Welcome to wheels, Andrew. That is an awesome looking Z06 you’ve got there and I can’t wait for you tell us all about it. But, before we get to your cool Corvette, tell us how your passion for motoring began...
It’s great to be featured in wheels, I’m a big fan of the magazine. My passion for cars began when I was about four or five years old. The only kind of toys I wanted to play with back then were cars and I had hundreds of Hot Wheels cars. From there I started learning more and more about cars and when I was seven I got my first car poster and hung it on my wall.
Bet it was either a 959, Testarossa or Countach…
It was a black Lamborghini Countach! I then saw the movie Cannonball Run and that was it — I went off the deep end with cars!
That’s understandable — it’s easily one of the best car movies ever and what an incredible cast of actors too! What’s your favourite car and actor from that classic action comedy?
It has to be Burt Reynolds and apart from the Lambo, I love the red C4 Corvette that Dean Martin and Sammy Davis. Jr’s characters drive. Oh and of course, the Aston Martin DB5 with Roger Moore behind the wheel. In every scene he has a new lady friend in the passenger seat — typical Bond behaviour!
Think I’ll watch that for the millionth time this weekend, followed by Smokey and the Bandit! Moving on, what was your first car? What do you remember about it?
After many years (and many car shows!) when I turned 16, it was time for my first car which my mum bought for me. It was a 1991 Honda Civic hatchback and it had a five-speed manual.
It didn’t take long before I started modifying it and that’s where my passion really took off. I tuned the engine, added bigger wheels and lowered the suspension. It looked great and I remember driving it like it was the Lamborghini on my wall from 10 years ago!
From there I started doing engine swaps in several other Hondas that I owned. I had a 98 Civic hatchback with a built engine and a turbo kit which made around 600 horsepower to the wheels.
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Blimey, that’s more than the Countach...
It was mental! I have had many cars since then and finally found a home with American Muscle. Some of the more notable cars were a 2003 Mustang Cobra which had a Whipple Supercharger and it made 815 horses to the rear wheels! I also had a C5 Corvette that I had built. It had a turbo on it and it made 810 horses.
Those really are astonishing figures. And now you have a C6 and it is a real eye-catcher too. Tell us about this monstrous Z06…
I bought my Chevy here in the UAE from a guy that went to school in the United States and had it shipped back here. He really loved the car and it took a lot of persuading to get him to sell it to me, but I got there in the end and it was worth the effort. It’s delivers such a thrill.
You were checking out a couple of other cars before you bought the Corvette — what were they?
One was a Lamborghini (surprise, surprise!) Gallardo and a Dodge Viper but eventually I decided on the Corvette.
I’m sure it looked nothing like this when you bought it…
It’s undergone a total transformation! Originally, it was silver with stock wheels and the previous owner had heads and a cam installed in the US and that’s it.
I had only had the car for three days and had already bought a set of Weld Racing wheels for it, tinted the windows, and installed an Akrapovic Titanium Exhaust system with carbon fibre tips and gave it a set of Eibach Coilovers!
You didn’t waste any time at all did you!
Wait, there’s more! I also added a ported MSD intake manifold and a 105mm throttle body. Then I took it to the dyno to see how much horsepower I was able to extract from the 7.0-litre V8 and the answer was 100. Overall, I was pleased to see that it made a touch more than 600 horses to the wheels.
Good job! Once the mechanical side of it was done, you concentrated on the aesthetics, right?
Yes, I had the car wrapped in Avery Roaring Thunder Gloss by FOS here in Dubai. I also added all the carbon fibre trim that I could get my hands on. The vented bonnet, the entire roof, front lip, side skirts, Supervettes spoiler, rear diffuser, door handles... pretty much everything. Then to finish the exterior up I added a set of 20x10.5 and 20x13 Strasse R10 Forged Carbon Fibre 3 piece wheels. They are one of two sets ever made for a Corvette.
I spruced up the interior too with more carbon fibre as well as bits of Alcantara here and there.
It looks terrific — but are you really planning on doing an engine swap?
Yes, I am. Back in the US I have a new motor for the car which will take it to the next level. It is a 427 LSR motor with hand ported Brodix six bolt heads, and an F1X Procharger. On e85 fuel and with a methanol injection (and a small shot of nitrous just to make sure!) the car should make around 1,250-
That’s something for the future — right now it is the perfect road car for me and I drive it daily and often track it with my car club, The Ninth Degree. It handles great but loves to slide around corners too. It’s quite loud and the colour stands out so it gets a lot of attention and people are always taking photos of it. As an owner, this makes you happy to know people are enjoying what you’ve created.
It’s made us very happy. Finally, what is your dream car?
Lamborghini Huracán Performante. Thank you Cannonball Run!
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