Early this year we presented Tim X’s stroker C4 Corvette – undoubtedly one of
Australia’s gruntiest ‘Vettes (see
Vet Injection). Well, take a look at the other beast that lives in Tim’s garage – an
absolute show-stopping ’98 C5 Corvette convertible that’s detailed to
Tim bought this C5 from the ‘States in 2000. It was a 6000 mile (9600km)
rental car that had been stolen, stripped and then clad with multiple
replacement panels – none of which were the same colour... Understandably, Tim
had some reservations about purchasing the car, so he had a reputable US-based
Corvette tuner - Doug Rippie Motorsports (DRM) - give it a full inspection.
Everything passed with flying colours.
Tim bought the car and immediately treated it to a DRM C5R kit comprising a
new intake, modified heads, upgrade camshaft and enhanced suspension. Next,
the ‘Vette was shipped to Australia and the Corvette Clinic performed a left to
At last, Tim had a late-model convertible ‘Vette he could cruise around
in. But that multi-colour body wasn’t exactly flattering...
A respray was urgently required - but Tim didn’t want a plain ol’ spray job.
The initial plan was to paint the car white at the front and purple at the rear,
but after much discussion the current paint scheme was chosen. The existing
paint base is silver at the front and a distinctive blue/purple at the rear.
In addition to the graduated silver and blue/purple paint base, the C5 body
is further enhanced with a chequered flag theme that appears to sprout from the
front side vents. There are also a set of yellow stripes down the sides to add
an extra splash of colour.
Look closely and you’ll see the bonnet (which is a DRM item with a heat
extraction vent) features small flames, and the paint detail extends into the
door jambs. Of course, the detailing also includes the colour-matched engine
bay. This is one of the most impressive paint jobs we’ve ever
seen. Not surprising, given the 300 hours of professional labour invested...
And with the body sorted, next came the interior.
The standard Corvette interior has been hauled out to make way for an all-new
trim to match the exterior. The C5 ‘Vette seats were trimmed in a combination of
blue, silver and yellow leather and a blue leather section was inserted into the
rim of the airbag steering wheel. Blue vinyl trim covers the lower section of
the dash, while dark blue carpet and blue seatbelts ensure an integrated look.
Subtle touches inside the cabin are the airbrushed flag theme along the door
trim and raised flames on the centre console lid. A Corvette emblem is also
stitched into the seat backrests.
With the body and interior treated to one of the most elaborate
make-overs we’ve ever seen, Tim recognised that there was something missing.
There was still room for improvement...
The normally boring underside of the bonnet now features an airbrushed skull
wearing a Corvette bandanna while the underside of the boot is airbrushed with
the theme of a chequered flag burning away to reveal the American flag. It’s now
fair to say that nothing has been left untouched!
The LS1 V8 mechanicals have also come in for some more mods since the initial
DRM C5R kit. The engine management has been custom tuned by ChipTorque and the
auto trans shift points have been tweaked. The induction system has also been
swapped to a Vara-Ram set-up while a custom CES extractor and exhaust system
reduces back-pressure. The car’s best quarter mile time is a 13.4 at 112 mph –
but note that this was before fitment of the new exhaust, intake and modified
management. A flat 13 now seems likely.
Putting power to pavement are chrome 17 and 18 inch C5 rims wearing huge
245/40 and 275/40 Dunlops. Note that a tasty set of aftermarket wheels were bolted on not long after our photo shoot. The polished appearance of
the existing C5 wheels match well with the custom fabricated stainless steel
Since completion of the vehicle’s intense build-up, Tim has entered his C5 in
several car shows and won several major trophies. But probably the biggest
thrill is participating in the parade lap at Indy for the last two years – he’s
even taken Paul Tracy for a ride around the track (though presumably not at race
With so much effort invested, it’s only natural that Tim has grown
particularly attached to his show ‘Vette. But when he looks at it now he says
there’s not a lot left that can be done – keep in mind he already has the
stroker C4 ‘Vette and another older ‘Vette (which we won’t go into here...)
If you’d like a slice of American automotive perfection, Tim is willing to
take offers around AUD$125,000. What price would you put on a professional art
piece such as this?
ChipTorque +61 7 5596 4204
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