Point of View

Also from Issue 52

  • Hand-controlled 2007 Z51
  • 1961 restoration
  • Market Report: C4
  • Tech: Carbon fiber
  • 1990 Lister Corvette
  • 1958 Lister Corvette
  • 1969 L88 convertible
  • Racing: 24 Hours of Le Mans
  • How-To: C3 trailing arms
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The same is true of the throttle. An injudicious stab on the gas pedal will swing the rear around in a hurry, while at the same time violently slamming you into the seat and generating an expensive cloud of smoke. The secret to gaining real pace in this machine is to sneak up on the power band, making sure the front wheels are aimed straight before the boost comes on. Johnson wanted a package that would allow him to “roll into it like a cruise missile,” and he got it.

When the rear tires hook up, this Corvette reels in the horizon at an alarming clip, so much so that you have to look far down the road any time you’re hard on the gas. If you don’t, you’re going to get hurt—fast. Respecting what this vehicle can do is key to keeping one’s hide intact.

It could be argued that this Corvette has too much power. Even with those enormous Hoosiers out back, it has a hard time putting all 783 horses to the pavement. Yet, in the higher gears the car lunges forward so explosively, so addictively, we wouldn’t want any less output. We even caught ourselves imagining what it would be like if Johnson were to have even more ponies extracted from the V8.

Power truly is corrupting.

On the other hand, the point can be made that this Corvette has just the right amount of horsepower. Despite its extensive engine mods, the car is still docile around town, albeit somewhat on the loud side. It’s equally at home being driven to the store as it is being raced down the drag strip, which is exactly how Johnson wanted it. In the end, the question of what constitutes too much power just depends on your point of view.