1993 Corvette ZR1

1993 Corvette ZR1 RPO ZR1

40th emblem

What’s better than owning a ZR1? That’s an easy question. The answer is owning two ZR1’s. One white and one black.

1993 is the 40th Anniversary for the Corvette and while all 1993 are considered anniversary cars, the official anniversary color was Ruby Red Metallic (Maroon) with a maroon leather interior. Although the Ruby Red was the official 40th anniversary color, more Ruby Red were produced for 1993 than any other color. There were only 54 Black ZR1’s produced in 1993 making the Black ZR1 a bit more rare than the Ruby, although all 1993 ZR1’s are considered rare since 448 units were produced that year. For 1993 all Corvettes got the 40th logo embroidered at the headrest of the seats.
In 1993 the ZR1 received a stronger 4 bolt main block, the power for the ZR1 was increased from 375 to 405 hp. The heads were hand ported as well a better cam timing was implemented. This is where I got lucky with my Black ZR1. Most ZR1’s dyno about 320 hp at the wheels, some will dyno as much as 350 at the wheels., but mine dynoed over 370 hp at the wheels in stock form. With a few easy bolt ons she was making an unheard of 411 hp at the wheels. The bolt on were a K&N air filter a cat back 3″ exhaust system and an aftermarket chip. At the track she put down 11 seconds with a trap speed of over 121 mph. Her top speed is unknown, but she could easily do 190 plus. What makes the power of the LT-5 so impressive , is the super high rev limit and the fact that the power does not drop off like in so many other performance engines. The real power comes in after 3000 rpms and stays with you till you hit the rev limit. For 1993 a passive keyless system (PKE) was standard. With the key phob on you, coming near the car would unlock either the driver door or both doors depending on the proffered programming. Another unique standard on all ZR1’s was the special Solar Ray laminated windshield, which lowered interior temperature, which in my Black interior would definitely come in handy. Introduced in 1992 was the traction control system, which remained till the end of the ZR1 production. A nuisance most of the time, as I never drive with traction control. All ZR1’s were fully loaded with the exception of the see through top, which was ordered with car. The Bose sound system put out 200 amazing watts, along with an automatic volume control. The faster you went the louder it got. Aslo standard was Low Tire Pressure Warning Indicator (UJ6) – Low tire/air pressure monitoring and warning system.
Sensors strapped to each side of the inside of each wheel sent a radio signal to a instrument-panel receiver if pressure in any tire dropped below a preset limit.
Car & Driver magazine’s “ten best” issue (dated January, 1994) determined that the 1993 ZR-1 Corvette was the winner of the top speed category.
This ZR1 had a window sticker of almost $68,000.00 in todays money, that is well above $100,000.00
I have to admit, that from all my Corvettes this is my favorite. Even though I own a 1991 ZR1, there’s something about this 1993 Black beauty. Of course 411 hp at the wheels with a rev limit of just over 7000 does tend to make me grin.

93 Z side

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1991 Corvette ZR1

1991 Corvette ZR-1 RPO ZR1

zr1 emblem

The Corvette ZR1’s have a long performance heritage. The first Corvettes produced with the ZR1 factory code, were within the C3 generation Corvettes, but the ZR1 were only produced between 1970-1972 out of the entire run of the C3 generation, which ran from 1968 -1982. These first ZR1’s received the best performance accessories G.M had for the time period. Things like racing suspension, brakes, stabilizer bars, and other high performance components to LT-1 cars. From there, the ZR1 did not exist till 1990, when G.M finally released the long awaited beast.
Again, having the ZR1 emblem on your Corvette meant that you were driving around in the most high performance machine America produced. The new engine was called the LT5, and is an all aluminum 349CID/5.7 Liter 32 Valve piece of engineering that has yet to be matched anywhere on earth. Between 90-92, the motors were rated at 375 hp, with a near 7000RPM red line, yet have more reliability and endurance over any high performance engine ever produced in this country to date. The ZR1 is known for its top speed endurance record, where the car went at speeds over 175MPH, non- stop, for 24 hours. There are NO American cars that can do this except the ZR1 to date! The ZR1 truly is a race car on the street and has the endurance to go from coast to coast as fast as possible without breaking, if there were no speed limits. The LT5 was so radical, that GM could not even produce it, themselves. It was partially designed by Lotus, but was actually hand build by the Mercury Marine Company in Stillwater Oklahoma… A totally off the wall move by GM, which has never been done again.
From 1990 to 1995 GM/Chevrolet produced the end result of one of the most radical projects ever done by the very conservative company. The LT5 ZR1 32V Dohc “King of the Hill” Corvette! The total number of cars from 1990-1995 were only 6939 for all the years combined, making all of them quite a rare piece of machinery. The sticker on these cars were right about $70,000 USD and went up a bit as the years went on, making it affordable to only a few. From 1990-1992, the LT-5 was rated at 375hp and the hp was upped to 405 from 1993-1995. The tell tale sign of a ZR1, is its extreme width in the back. You cant miss it! It is 4″ wider that a regular corvette from the same generation, and uses the massive 315/35/17 tires on 11″ wide wheels. The rarest of ZR1’s were between 1993-1995 as only 448 units were made each year. All ZR1’s came fully loaded and all had some very interesting hardware. The oil cooling system for example was larger than most cars entire cooling system. The car has a special version of the German built ZF 6 speed transmission, another radical move on GM. The car has a self adjusting suspension, known as RPO code “FX3” which has 3 selections, Tour, Sport and Performance, which can be changed with a simple turn on a switch. Another cool feature for the ZR1, was the valet switch. This switch allowed you to limit the power output of the engine, at the turn of the key. A very handy feature indeed, for those rare times, that someone other than yourself had to drive the car.
My 1991 ZR1 was ordered in Arctic White with a Red Leather interior. What makes this car extra rare, is the fact that it was ordered as an export model RPO code Z49. There were only 152 produced out of the 2044 production that year. Export models had automatic headlights , as well as dash gauges with Euro markings. These cars are destine to be among the most collectible of Corvettes, as never before and most likely never again will a Corvette possess an all aluminum dual overhead 32 valve V8. The sound of this engine going through the gears, is nothing short of pure ecstasy.

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1988 Callaway Corvette Convertible (1 of 65)

Callaway logo

1988 Callaway Corvette Convertible RPO B2K
The special edition Callaway Twin Turbo Corvette was available from 1987 to 1991 as Regular Production Option (RPO) B2K and could be ordered from select dealers in the US. Corvette orders with the B2K option selected were shipped to Callaway Cars in Old Lyme, Connecticut, for the Twin Turbo conversion directly from the Bowling Green Kentucky assembly plant.
While the final production exceeded 500 Corvettes, the total that were ordered through the Bowling Green plant was lower due to a few factors. These factors included many dealers sent cars already in the process of delivery to their stores, or may have been on their lot and were used to “prime the system.
105 cars were ordered with RPO B2K, while Callaway records show 125 cars constructed.
Bowling Green records showed 50 coupes and 55 convertibles made while Callaway records showed 60 coupes and 65 convertibles. 1988 also saw the official release of the automatic transmission – 10 coupes and 16 convertibles were equipped this way. In 1988, Corvettes saw 17-inch wheels become available. Callaway Corvettes for that year (and subsequent years) wore handsome, silver 17” Dymags that utilized the base Corvette locking center cap. The Dymag wheels were manufactured in Europe and were made of super light weight Magnesium alloy.

Performance:
For 1988, Callaway increased the stock performance of the Twin Turbo Corvette to yield 382 hp (285 kW) and 562 lb•ft (762 N•m) of torque. That year, 125 Callaway Twin Turbo Corvettes were built with 105 ordered with the RPO B2K option.
In 1988 owning a sports car with 382 hp and 562 lb.ft of torque, was unheard of, which put the Callaway Twin Turbo Corvette in the Super Car category. Of course although this was incredible power, it wasn’t quite enough for me. Knowing the ins and outs of these cars, I decided to modify my 88 slightly from factory. The first performance part ordered, was directly from Callaway. Since one known weakness in the system was the air intake flow. Callaway had designed the “Wonder Bar” that did away with the factory stock design which restricted air flow from the air filter. Next came an aftermarket intake, which consisted of (SLP Siamese runners, ACCEL Big Mouth Intake and modified ported plenum to match. This did away with the factory TPI runner and intake system which was a major source of restriction, and limited rpm power to about 5000 rpms. Larger fuel injectors and roller rockers topped off the engine combination, which allowed the beast to now make power well above 6200 rpms. For an exhaust, I fabricated a true dual 3″ stainless system. The hp now is well above 700, while torque is in excess of 800 ft. lbs.
If you ever wanted to experience the feeling of being launched off a navy carrier, this car will accomplish that.

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1991 Callaway Corvette Twin Turbo Convertible (1 of 6)

1991 Callaway Corvette Twin Turbo Convertible Driver Side Distanced

1991 Callaway Corvette Twin Turbo Aerobody RPO B2K

Callaway logo

This is 1 of 6 ever produced. This car was originally built through the G.M. rpo B2K option order, for the manufacturer of Dymag Wheels. Dymag Wheels were offered on the 87-early 91 Callaway Twin Turbo  cars. Wheels were made of magnesium, although in the last batch of production, Callaway switched to the OZ racing line which were applied on the ultra rare Callaway Twin Turbo Speedsters. Callaway Corvettes with the Aerobody package were aerodynamically capable of hitting 190+ mph. Hitting these speeds in a production vehicle was unheard of at the time. Also unheard of was the price tag of this car, as it had a window sticker of $121k, making it the most expensive GM car of the day. Again, we’re talking about 1991 money. In today’s money, this amount would equate to $180k+. Because of the break up between Callaway and the owner of Dymag, this car was sold to its European owner, the famous Phillipe Charriol, a well-known Swiss Jewelry/Watch designer and manufacturer who was also a very well respected race car driver in European circles.

 

1991 Callaway Corvette Twin Turbo Engine Performance Specs:

  • 403 hp (301 kW) and 582 lb ft (789 N x M)
  • Special Engine Prep and Components:
  • Splayed 4 bolt mains
  • Forced Gas Nitrided Crankshaft, 60Rc Journal Hardness
  • Proprietary Mahle Forged Pistons with 7.5:1 compression; Plasma Moly Ring Package
  • Dry sump pump for turbo oil scavenge and polished air inlet castings
  • Balance and Blueprint Operations Include:
  • Magnaflux Block and Crank Assembly, crankshaft journals cross-drilled and micropolished
  • Aluminum cylinder heads decked; line bore main bearing caps and block; decks squared to crank centerline; all galleries cleaned and replugged; valve springs shimmed for equal pressure, and all threads chased.

Production for 1991:

There were 62 ordered in this last year of Twin Turbo production. In total, 492 B2K Callaway Twin Turbo Corvettes were ordered through the normal sales channels. Of these, less than half were convertibles and of those, 6 were ordered through GM with the new Aerobody.

The most famous of the Callaway Twin Turbo was the 1988 prototype named “The Sledgehammer”. The Callaway Sledgehammer Corvette held the World Street Legal speed record of 254.76 mph.

The special edition Callaway Twin Turbo Corvette was available from 1987 to 1991 as Regular Production Option (RPO) B2K and could be ordered from select dealers in the U.S.. Corvette orders with the B2K option selected were shipped to Callaway Cars in Old Lyme, Connecticut, for the Twin Turbo conversion directly from the Bowling Green assembly plant.

Once converted and tested, the Callaway Corvettes were then shipped to their ordering dealers for final delivery to their respective owners. Dealer repairs of the Callaway Twin Turbo Corvettes were covered by the standard GM 12 mo./12,000 mile warranty, with Callaway Cars, Inc. reimbursing dealers for the time and materials on repairs to the added components. This was the only time when GM has allowed a factory order able non-GM performance enhancement on the Corvette.

From 1987-1991, a total of 497 (B2K) Callaway Twin Turbo Corvettes were ordered through the normal sales channels, making the Callaway Twin Turbo Corvettes some of the most collectible and rare Corvettes in history.

 

 

1992 Camaro Z28 Quasar Blue Met

1992 Camaro Z-28 RPO Z28 in Quasar Blue Met

An original 5.7 ltr. Z28 loaded with all the goodies except for t-tops, which I do not like, as it weakens the f-body. Car was originally ordered in Dark Teal met., but I decided it would look better in my all time favorite Quasar Blue Met.

No expense was spared during the color change. Every panel, molding, glass, etc. was carefully removed. All the factory imperfections on the outer skin were corrected. Car was painted in a state of the art million dollar paint facility. Paint was also baked cured, which is a must for any quality paint change over. The Z-28 was ordered with all the performance options. Added to the numbers matching factory engine block, were a set of mildly massaged aluminum heads, Custom ported Holley Stealth ram, and General Motors performance hyd. roller camshaft. Engine was completely disassembled, checked (blue printed) and reassembled.

My goal was to build a Z-28 the way it should have left the factory in 1992. 1LE front brakes were added, as well as special braces in key areas. Lots of professional attention to detail fabrication, made the new induction system look like it left the factory looking that way. The all 304 mandrel bent stainless true dual exhaust system was custom fabricated on the car. All tig welded and polished. As seen on some of the picture below, there is absolutely no rust anywhere on the car. The under chassis is clean enough to eat off from.

Although this car had more miles than I usually get for my collection, the car was examined and found to be in much better shape than many extremely low mileage cars that I had looked at. This was the perfect car for the intended performance upgrades, I had planned for the car. The car is as solid as they come, and then some. The seats were removed and treated to a conservative two tone leather combination, with custom embroidered blue stitched Z-28 on the head rests. The factory leather steering wheel was redone in two tone black / gray leather in order to update and enhance the complete look.

After many years of building muscle cars, I decided that all of that experience would serve to build this Z-28 for my own personal use.