Gawk at This 600 Horsepower C3 Corvette While You’re Waiting for the 2023 Chevy Corvette Z06
The recently announced 2023 Chevy Corvette Z06 is about to be stuffed with 670 horsepower. And while that’s incredibly impressive, this might be the last new gas-powered Corvette Z06 ever built. In fact, there’s no mention of how GM will electrify the Corvette, but that the brand will be all-electric by 2035. But if you miss the old days, take a look at this wonderful 1972 Chevy C3 Corvette outfitted with 600 horsepower.
This 1972 C3 Corvette has 600 horsepower underneath
Considering the original 1972 C3 Corvette came with anywhere around 200 to 270 horsepower, this is a rather sizable upgrade. It was built by Detroit Speed, who stuff large engines in old muscle cars while making sure they can take a turn.
The car wasn’t just built to be powerful, it was built for autocross. A sport that requires maneuverability and agility more than straight-line speed. Yes, under the hood it has 590 horsepower from an LS3 engine. But the original suspension on this C3 Corvette was gutted and replaced with a prototype suspension system.
Not only that, the body of the car was widened by six inches to make room for the 315 tires in the front and 355 tires in the rear jammed underneath. And the steering system was completely redone, making this classic sports car feel more modern and stick to the ground. And going back to its straight-line speed, the car has a low top speed of 120 mph. But that grip is what makes this a winning autocross car (literally, it won first place at its very first event).
From what I understand, this modified Chevy C3 Corvette was a blast to drive. I haven’t driven it, but judging by Matt Farah’s constant laughter, it must’ve been a hoot.
Matt Farah couldn’t stop laughing while this Detroit Speed creation
Matt Farah visited Detroit Speed, located in North Carolina, to take their custom creation for a spin. And judging by the wicked smile on his face and frequent laughter, he had a good time.
One thing you simply can’t describe is the sounds this modified Chevy C3 Corvette makes. The engine revs high and loud all the time, and each shift reverberates with a gnarly thud.
You can configure and order all the parts off the Detroit Speed website, including the suspension, the body, and the steering system. However, if you wanted a carbon copy of this Corvette, you’d have to fork over around $200,000 (which may or may not include labor if you have someone else build it for you). And they make parts for more classic muscle cars than just the C3.
But while Detroit Speed’s C3 Corvette may be outpaced by the soon to be 2023 Corvette Z06, this modified classic car makes the very first Corvette Z06 look miserable.
Compared to the Original 1963 Corvette Z06, this Detroit Speed version is a beast
It’s mentioned in the video, but most old cars from the 60s didn’t drive well, classic C3 Corvettes included. But the very first Chevy Corvette Z06 was released in 1963, which left customers a box they could tick to get a fully specced Corvette that was ready for the track.
An original Car and Driver article from the same year reported that “Compared with previous Corvettes, the Sting Ray is improved in almost every imaginable respect: performance, handling, ride comfort, habitability, and trunk space.” Provided, the first 1963 Chevy Corvette Z06 was actually a C2 rather than a C3, but the point still stands.
But this 1963 Corvette Z06 was impressive in its own right, especially at the time. It featured a 360-hp fuel-injected V-8 engine mated to a massive 36.5-gallon fuel tank. That’s insane, but you’re sucking fuel as you lap the track, you need every gallon you can get. And it had special Z06 only brakes that were built to handle track use. In other words, if you bought one of these and didn’t go racing, you were using it wrong.
And back in 1963, the Corvette Z06 cost $5,545, which was pretty high at the time. After inflation, that’s about $50,000 in today’s money. Meanwhile, the newest 2023 Chevy Corvette Z06 set for release in is estimated to cost around $90,000. But that’s the price to pay for new technology.
However, if you want the classic look of those iconic Corvettes, paired with the benefits of modern technology and increased horsepower, then you can’t beat Detroit Speed.