As they say, “looks can be deceiving.” While we don’t know exactly who “they” are, we do know what’s meant by the phrase. It’s pretty common in this industry to run across a car that isn’t what it appears to be.
Take John Antonaides ZL1, for example. While you would never expect a ZL1 to be a sleeper, one would think that the car could be pretty quick, and it is. About a year ago, we did an article on his record-setting ZL1 Camaro. John’s 2018 Summit White ZL1 ran a 10.04-second 1/4-mile at 137 mph and a 1.47 sixty-foot time. What’s impressive about this car is that it was all bolt-ons still using the factory blower. John knew the car had more in it, so they made some changes to see how much faster they could go.
For this season, John decided to replace the factory supercharger with a Gen 4 2.9-liter Whipple unit. According to Whipple, the factory LT4 supercharger falls off in efficiency when an increased volume is required. In short, the OEM unit doesn’t have much left in the tank when you try to increase the amount of air being forced in an engine. Whipple’s cure for this ailment is their 2.9-liter supercharger, which displaces 64-percent more volume than the stock 1.76-liter supercharger. The result is increased airflow capacity that results in significant power gains. With the addition of the Whipple and ECU calibration, a stock engine can pick up 125 horsepower to the rear wheels. This unit is so efficient that you can lower the supercharger speed by almost 6,000 RPM and get the same airflow of the factory supercharger. This means lower intake air temperatures (IAT), less power consumption, and substantial power gains. The big question was, how much faster could the car go?
Since John has yet to crack the engine open, it’s still considered by some a bolt-on car. The host of aftermarket goodies now include a Whipple supercharger, Nick Williams 103mm throttle body, a 2.1 Griptec pulley, Alky Alcohol Injection Systems methanol kit, Roto-Fab cold air intake, Texas Speed and Performance two-inch headers, Driveshaft Shop aluminum 1-piece driveshaft, ATI damper, and a Redline Motorsports 2-gallon ice tank and custom air-to-water heat exchanger.
John also made some upgrades on the tire and wheel combination for the Camaro. He used a Carlyle Racing 15-inch wheel conversion to fit a set of 15-inch Weld S71’s on the rear wrapped with Mickey Thompson 275/60/15 radial Pros. A front brake swap from a Camaro SS was performed to fit the Weld S71 17-inch wheels on the ZL1.
With all of the mods to the car, you might be wondering what’s stock other than the long block. Much to our surprise, the Camaro still has a stock A10 transmission and converter, full factory interior, and even the OEM muffler. Race weight for the car with John in the driver’s seat is a hefty 4,040-pounds.
With a tune from Redline Motorsports on a mix of 93 octane fuel and methanol and 18-pounds of boost from the Whipple, John has managed to run a best of 9.48 et at 147 mph with a 1.35 60-foot time. John said, “We believe the elapsed time, mile per hour, and 60-foot times are all a record.”
The Summit White ZL1 is about as clean as they come, and most people would never suspect a mid-nine second timeslip. Congratulations to John on this impressive feat.