Born to Go Fast

An exercise in performance incrementalism yields a 1,000-horse, Lambo-lambasting Stingray

June 15, 2015
Born to Go Fast 1
Born to Go Fast 2
Born to Go Fast 3
Born to Go Fast 4
Born to Go Fast 5
Born to Go Fast 6

Brian Babernitch was born with gasoline in his veins, and grew up surrounded by fast cars and people who loved them. His grandfather and father were both avid sprint-car racers, and he spent countless weekends with them at tracks throughout the northeastern United States. But while grandpa and dad were drawn to racing cars, young Brian fell in love with motorcycles, and true to his bloodline began racing them at every opportunity.

“I started racing motocross at an early age,” Babernitch relates. “I travelled around the country for several years, racing, and won a few state and national events.” He stopped racing competitively only after launching an audio/video business back in 2001 and devoting most of his time to making this new venture successful. “But even then,” he notes, “I continued to ride both motocross and sport bikes on-track for fun. If that need for speed is in your system, it’s in there forever.”

Though Babernitch was drawn to fast motorcycles at an early age, quick cars didn’t lure him in until much later. In fact, the first few four-wheel vehicles he owned were trucks, but even with them we can see a clear progression. “My first was a 1986 S-10 pickup with a four-cylinder engine. Next came a 2007 S-10 SS with a V-6, followed by a 2004 Dodge Ram V-8, and finally a Hummer H2 powered by a V-8.”

When Babernitch finally decided to transition out of trucks and into a car, there was no chance of altering the instinctual path he was on. “It seems as though every new vehicle that I bought had more cylinders and more horsepower,” he observes. “I sold the Hummer, and my very first car was a Lamborghini Gallardo with a V-10.”

As his first—and, at the time, only—car, the Lamborghini was Babernitch’s weekend toy, as he spends most of his time in a work van. “Yeah,” he laughs, “I was one of the very rare exotic-car owners who actually drove his car. When I sold the Lamborghini after three years of ownership, it had accumulated almost 35,000 miles, even just driving it on the weekends.”

Besides taking him everywhere he went, the Italian exotic did something else. It brought him into the automotive scene, where he met like-minded enthusiasts and got pretty heavily involved with charity car shows. That induced him to buy another interesting—and, of course, fast—car to replace the Lambo, a 2011 Porsche Panamera 4S.

“The Porsche was a great car that was very sporty and at the same time very luxurious,” he explains. “But as good as it was, I always felt I was missing something. I eventually realized that it was that raw horsepower that only a true American muscle car brings.” At the very same time these thoughts were coursing through his head, Babernitch happened to see a TV commercial for the new C7 Stingray, and the car’s appearance profoundly impacted him. “It was like seeing a unicorn,” he recalls. “I knew immediately that I had to have it. The look of the car just blew me away!”

Also from Issue 99

Buy Corvette magazine 99 cover
Like us on:   Facebook