For some of us, going topless doesn’t mean being asked politely to put our shirt back on. Some of us, but not all of us, prefer to refer to “going topless” as a reason to pop the top on a car like this Corvette C6 and hit the next race track, highway, or a hellacious hill climb. It’s the ultimate excuse to let the cool night breeze flow through our hair or whatever stray strands are still left up there, that this.
One Hot Corvette Summer
Bought in 2018 from the Corvette Warehouse, Bill’s desire to own a C6 stemmed straight from necessity. The guy already owns a C3, C5, and a C8. So what’s one more little Vette in the shed, right?
But for Bill, it’s more than just collecting Corvettes. It’s about connecting, and reconnecting with his roots. From the moment he encountered the film Corvette Summer when he was a boy, Bill’s infatuation with the venerable vehicle evolved into the extreme.
Now, as for how Bill got into racing, let’s say that would require its own separate article. Just know that racing a ’68 Camaro against anything encountered on the asphalt was a staple for much of his youth. And when the whole family and career portion of his life finally set in, finances and free time shifted gears away from project cars semi-permanently. Note the “semi” portion of that last line, people. It’s pretty important.
A C6 Reborn to Race
By the time this 2010 Chevy Corvette Grand Sport ended up in Bill’s driveway, he had already gotten to a point where he could afford to dive headfirst back into modding and racing GM machines. And so he did, knowing full well that things could go sideways at any moment.
As far as Bill was concerned, this convertible Grand Sport was never meant to rock a stock LS3. It was never meant to have a head & cam combo with a supercharger running on E85, either. Yet build it, he did. A first attempt that yielded an impressive 819 horsepower at the wheels and a huge smirk on its owner’s face.
But Bill and his team at 820 Performance of Fort Worth, Texas, knew they were working on borrowed time. The stock block and heads on the LS3 were never intended to withstand that level of abuse. At least not routinely. This is precisely what happened when the original LS3 lifted a head, thus torching the entire block.
But a magical thing happens whenever someone pushes a machine (or its engine) to the limits. Even with the utter destruction of the entire powerplant dangling in the balance, plans for a better build begin to foster a fresh future.
Some consider it the “Phoenix Cycle” for automotive enthusiasts and race car teams. This is how the C6 got the internals and tuning it needed. Control, on the other hand… let’s say that’s still on the “must add” list.
Built Today, Gone Tomorrow
The biggest obstacle to the current build has been power management. Bill’s C6 has so much low-end torque that it blows tires off in every direction imaginable. Despite switching to a MoTeC ECU, followed by some intense recalibration tuning sessions, things are still a bit dicey even today. The toggling of traction control during launches may help, but even that struggles to hold this bounder back.
Curious about how this stage of the build has been progressing as of late, we inquired about this tricky traction control system. Bill tells us that he is currently leaving at 60-percent throttle before bringing full power back in. A risky move when leaving the line, but lightning strikes when that grippy Mickey Thompson race rubber hooks up.
This car is built to be a contender in the True Street Class and possibly Small Tire Class… but still driven on the street, to car shows or even drag events… – Bill Parker.
We’re not exaggerating when we say this C6 convertible is quick. Currently, Bill runs in Daily and Outlaw Daily race classes. A single dry shot from Nitrous Express delivers the additional oxygen his C6’s heavily reinforced LME LSR motor craves.
With 986 lb-ft of torque at the ready and 1,105 horsepower at the wheels, this Vette’s best eighth-mile ET stands at 5.40 seconds at 127 mph. At the same time, Bill’s best 60-foot time sits squarely at 1.35 seconds. And remember, that’s with him dialing everything back on the torque end.
Looking Back, But Focused Forward
With 47,398 miles on the odometer, and a 2-year build still being budgeted out, Bill Parker’s 2010 Chevy Corvette Grand Sport is more of a handful than ever. Despite all that, it remains the 54-year-old’s hope to get this C6 to a point where it can run in True Street and even Small Tire classes.
Finally, it is worth noting that this convertible Corvette is still completely street-legal. Bill is eager to point out that his C6 still has a full interior, working AC, and a banging stereo system to boot, complete with a 12-inch subwoofer and booming bass. These are all very uncommon items to find in a vehicle racing in classes where gutted race cars are the norm. Maybe taking that top off did help a bit after all…
Make/year: 2020 LSR Block
Current cid: 400
Bore/Stroke: 4.125 in. x 3.625 in.
Crankshaft: Callies Compstar 8 Counterweight
Connecting rods: Callies Ultra Billet H Beam
Compression ratio: 10.0:1
Engine built by: Late Model Engines of Houston, Texas
Camshaft make: Custom grind from Cam Motion
Cylinder heads make/type: Frankenstein M311
AIR and FUEL
Engine tuner: Modified By KC
Injector size: 1700cc
Pump(s): Fore Triple Pump
Intake manifold: Holley
Throttle body make/size: Katech 103 mm
Mufflers: Factory Z06
Pipe size: 3 inch
Nitrous Oxide System: Nitrous Express
Wet or Dry: Dry
Jet size(s): 54
Supercharger System: Vortech Superchargers
Headunit Model: A&A YSi
Intercooler: Custom air to water
Type: RPM Power Glide
Clutch / Converter: Freak Show
Stall speed: 3,800 rpm
Type: Ford 9-inch
Axles: G Speed
Front upper/lower control arms: Stock
Front shocks/struts: Mencer Coilover
Front sway bar: None
Steering box: Power
Rear upper/lower control arms: Stock
Rear shocks: Mencer Coilovers
Rear springs: Mencer
Rear sway bar: PFADT
Front: Weld S77 17 x 6-inch Custom candy copper powder coat
Rear: Weld S77 15 x10-inch Custom candy copper powder coat
Tires, front: Mickey Thompson front runner radial 26x6x17
Tires, rear (street/strip): Mickey Thompson pro radial 275/60-15
Front: Aerospace Components
Rear: Carlyle Racing
Color: Arctic white
What condition was it in when you bought it? Very good
Body modifications: Simpson parachute mount for a 4,000-lb rated ‘chute
Hood: Factory Grand Sport w/ Track Spec hood vents
Spoiler: Carbon Fiber flush mount
Roll bar/cage: RPM 6-point cage, custom powder coated in candy copper to match the wheels
Other safety equipment: 5-point harness
Other interior mods: Corbeau Seats, parking brake handle delete for MotionRraceework parachute handle
Gauges: Custom switch panel for the MoTeC
Best 1/8-mile ET: 5.40 seconds
60ft. time: 1.35 seconds
Horsepower: 1,105 rwhp
Torque: 986 lb-ft