“If just enough is good, even more is better.” It’s a statement uttered by Corvette modifiers for more six decades, to justify the increases in power they sought (and usually got).
But Scot Ancker’s 1999 Corvette goes beyond “even more.” It’s one of just 26 C5s built to GTR specs by Specter Werkes, and sold through Fort Lupton, Colorado’s Purifoy Chevrolet. It was also Specter’s show car at the 1999 SEMA Show in Las Vegas.
But the eye-grabbing bodywork was far from the only upgrade a customer got with the GTR package. “Then, you’d pick your engine platform,” says Ancker. In this case, the factory LS1 received a forged-steel Lunati stroker crank, yielding a displacement of 383 cubes. Also going in were a set of forged JE pistons and a Comp Cams big-lift hydraulic roller camshaft, which Ancker says lights his GTR’s “Check Engine” light because the ECM thinks the engine is misfiring.
But the main upgrade to the powerplant in Ancker’s ’99 is the Whipple supercharger that sits atop a custom-made sheetmetal intake manifold and intercooler by Dragon Race Engineering. Running only 5 pounds of boost, it bumps the big-inch LS’s output to a ZR1-toppling 618 rear-wheel horsepower.
The rest of the powertrain, as well as the chassis, also got their share of upgrades. That includes a Centerforce clutch and Hurst shifter for the six-speed transaxle, Hotchkis suspension hardware at all corners, and Michelin Pilot Sport–wrapped HRE modular wheels.
Custom Auto Weave upholstery enlivens the cabin, while a Broncos-blue rollbar ensures NHRA
All that is contained in a body that’s been graced with a custom paint scheme applied by Purifoy Chevrolet and Havasu Customs. Denver Broncos orange and blue are the main colors, with subtle pink and silver ghost flames. “If I ever wanted to sell it, all I’d have to do is drive it down to Sports Authority Field at Mile High during a Broncos game, and I could sell it there,” says Ancker.
Inside, the upgrades combine form and function, with a rollbar and an A-pillar–mounted boost gauge added to the GTR’s cabin, along with custom upholstery by Auto Weave in Denver.
That safety hardware isn’t there for looks, as Ancker notes. “My wife races it at Bandimere Speedway, in what’s called ‘Club Clash.’” That’s where local car clubs and teams square off in a season-long series for street-legal cars. How well has it run in the high-country air at Bandimere? “She runs 13.00s—she ran a 12.9 in it once,” says Ancker, who adds, “We’re a full second slower up here than at sea level, because of our altitude.”
But Ancker’s GTR doesn’t trade off street driveability for on-track performance. “It’s a cool car—it runs great, it looks great, and is no problem to drive,” he says. He adds that he puts about 2,000 miles on it each year, and has done so for the seven years he’s owned it.
“If I ever wanted to sell it, all I’d have to do is drive it down to a Broncos game”—Scot Ancker
It’s not his first GTR, nor the first customized Corvette he’s bought from Purifoy. “I just sold my 1,000hp Vette,” he says, “and I have another one…of Purifoy’s specialty Vettes that makes 812 horsepower.” But another GTR, based on 2003’s 50th Anniversary model, is now gone from his garage. “It just sat there, I never drove it, and I got tired of just washing it. So, I ended up selling it to a guy who’s keeping it in his collection.”
Ancker adds that he believes Purifoy Chevrolet will be the future “Yenko” of Corvettes, a reference to the super-performance Chevys Don Yenko sold through his Pennsylvania dealership during the ’60s and early ’70s.
Michelin-shod HREs front stock brakes at each corner.
If you’re looking to create a GTR of your own, Ancker says you should go right to the source. “If you want one, you have to call Rollie Purifoy. He’s the one who owns all the molds, and he’ll set you up.” Note that the conversion alone might cost close to the sticker price of a new Corvette, as it added a cool $40,000 to the bottom line of Ancker’s car back in ’99.
But if price isn’t a concern, then a GTR might be the “ultimate C5” you’ve been looking for—the perfect expression of that old saying, “If just enough is good, even more is better.”
|1999 Chevy Corvette GTR
||Scot Ancker; Brighton, CO
||LS1 aluminum, ported and polished by Specter Werkes
||Comp Cams custom hydraulic roller
||JE Pistons forged aluminum
||Lunati forged steel, 4.00-in stroke
||Whipple intercooled supercharger with methanol injection, 5 psi boost
||Jet-Hot–coated long-tube headers, Corsa converter-back system
||Stock six-speed manual
||Stock with 3.36 gears
||Hotchkis coilovers, front and rear
||Stock four-wheel discs
||HRE three-piece aluminum; 18x10 (front), 19x12 (rear)
||Michelin Pilot Sport; 285/40ZR18 (front), 315/35ZR19 (rear)