Extreme Measures

Improving upon the already excellent C8 requires a boundless imagination—and some very special carbon fiber

Photo: Extreme Measures 1
February 3, 2022

No one can deny the radical changes in the look of the latest Corvette as compared with previous generations. Many observers have reacted strongly to the C8’s “exotic” lines, which are unlike anything seen before on a production GM design. Building on this fresh perspective were a number of modified Corvettes at the 2021 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show, all of which were intended to enhance these startling lines even further. But one in particular, the Vuono’, created by Label Motorsports, takes the C8’s shape and features to extreme measures.

The Vouno’ name references the Greek word for mountain (the hanging quotation mark was added for effect). That’s an entirely apt moniker, considering the difficult development ascent demanded of designer and builder Andy Siradakis. His background prepared him well, however, since he’s worked on a mix of domestic and European restyling projects over the last couple of decades.

Siradakis started out in his parents’ garage at 23 years old with his first new car, a special-order ’99 Camaro SS. While he struggled at first, the project taught him plenty and set him on a path to much bigger things. Still, he looks back on this initial venture with a frank admission. “I knew nothing about working on cars,” he says. “I was completely self taught, through trial-and-error and reading any books or manuals I could find.”

Photo: Extreme Measures 2

Siradakis forged ahead by taking apart various cars and customizing them with paint, exhaust, power adders, wheels, suspension, interior modifications, and more. This passion for personalization eventually led him to build show cars that he would display on the International Show Car Association (ISCA) circuit in the early 2000s, where he won many “Best of” awards. As his hobby continued to grow, people began to request his talents to work on their own vehicles, and that eventually turned into a business of customizing cars professionally. 

The range of cars Siradakis has handled is diverse and impressive. It includes Camaros, C6 Corvettes, Audis, Porsches, BMWs, and Lamborghinis, all in the last two decades. But all of these projects culminated in the veritable massif of challenges involved in building the Vouno’ Corvette. “The project spanned through Covid, totaling 17 months to the reveal at SEMA,” he explains. “Many people will never understand the thousands of hours spent [by] everyone involved to make something like this come to life.”

It’s always been Siradakis’s dream to create his own personal interpretation of a full custom build, and this C8 is exactly that. He spent months with a local computer firm putting his ideas into computer-aided design, or CAD, to get everything in place. This phase required a local company called Diverse Dimensions to scan two brand-new C8s as soon as they came out, in order to secure all of the data for the factory mounting points and replacement panels.

Photo: Extreme Measures 3

Siradakis used this data to create a 29-piece virtual body kit, then had these parts 3D printed so he could mount them and fine-tune their fit. After months of refining the design, he then worked with SCT Sankuer Composite Technologies in Detroit to build the tooling needed for the final forged-carbon-fiber panels.

Siradakis tells us his company, Label Motorsports, developed a manufacturing process that is unique in the industry of carbon-fiber construction. Called LMC (Label Moulding [their spelling] Compound), it augments the traditional carbon-fiber structural components with a surface layer of hand-cut forged flakes for maximum flash and reflectivity. These are layered under a deep epoxy resin and then finished with a UV-stable automotive clear coat. All told, the treatment creates a remarkable depth and gloss, one that regularly stopped onlookers in their tracks at the SEMA show.

It’s also the best way to build resilient carbon body panels, as Siradakis explains. “Many inconsistencies and variables exist in the forged-carbon market,” he says. “To do [it] properly, it is applied on top of traditional structural carbon fiber as the decorative top layer. This is what makes a true forged carbon fiber stronger than traditional carbon, [even though] forged carbon alone is weaker.”

Photo: Extreme Measures 4

Invented in 2012 and introduced to the automotive world by Lamborghini, an initial version of this “chipped” look became synonymous with exotic cars, and variations of it have since been seen on different makes and models. So why did Siradakis decide to incorporate this treatment into his Vouno’ Corvette project?

“Our shop, being an exotic and European shop here in Michigan, [has] a lot of clients purchasing the C8 to add to their exotic collections,” he explains. “And we wanted to show what our interpretation of the American exotic supercar could look like.”

The list of additional modifications to the car is extensive. Starting at the nose, the fully functional hood features a duct that connects via a pass-through in the center of the front bumper to the sealed “frunk” section. This configuration provides airflow and downforce on the front as in the C8.R racecar. The Vouno’s breathtaking wide-body configuration, meanwhile, features vented front fenders and carbon rear fenders, along with bumper extensions. They’re lavished with a ’79 Corvette Frost Blue hue, though in a more subtle satin finish applied by CarStar 76’s Mark Vandenhout.

Photo: Extreme Measures 5

Other body enhancements include a front aero spoiler with a bumper “waterfall,” side skirts and blades, a high wing supported by forged mounts, and a rear aero diffuser. Additional carbon touches consist of rearview mirror housings, engine glass surrounds, door handles, and side “spear” trim. Lastly, there’s a Label Motorsports blind-spot-monitoring rearview mirror glass.

At the rear, the perforated tips of the RYFT titanium exhaust exit menacingly through a mid-bumper setup, creating the look of afterburners on a fighter jet. Brant Higgins handled the exhaust setup, which also runs a Kooks header system coated by Jet Hot.

The brakes are massive Ceika billet units with an integrated e-brake. The calipers—featuring eight pistons up front and six in the rear—are finished in a vivid lemon yellow, visible through Label-designed Brixton forged rims embellished with a brushed carbon-bronze gloss. The rims measure 20×10 and 21×13.5 inches, fore and aft, and run Michelin Pilot Sport 4S rubber sized at 285/30-20 and 355/25-21, respectively.

Photo: Extreme Measures 6

To drop the body down on these meaty tires, the chassis was fitted with an air-strut suspension, Airlift air bags, and Viair Dual Air Compressors. It’s all operated by a SquareTank air tank, coated in frost blue by Cerakote and mounted behind the LT2 V-8. The engine inhales oxygen of its own through an AFE cold-air intake system.

The Vuono’s custom interior was all done in factory-matching Alcantara suede with body-colored competition seat backs, bottoms, and belts. In keeping with the car’s mission brief as a domestic exotic, suede upholstery covers just about every surface inside the cockpit.

The car’s debut in the Gentex booth at SEMA met with astonished reactions from show-goers. This joint display also spotlighted a unique partnership between Label Motorsports and Gentex, as the latter firm contributed to the vehicle with a forged-carbon-fiber digital rearview mirror, exterior auto-dimming mirrors, and a custom-designed set of clear taillights. Gentex is a longtime Tier 1 supplier of electro-optical products for the automotive, aerospace, and fire-protection industries, and it’s perhaps best known for supplying automakers with connected-car technologies and other electronic features.

The Vuono’ has such a dramatic design aesthetic that it’s clearly an ideal platform for showcasing a wide variety of technological innovations. All told, this comprehensively reimagined C8 is proof positive that exotics aren’t solely the province of manufacturers from faraway lands. Now that Andy Siradakis and his array of development partners have scaled the steep ascent of the Vouno’s development, a handful of select clients can now join them at the summit. m

Also from Issue 152

Like us on:   Facebook icon