Matt Dallas did not have a grand plan when he bought his C6 Corvette. “Just like everybody else, I never planned on getting to where I am today,” he says. “Things just evolved this way.”
Matt previously owned a C5 Corvette, but just didn’t like its overall looks. “I just could not get over it,” he remembers. “I loved the back end of the car, but I could not get over those flip-up headlights. I decided I had to have this 2009 ‘Vette since it looked so much better.”
He found the C6 Corvette in Houston and drove over to look at it with his Dad. They pulled up in the parking lot where it was for sale, and Matt asked his father: “Do you think you can drive this one home? Because I don’t think we’ll be riding home together…”
That’s where the modification process began. Matt bought a D-1SC ProCharger setup and put it in the C6 Corvette. He thought if it ran in the 10’s, he’d be happy.
“It ran a little faster than I thought it would go,” he says. “So, I thought I’d buy a cam and put it in. One thing leads to another. The original six-speed transmission was giving me trouble, so I took it in to have that worked on, and when it came out of the shop, it ran 10.01 at 143 mph.”
It bothered Matt to be that close to the 9’s, so it didn’t take long before he went to work toward that goal. “I was driving it around town all the time,” he says. “I was going home from work one day, and the motor let go driving down the highway. I started gathering parts and talking to friends at Texas Speed and Performance.”
From that conversation came a 387 ci short-block with Darton sleeves and all Automotive Racing Products (ARP) hardware. He added a Texas Speed and Performance crankshaft and I-beam connecting rods, Wiseco 9:1 pistons and Melling Performance oil pump. He used Texas Speed’s Precision Race Components cylinder heads, Manley Performance valves, Texas Speed valvesprings, and stock rocker arms with a bushing kit. They utilized a Pat G Tuning specified cam and GM LS7 lifters, a stock LS3 intake and throttle body along with Cometic head gaskets. For fueling, he used Injector Dynamics ID1050X injectors fed by a MagnaFuel MP-4303 on VP Racing Fuels C16 gas.
The ProCharger supercharger was updated to an F1A-94 at 22 psi with a Treadstone 1,300-hp intercooler. At that point, the C6 Corvette still had the 6L80E transmission in it. “I was still driving the car around at that point and wanted to put some miles on it to break it in,” Matt says. “I used Pat G in Victoria, Texas to do all my tuning. He is conservative but always spot on. It always ran faster than I expected. So, he sent me a base tune.”
Matt drove his C6 Corvette for months to break in the new engine and was happy with it for some time. But then he had another bad break. “I had to roll into it one day, and the six-speed let go again,” he says. “That’s how I wound up with the RPM Transmissions Corvette/Powerglide conversion in the Corvette.”
Replacing the original 6L80E transmission with the bulletproof Powerglide was a conversation I didn’t want to have with my wife but had no choice. -Matt Dallas
“RPM does a really nice set-up for the rear transaxle,” Dallas says. “The Reid case Powerglide transmission still bolts to the back of the car just like the factory. It has a transbrake, and FTI Performance 5,500 rpm converter that adapts from the tailshaft to the factory differential.”
Matt put that in the car and on the first trip back to the track, the C6 Corvette dipped into the 9.60s. “But, it was horrible on the 60-foot and horrible on the gear change,” he remembers. “It just fell flat on its face. That’s when I talked to FTI and got a new torque converter design. It’s the first converter I’ve ever bought that picked up eight-tenths. The car left well, picked up on the 60-foot and picked up on the gear change; it’s a different animal. I still drive it to work now and then, and this car will run consistent 8.60s at the track.”
It’s now been a few months since the complete transformation and Matt has put nearly 800 miles on his C6 Corvette. “I take it out on a sunny day,” he says. “I don’t live far from work, so I’ll drive it to work or out to dinner. It still has the air conditioning in it, too. Everything is the same except the cage on the inside.”
Of course, Matt still wants more and with the engine recently back out of the C6 Corvette again, more modifications are on the way. “I blew it up this week again,” he says. “I’m going to up the compression on it some, swapping the cam again. I want to say I’d be happy if it ran 8.50’s, but that probably won’t be enough for me.”