Many of us gazed longingly at the Superformance Corvette Grand Sport at this year’s SEMA show. Sitting pretty in the Lingenfelter booth, the car makes your imagination run wild. What would it be like to sit in the drivers seat and feel the 550 horsepower monster with 500 lb-ft of torque pushing your body back in the seat? Lucky for us, Hillbank Motorsports in Irvine, CA hooked us with a test drive of this ferocious ‘Vette.
American-owned, South African manufacturer Superformance, known world-wide for their amazing Cobra replicas and Shelby-licensed production of continuation Cobras, seized the opportunity to recreate one of the rarest and most heralded cars in history: the legendary Corvette Grand Sport under license to GM— in concert with chassis maker Duntov Motors, who build the racecar versions.
When ever we’re talking about Corvette performance around the office, one of the first names that springs to our minds is always Lingenfelter, and for good reason. Lingenfelter has been building high-horsepower, mind-boggling Corvettes for well over 40 years now. And you don’t earn the reputation that they have by resting on your laurels—though they easily could. Enter Superformance’s Corvette Grand Sport replica kit, combine it with a little Lingenfelter knowhow and you’re off to the races—literally and figuratively.
Danny Popp has won the OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Invitational a record-setting fourth time, with three of those wins coming in his 2003 Chevrolet Corvette. Does that mean the C5 Corvette is the best platform for taking home the coveted title? We’ll take a look into that question, but before we get into various options folks have, we should qualify all of these options by pointing out that all of these examples cited are extremely well-built cars, with very capable drivers behind the wheel. If you are considering any of these vehicles for yourself, you should be realistic about how you will stack up as a driver within in this group. You should also understand that many of these cars have been refined, modified and upgraded for several years, with the specific intent of being more competitive in the OUSCI. With that, let’s start looking at what some of the top cars in the OUSCI have been in recent years.
For any number of reasons, performance enthusiasts working with select LS and all of the new Gen V LT engines may want to delete the Active Fuel Management (AFM) system, also called Displacement on Demand (DOD). One of the key steps in that operation is plugging the oil-flow passages in the cylinder block that feed the system.
“If you do not, you may have significant internal oil leaks that can result in problems with low oil pressure,” says Jason Haines of Lingenfelter Performance Engineering.
When one thinks of the biggest rivalries, thoughts can go to Red Sox-Yankees or Packers-Vikings (or Patriots and everyone else), but they are small potato’s compared to the rift between Ford and Chevy owners. Each owner is fiercely loyal to their brand, and take great joy in talking trash about the other guys product.
Back in 2014, when this Chevy Reaper was built, the Ford Raptor was temporarily out of production, so Chevy had an opening to tweak Ford, and they took it. Enter the then all-new 2014 Chevrolet Silverado Reaper. Though in 2017 you can get one off the dealership floor, in 2014 the Reaper was a modified Silverado 1500 that was actually a joint venture between GM, Lingenfelter Performance Engineering and custom builder Southern Comfort, or SCA Performance.
Automotive electronics have become exponentially more complex over the years and show no signs of slowing down anytime soon. While that is fantastic news in some respects, such as drivability and vehicle capability, it means vastly more complicated integrations for the average wrench turner. Thankfully, Lingenfelter Performance Engineering (LPE)—who is typically found on the bleeding edge of automotive electronics—has recently taken a few steps in making any gear head’s life a little less complicated when it comes to circuitry.
BRIGHTON, Mich. October 11, 2016; Dirk Stratton of Stratton Racing was named the Formula DRIFT Pro 2 class “Rookie of the Year” after a fourth-place finish in the overall 2016 season point standings. The newcomer earned 191.00 points driving a 2009 C6 Corvette powered by a Lingenfelter Performance Engineering LS7 V8 engine.
Stratton drives the only Corvette competing in the Formula DRIFT classes and is the only competitor using a Lingenfelter power plant, which he says contributed to his outstanding season results. The rookie competitor also relied on Lingefelter’s expert engineering team to lend the technical support that helped his vehicle reach optimal performance during each competition.
On the shortlist of the most valuable and significant Corvettes ever built is undoubtedly the ’63 Grand Sport.
Called “The Lightweight,” it is substantially lighter than a factory Corvette, with an ultrathin body and modified chassis. After being fitted with a hot, Weber-carbureted mill, the Grand Sport became virtually unbeatable on the track. For a brief, shining moment at Nassau Speed Week 1963, it proved to be superior to both Shelby’s vaunted Cobra and other GT-class cars and racing prototypes.
Curiously, reproductions of Zora Arkus-Duntov’s remarkable design are not as common as Cobra replicas, even though the Grand Sport was one of the few race cars to ever best Shelby on the track. Superformance is one of the few firms carrying the torch onward, producing a replica that improves on the original, refining a raw-boned racer for the street.