When it comes to buying and/or building performance cars, one of the main factors involved is the cost. How much does the car cost? How much will the modifications and customization cost on top of that? Is there a cheaper car available that can achieve the same results? Should I just buy a better performing car from the start? There are not only endless vehicles to choose from but there are endless modifications available too.
Lets say someone’s goal is to own a vehicle that could go 200 miles per hour. They could spend $400,000 on a Lamborghini that will move that fast, or they could buy a 90’s Honda Civic and throw $20,000 into it and turn it into a little power rocket that can go the same speed. Of course those are completely different vehicles, but some people would prefer one over the other, mainly due to their finances. That raises the question; is there a perfect “Bang for the buck” performance car? A vehicle that delivers more than satisfactory performance without compromising the bank account and draining the wallet, does such a car exist?
Right now I can think of two that fit that description. The Nissan GTR and Chevy Corvette Z06. Both of these vehicles deliver a balance between performance,cost,and reliability. Both examples can easily outperform factory super cars, yet can be obtained at your local dealer for less than half the cost of their respected competition. I went to a local dealership of mine to check out a highly modified Z06 and the level of performance and detail it had amazed me.
Nino’s bright yellow Z06 nicknamed “Lemonhead” is truly a performance car. One of the first things I noticed about this car was the sound of it. The moment he started it a loud crackle filled the room followed by a melodic roar. The exhaust pops, the supercharger whistles and the camshaft lopes in harmony and it makes you think “This is what a V8 should sound like”. The ground slightly shakes and the person standing next to you can’t hear what you’re saying. The engine’s sound echoes off all walls and this is just when its idling. The beast is barely breathing yet its still intimidating.
Under the vented carbon fiber hood of this car, you’ll find the source of the chaos. The engine is an ERL Superdeck 427, mated with 6 bolt Brodix heads and strapped to the front is a F1X Procharger inducting over 20psi into the engine. The horses this car puts to the ground equal well over 1 thousand. Nino did not take any shortcuts to ensure that high performance was correctly squeezed from this car.
The cockpit of this machine is well equipped as well. Nino is safely strapped with a set of racing harness restraints and in front of his face are gauge pods so the driver can monitor how the engine is behaving.
With the need for speed, also comes the need for traction. Power and performance mean nothing if it can’t be controlled and tamed. A thousand horsepower is transferred to pavement through a set of sticky racing tires.
Once you get moving, eventually you’re going to need to stop. The time will always come for this rocket to have to slow down. Nino equipped a set of racing brakes for that purpose. The heavy duty set of brakes sits behind HRE performance wheels, which cost a pretty penny and were made in custom specification for this application.
This car is the definition of a performance car. I think the Z06 is one of the best performance cars on the market right now. These cars are by no means “cheap” (especially after modifying it properly and correctly, such as in Nino’s case), but consider that it competes with cars twice it’s price range, which brings us back to the “bang for the buck” situation.
There aren’t many cars on the market like the Chevy Corvette, its not a mystery why it has been in production for over 60 years.
Special thanks to Lustine Toyota, George Barnick Photography and Sal Sabella Photography!