When Ken Woodcock, a retired Marine from West Grove, Pennsylvania, bought his 10th Corvette-a Millennium Yellow '00 convertible-in 2004, he planned on keeping it 100 percent stock. But what's a man to do when his wife tells him to go get some mods?
"I bought my first Corvette shortly after getting out of the Marines and getting back from Viet Nam," Woodcock says. "It was a Fathom Green '69 427/390 coupe, and it began my love affair with the Corvette. Fast-forward 32 years, and the love affair is still going strong. So when I bought a C5 and told my wife, Joann, I was going to keep it all-original, I thought she'd agree with my decision-but she didn't." It went like this:
Ken: "Honey, this one I'm keeping totally stock. I'm not changing a thing."
Joann: "Yeah, but it just doesn't sound like a Corvette. You'll have to change a few things."
What the two didn't realize then was that Ken was about to embark upon a four-year mission to turn the stock C5 into a supercharged, 640hp ZL7 supercar capable of besting Z06s at the track, on the road course, and on the street.
"My first mods were to make the Corvette sound more like a vicious animal," Woodcock says. "I began with an x-type pipe system, Random Tech cats, B&B Bullet mufflers, and 3-inch stainless steel pipes. That gave the Vette the growl it needed."
Design alterations followed. Holcomb's Auto Body in West Grove, Pennsylvania, installed an aerodynamically inspired ACI front splitter and ground effects, along with a Caravaggio rear wing. "After the first set of mods, I liked the way the Corvette looked-and the exhaust had certainly boosted the performance level. Even so, I didn't feel it was quite fast enough or unique enough," Woodcock says.
Woodcock next contacted SLP Performance Parts of Toms River, New Jersey, to purchase the company's ZL7 427 C5 Corvette PerformancePac. This all-encompassing engine-upgrade package comes with 1.85-ratio rocker arms, an 85mm MAF sensor, a Blackwing cold-air induction system, a DiabloSport II programmer with custom SLP tuning, and an LS6 intake manifold. Used together, these parts are said to boost the output of an LS1 Vette to around 427 hp. To free up even more ponies, Woodcock also added a set of LG Motorsports' highly regarded long-tube headers with 1.75-inch primaries.
"I really liked the way the Corvette performed, but I wanted more," Woodcock says. Accordingly, he took his C5 to East Coast Supercharging (ECS) in Cream Ridge, New Jersey, where 4.10 gears and a case-hardened output shaft were added.
That would have been enough for most Corvette owners, but Woodcock admits that he was by now fully in the throes of mod fever, and so the metamorphosis continued. He returned the car to Holcomb's, where it received a pair of LSD vertical Lambo doors, an ACP carbon-fiber-and-fiberglass hood, and custom-painted stripes. "I started to win a lot more car shows after the third year of mods," he says. "My Corvette really stood out, and I liked the attention it received."
Woodcock decided he wanted the engine compartment to look as good as the rest of the car, so he contacted Creative Engine Covers in Midlothian, Virginia, for a full complement of chrome underhood jewelry. The bechromed items included a cowl insert and bolt kit, a bumper insert and bolt kit, an alternator bracket, a brake-booster cover, a master-cylinder cover, a power-steering-reservoir cover, and a dipstick handle. Woodcock also procured a chrome alternator from Tuff Stuff to add to the engine-bay presentation.