Brewing the Perfect Storm: Weapon X Motorsports 1,500 HP Corvette C7

There’s a storm looming on the horizon, and it’s packing lightning-quick acceleration and one hell of a thunderous GM exhaust note. A swirling vortex of Weapon X Motorsports forced induction upgrades, forged internals, nitrous injection, fuel management breakthroughs, engine cooling ingenuity, all packed into a C7 Corvette convertible. It’s a rigid American middle finger to the gaudy, straight-piped, screaming as loud as possible, two-wheeled turd-rocket sitting next to you at a stop light, and man if it isn’t a ton of fun.

Speaking of forces of nature, Shawn Storm was born and bred to be a muscle car proponent. Being that his old man toiled for GM for over 35 years, Shawn’s daily life was automotive-focused from the moment his parents hauled ass home from the hospital. With a father that was forever eager to instill his petrolhead passions in his offspring and a big brother that was just as enthusiastic, Shawn was pretty much raised with a wrench in his hand. Family trips to car shows and various other events only added fuel to the young man’s fiery infatuation for Corvettes and Camaros, and when Shawn’s big brother began letting him tinker with his 1966 Chevy II, that fire became an inferno.

Fast forward 20 years and Shawn had completed both medical school and residency, subsequently gaining financial stability and independence as an orthopedic trauma surgeon. With a burning desire to own the perfect project car still churning deep within his soul, Shawn set to turning fantasy into reality courtesy of the C7 Corvette.

It was 2014, and the Corvette C7 had just emerged on the market, its aggressively styled lines sending lifelong GM fans and youngsters alike into a frenzy. From the moment he saw images of the convertible C7, Shawn knew that this was the performance vehicle he had been dreaming of since day one. At the time Shawn’s wife was driving a Cadillac CTS-V, and being that they’re both quite competitive, the C7’s ability to keep up with her heavy foot was a huge selling point.

But after a year of owning his dream car, Shawn had grown tired of having just a measly 650-horsepower on tap. After sending the vehicle off for an array of upgrades like headers, a high-performance camshaft, an East Coast Supercharging Novi 1500 blower, and meth injection, he had bumped power numbers upward toward the 1,000 rear-wheel horsepower mark, and Shawn was happy. At least for a while.

Adrenaline junkies always seem to be looking for their next “fix,” and Shawn Storm is no different. Even with a plethora of fresh ponies in his stable, he found himself feening for more power. It was over the course of winter in 2014 that Cincinnati-based Weapon X Motorsports (WXM) popped-up on Shawn’s radar via an online forum, and he immediately liked what he saw. After a few emails with the shop’s owner, an accord was struck, and a complete overhaul of the recently modified C7 was put on the roster.

As opposed to the previous shop that had completed the first build, Weapon X was only three hours away, a huge selling point for the Charleston, West Virginia native. But convenience isn’t everything, and it was not until after bonding with Weapon X owner Ben Herndon and COO Blake Leonard that Shawn realized letting the shop go wild was the best approach. It was finally time to see what the C7 was capable of under pressure, a decision that would prove to be far more taxing and rewarding than either party could have ever predicted.

Rallying around a forged, over-bored, stroked, sleeved 427 bottom end, methanol and nitrous injected combustion system, and a series of high-end bolt-ons, the overhauled Corvette seemed destined to crest 1,000 horsepower right off the line. But a lack of aftermarket fueling options and heat issues at the time were causing severe limitations, forcing the team at Weapon X to head back to the drawing board, leaving Shawn without a finished build or a solution.

When the guys at Weapon X first began speaking with Shawn about going “next level” on his C7, everyone involved knew that there would be setbacks along the way. Fueling and cooling limitations had proven to be a significant hindrance, giving the guys at Weapon X a series of obstacles to overcome. When asked what he meant by this, Shawn explains that working out the kinks while simultaneously jetting dual methanol and nitrous setup was without question one of the most substantial hurdles. However, it is this same challenge that ultimately led to a series of unique solutions and the subsequent development of some of the most game-changing products the C7 community has ever seen.

By the following summer, it became evident that finding ways to slake the C7’s insatiable thirst for ethanol was going to be the team’s greatest challenge. At the time, auxiliary fueling options were not readily available, and pushing the envelope was proving to be far more challenging than previously predicted. But after going over some options with the guys at Weapon X Motorsports, Shawn agreed to let them test-out a supplemental port injection kit on his convertible.

From there, it was onto tackling things like blown nitrous solenoids, dyno-tuning, and testing out beta versions of various products. By this point, Shawn Storm’s C7 had become the test mule for both Weapon X Motorsports’ supplemental port injection kit and an AC-run boost chiller system, a point of pride for the vehicle’s owner.

Being that Weapon X Motorsports primarily focuses on performance upgrades, Cincinnati-based customization shop Spade Kreations was tapped to handle the installation of the WXM Z06 widebody conversion and paintwork. Bodywork complete, Forgeline was contacted and a set of forged GA1R open-lug wheels clad in sticky Toyo Tire R888R rubber were put on the car. That said, save for these tasteful touches, a couple of tow hooks, and a hulking carbon hood, Shawn Storm’s C7 retains an almost OEM approach to aesthetics, which is precisely what its C7 fanatic owner wanted.

With aesthetics and advancements in the research and development of revolutionary C7 technologies now complete, the Corvette was passed back to its owner. Weapon X Motorsports had unchained a staggering 1,500 wheel horsepower, and by safely tuning the car down to around the 1,400 rear-wheel horsepower mark, its owner could now safely drive the vehicle without the fear of overheating or running out of juice. Shawn had successfully bankrolled one of the most extreme street legal C7 Corvette’s in history, and he couldn’t be happier with the results.

 

Having spent an afternoon with what many refer to as the “Storm C7,” I can attest that while the noise this Corvette makes is a dead giveaway that a gale-force like no other rests beneath the hood, the vehicle itself isn’t obnoxious. Is it a handful? Oh absolutely. But it’s not entirely out of control either. Idling with a notably mild lope, the Storm C7 has zero overheating issues, retains a usable ride height, and with the slightest blip of the throttle will throw you back in your seat all the way to redline.

Shawn tells us that this car is without question the most amazing automobile he has ever driven, and we can see why. He admits that a child-like grin creeps onto his face every time he fires it up and that he is counting down the days to warmer weather and vivacious commutes to and from the office to see patients.

Lightning bursts of speed from a force-fed monster that’s hooked on laughing gas. Ominous Forgeline rollers are resting beneath widebody Z06 silver linings. Exhaust notes that border on being thunderous. It all culminates right here, deep within the heart of the perfect storm. As clouds of smoke billow out the back, and you’re left wondering what just blasted past you on the interstate.

Shawn Storm’s 2014 C7 Corvette

Bischoff Racing Engines forged short block (re-sleeved gen V LT1 w/ Darton 4.125-inch bore sleeves)

Wiseco Pistons, Callies Ultra Rods, Callies Magnum Crank w/ 10:1 CR

WXM LT Big Valves

WXM G1Pro air to water intake

WXM Armageddon Stage 4 Camshaft Kit

WXM SPI Secondary Port Injection System

WXM Modified F1X Procharger Kit running 25 PSI

American Racing Headers

Stock exhaust with cat deletes

WXM valve covers with a catch can system

WXM Boost Freeze AC chiller system

WXM Track Attack Heat Exchanger

Dewitt’s radiator

Nitrous Express controller w/ three pre-programmed tunes and 200-shot

Nitrous Express pressure gauge and toggle box

Nitrous Outlet system with controller

Nitrous Express 15-lb bottle hydro dipped in carbon fiber wrap

Stand-alone fuel cell and pump for nitrous fueling

GForce axles

Alky Control Methanol Kit

Mantic triple disc clutch

Modified stock rear end with forged cryo-treated C6 ZR1 spider gears

RPM Chromoly roll bar

Forgeline GA1R open lug wheels (19 x 10 front 19×13 rear)

Toyo Proxes R888R Tires (295/30R19 front 345/30R19 rear)

C7 Z06 Big Brake Kit

WXM Z06 widebody conversion

RKSport Extractor Hood with modified vents

Spade Kreations and paintwork

About the author

Micah Wright

Raised on LEGOs by grandfathers who insisted on fixing everything themselves, Micah has been a petrolhead in training since age four. His favorite past times include craft beer, strong cigars, fast cars, and culinary creativity in all of its forms.
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