LS Fest Favorites: Bill Stebbins’ 2011 Cadillac CTS-V

In this ongoing series, we will be spotlighting some of our favorite cars from LS Fest 2016. While there was a myriad of the coolest, cleanest cars you will ever see in one place, a few stood above the rest– at least to us. Stay tune to LSXmag.com for more of our favorites in the coming weeks. 

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All of us have what we like to refer to as a “holy grail” car. It may have been the car you had plastered all over your bedroom walls growing up, or it may be the perfect combination of features and options on a car you’ve had your eye on for a long time. But no matter what your definition of it is, few of us will ever land that ideal car. But, in some cases, the journey is better than the destination.

A “holy grail” search is how we would define how Bill Stebbins’ came into the possession of his immaculate 2011 CTS-V coupe. The search originally started with a six-speed CTS-V wagon in mind—Bill’s unicorn. But, if you’ve spent anytime searching for CTS-Vs, or six-speed GM muscle sedans at all for that matter, you are fully aware that this specific combination of features is rare; to say the least.

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“I was looking for a wagon and I really wanted a six-speed,” Bill said. “But if you’ve spent anytime searching for them, you know they’re virtually impossibly to find — especially in the wagon.”

Bill continued his search for eight months, hoping that one day the car he was looking for would turn up. In the mean time, he was also keeping his eye out for a CTS-V coupe, as it was a close second to the wagon in its unicorness in Bill’s mind.

“I was pretty much doing a nightly search for these cars,” Bill said. “I happened to find this V coupe at a dealership and it was a sliver, six-speed car—just what I was looking for except that it was a coupe instead of the wagon, but I always loved the coupe, too.”

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Bill hustled down to the dealership the next day and, after test driving the low-milage car, bought it right on the spot. He was now living the dream of V-model ownership. And while most would be happy just to finally have the car in their possession, Bill couldn’t wait to get modding.

He kicked things off by swapping out the stock set of suspension coils for lowering springs from Eibach just a week after bringing the car home. The following weekend, he pulled the brake calipers off and sent them out to be powder coated along with the wheels.

“I had the car for all of two weeks and it was already sitting in my garage on jack stands,” Bill said.

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After the car was back together and sitting on the ground again, Bill ordered up an Air Raid cold air intake to give the car a little extra pep. At this point, Bill was fairly happy with the car and decided that he would daily drive the it. But after eight months, and what was described to us as “too many miles in stop and go traffic”, the car became a weekend toy, replaced in its daily-driver duties by a Focus ST.

Once the car was benched, the real modding began. Every chrome piece on the Cadillac was removed and sent to Dennis at Hot Rods Etc for paint matching. In the mean time, almost everything plastic on the car was replaced with carbon fiber pieces from Weapon X Motorsports. A D3 Cadillac diffuser and spoiler were ordered to give the already aggressive looking V a more unique and menacing look.

Moving to the motor, things got started with a ported snout from Weapon X Motorsports and the stock throttle body was swapped for a pieces that had been ported by Mamo Motorsports. This allows the V’s stock 1.9-liter TVS supercharger to breath a little easier. Exhaust cutouts from QTP enable Bill to choose just how rowdy he wants the Caddy to be at the flip of the switch; bypassing the factory mufflers completely in the process. This, however, required Bill to fabricate his own stainless steel tunnel that runs down the center of the car and routes spent exhaust gases to the rear of the car when the cutouts are open. This prevents soot from accumulating on the V’s pristine veneer and gives the car an even more race-inspired look.

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A ZL1 lid paired with a set of Injector Dynamics ID850s make sure that the mill is flush with air and fuel while a 2.55-inch upper pulley brings the V’s total boost numbers to 13 pounds. The addition of a flex fuel sensor allows the car to run on pump gas, E85, or any mixture in-between—though the stock fuel system limits the V to E40 until the pump and injectors can be upgraded. Cincy Speed handled all of the car’s tuning needs and brought the car’s official numbers to 638 horsepower and 586 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels on the blended ethanol.

A Core short-throw shifter handles the cog changes and the car has been outfitted with the newer style emblems (sans wreath). A set of 20-inch Z/28 replica wheels, built specifically to fit the second-generation V coupe, were source from Best Wheel Deals. An Aeroforce gauge keeps tabs on the car’s vital signs.

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“What I was really trying to accomplish with the car and all the mods was, if Cadillac made a next level V, this is what it would look like,” Bill said. “I didn’t want it to be real gaudy. I wanted people to look at it and not be quite sure exactly what was different about it unless they saw it right up against another car.”

So far, Bill has had the chance to lap the car at Kentucky Raceway, where he exceeded 155 mph with the car. Otherwise, he hasn’t had the opportunity to get the car on the drag strip so the car has not seen much track time. He mentioned to us that a set of drag radials was in store and that he was hoping to get the car to the track soon.

You can typically catch Bill over on the forums of ctsvowners.com if you fancy anything he has done.

About the author

Chase Christensen

Chase Christensen hails from Salt Lake City, and grew up around high-performance GM vehicles. He took possession of his very first F-body— an ’86 Trans Am— at the age of 13 and has been wrenching ever since.
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