subtle-looking C5 with a set of Mickey Thompson ET Streets wrapped around them. Chad at The Shop Inc. is the go-to guy and has handled most of the work on the car. Located in Lincoln, Nebraska, he isn’t far from 1320’s home base which makes it convenient for Kyle if he needs something done with his busy schedule.
We’re looking forward to the evolution of the Unicorn ‘Vette, and we expect Kyle to accomplish his goals in due time. Be sure and check out 1320 Video for past and future footage of this killer build.