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Lingenfelter's 9-Second ZR1 Corvette "Monster ZR1!" Illustrated Series No. 155

Lingenfelter's 9-Second ZR1 Corvette "Monster ZR1!" Illustrated Series No. 155

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Here's the story on this print:
Illustrated Corvette Series No. 155 - Lingenfelter's 9-Second ZR1
"Monster ZR1!"

InIt’s been over two years since Chevrolet floored the automotive world with the first-ever supercharged production Corvette. In the waning months of ’07, the Corvette rumor mill was heating up with tantalizing images and reports of something hot from the Corvette development team. A cell-phone video from a passerby of an odd-looking Corvette in traffic provided a juicy audio clue to what was under the hood. As I’ve been following drag racing since I was a kid, I immediately recognized that distinctive supercharger “whizz” sound. When the wraps came off, sure enough, the new Corvette was blown, and its name was ZR1!

The Corvette tuner crowd is a pretty sharp group of enthusiasts with a long history that goes all the way back to the ‘60s, when Joel Rosen was building 500-plus-horsepower big-block Corvettes. Back then, they were known as “specialty car builders,” with a tradition that went all the way back to the “coachbuilt” 1911 Mercer Runabout and the 1914 Stutz Bearcat. When a production sports car with a built-in supercharger producing 638 hp hit the showroom floor, it was only a matter of time before someone took apart a ZR1 to see if Chevrolet left any untapped power in the 376ci, all-aluminum LS9 engine. Enter the very talented team at Lingenfelter Performance Engineering. And oh, they found quite a rich vein of power.

Right off the showroom floor with just pump gas, the new ZR1 is capable of 0-60 in just 3.5 seconds, the quarter-mile in 11.2 seconds, and a restricted top speed of 205-mph. The LPE team established their parameters: how much quicker can we make the ZR1 without going totally crazy, and using only bolt-on parts? As we move forward with the story, keep this in mind: No weight was taken out of the car, and none of the ZR1’s creature comforts were disabled. Aside from a TR6060 Z06 gearset, the entire drivetrain is stock, including the ZR1’s dual-disc clutch setup.

The basic ZR1 LS9 engine and drivetrain are so stout that there wasn’t anything to change. About 95 percent of the project focused on stuffing more frigid, compressed air into the LS9. The only change to the exhaust system was the addition of a “mild to wild” device that holds the flappers on the exhaust tips open. Even the rear differential gearing is stock. The dramatic increase in power came mostly forward of the Eaton 2-rotor, 4-lobe supercharger.

LPE installed an 8.5-in-diameter harmonic balancer and a 2.60-in supercharger pulley to increase the supercharger speed. The stock supercharger’s air-intake snout has a bend in its inner port. LPE designed a new casting that straightens out the bend that’s worth an extra 60 hp when combined with the other enhancements. A Lingenfelter S&B air filter and a ported stock throttle body complete the intake part of the setup. The intercooler is an essential part of the ZR1 system. LPE doubled the capacity of the ‘cooler and increased the capacity of its reservoir. The intercooler’s supercharger inlet was also modified. The above-mentioned modifications, with a sharp tune and 109-octane racing gas, netted 739 rwhp and 739 rwtq. Talk about finding horsepower!

While Corvettes have never been designed for drag racing, the quarter-mile is an excellent standard by which to measure a car’s performance. Running 345/35R18 Mickey Thompson ET Street Radials on the rear and M&H Racemaster 185/50R18 front tires—all mounted on CCW aluminum wheels—the car was ready for some track testing. On July 3, 2009, at Muncie Dragway, the LPE-modified street ZR1 ran a 10.03 at 141.50 mph. Then, on December 9, the car made a best-ever run of 9.813 at 145.74 MPH. After the test runs were complete, the LPE team packed up the ZR1 and trailered the car back to the shop.

Let’s put some perspective on this amazing Corvette. The Astoria-Chas L88 ‘67 roadster had a best-ever run of 10.47, and in 1970 Grumpy Jenkins and Ronnie Sox were running 10.0s with their all-out Pro Stock race cars. Granted, those cars weren’t supercharged, but they couldn’t be driven home either. LPE proved what an astonishing car the ZR1 really is. I’m certain that other tuners will follow. LPE also hinted that a standing-mile top-speed test might be in the works. And lastly, all of the parts used on this car are available—that is, if your ZR1 isn’t quick enough for you.

Printed on high quality tan-colored parchment paper using a Xante professional grade printer.

This print comes in one size:

11” x 17”

Print is shrink wrapped on 11.5" x 17.5" cardboard so that they stay flat and clean and shipped via USPS Priority Mail. All prints are signed by the artist. They make a wonderful gift for the car lover in your life!
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