Ever wonder what we would have seen if Zora Arkus-Duntov had gotten his way and brought a mid-engined Corvette to market way back in the Sixties? Designer Mark Harlan was thinking the same thing and decided to flesh out that fantasy with a wild take on a mid-engine, split window coupe. Christened the Corvette V7 Twin Turbo, he brought together some talented folks and the result is the decidedly radical custom Vette pictured here.
For some Vette fans, altering any C2 this radically is cause for consternation. Many folks think customizing any C2 is like painting a mustache on the Mona Lisa. Before everyone gets their nose out of joint, Harlan assures us that the car he started with was a sun baked, dried out, Florida field car that was one step from the junkyard. With that out of the way, let’s take a closer look at the nuts and bolts of this car.
Harlan enlisted the help of American Super Car, Inc., in Springhill, Florida to conjure this mid-engine notion to life. The shop fabricated a square tube frame and belly pan for the V7 for a stout foundation and then the guys went to work modifying the fiberglass. The cab was pushed forward 24 inches and the body widened by 10 inches. Harlan calls it “cab forward” but a close cowl to front axle ratio is the natural result of cramming the motor behind the front seats. The wheelbase was bumped up from 98 inches to 101.5, while the overall length was decreased by nearly three inches.
With the architecture sorted out, the guys set their sights on the powertrain. Motivation comes courtesy of a 395 ci LS1 V-8 plumbed with two 77mm Turbo-Re-Source turbochargers at 18 pounds of boost. The thing reportedly belts out 1070 hp and 915 lb-ft of torque and wails to 60 mph in under three seconds. The power is delivered to the ground via a Mendeola transaxle actuated solely with paddle shifters.
Running gear includes a fully adjustable suspension from Penske Racing, gigantic six-piston Baer brakes with cross-drilled rotors and custom HRE wheels, clad with Michelin’s widest production-based rubber.
Interesting design and meticulous craftsmanship are evident in the details. Be sure and check out the articulated hinges for the “Sui-slide” doors as well as the machined billet supports for hood and deck lid.
Inside, the car is fitted with an aluminum dash, Auto-Meter gauges, Cobra racing buckets, full Crow harness system and enameled V7 badging. Power windows, heater and air conditioning make the car habitable all year ‘round. The heater might be redundant though as there’s a 1000+ horsepower bun warmer right behind the seats.
What’s something like this worth? Allegedly built at more than $170,000, the car has changed hands several times and recently crossed the block at AuctionsAmerica at the end of March, 2015. Unfortunately, the Z7 will have to wait another day to find a new owner as the car only reached $70,000 at auction, then stalled and didn’t meet reserve. The good news is, if all this mid-engine Vette porn turns you on, it still could be yours!