Number of the Beast

Also from Issue 72

  • 1969 L89 Coupe
  • Buyer's Guide: C3
  • 1964 Fuelie Coupe
  • 1959 Restomod
  • MacDonald Corvette Special
  • 1966 Big-Block Coupe
  • Spitfire Mk.26B
  • 2003 Convertible
  • Tech: Small-Block V8
Buy Corvette_magazine-72-cover
Number of the Beast 1
Number of the Beast 2
Number of the Beast 3
Number of the Beast 4
Number of the Beast 5
Number of the Beast 6
Number of the Beast 7

On the exhaust side of the powerplant equation, a set of LG Motorsports headers and an X-pipe are used, and a B&B Fusion Exhaust system gives the Z0666 a snarling bark that sets off nearby car alarms when slowly shuffling through a parking lot. When the revs come up and the exhaust note soars, the zone of tripped car alarms increases dramatically. Some Corvettes are under-the-radar; this one smashes the radar.

The dynamometer is the device that separates fact from fiction. It can make dreams come true or shatter them just as easily. After the Z0666 was lashed down and its monster engine cranked up, the numbers that spat out of the printer wowed everyone in the dyno room. The Corvette put down 925 horsepower—at the rear wheels! Torque was a massive 889 lbs-ft at 5,000 rpm, with 500 lb-ft being generated at just 2,000 revs. Figuring a 16-percent parasitic loss in the driveline, the beast under the hood was churning out 1,100 horsepower at the flywheel.

GIVEN THE ENGINE’S MASSIVE AMOUNT OF TWIST, Busch had a heavy-duty Textralia Exoskel clutch bolted on. To make sure gear changes could be slammed home with confidence, a B&M shifter was installed. On the suspension front, Busch went with Pfadt’s Level II Drag Racing Package, which includes adjustable coil-overs at each corner, a thicker rear sway bar and a full set of spherical bearings. Rolling stock is a combination of HRE wheels and Nitto NT05R tires. The brakes were left alone.

The interior is basically stock, too, but a harness bar and camera mount have been fitted. A triple-gauge pillar pod provides additional engine-related information, while a Passport 8500 radar detector and laser jammer helps the driver maintain situational awareness. In a vehicle chock-a-block with race-bred components, you want the deck stacked as much as possible in your favor.

When the Z0666 was finished, it was taken to the local drag strip for some evaluation runs, with Loud Pedal Motorsports’ Steve Kleva doing the pedaling. Unfortunately, an engine problem forced him to short shift it into fourth gear and let the tidal wave of torque hurl the car down the strip. When he tripped the lights, the timing slip read 13.5 seconds at 135 mph. It was clear that the car would run much faster, and Kleva was informed that to continue running, a roll cage would be needed. When the car was diagnosed back at the shop, it was found that the ECM had failed, putting the car into limp-home mode. Upon replacing the faulty component, a couple of hard runs in a secluded area revealed that all was well.

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE THE Z0666? Glad you asked. First of all, the suspension is firm, but not abusive. Granted, you’re more aware of bumps than you are in a stock Z06, yet you aren’t reaching for a kidney belt. But you’re probably more interested in hearing about the acceleration, right?

The overriding sensation you get in the car is that it’s just waiting for the gas pedal to be buried. When that happens, things get crazy, very quickly. The biggest immediate challenge is trying to keep the rear tires from being transformed into smoke. Dancing on the gas and clutch pedals like Fred Astaire is a must. When the Nittos finally bite, it feels like your head is being ripped off. Grabbing another gear, and another, does nothing to diminish the sensation. Between the auditory onslaught and your body being crushed into the seat back, it feels like you’ve hit an IED. It feels like the car is trying to kill you with sheer velocity. This Corvette’s acceleration is frighteningly violent.

Has David Busch reached the limit? There has to be some point when you say “enough,” don’t you think? If the past is any indication, the gang at Loud Pedal Motorsports is already cooking up ways to fry the tires even faster. It’s a slippery slope, indeed.