I have been contemplating making some changes in my stable for a while. I originally purchased a RY 2SS/RS LS3 back in May of 2009. I loved the car. I only did a few modifications to the car such as an MRT axle back exhaust system, Hurst short throw, blacked out bowties, black chrome wheels and a painted engine cover. Nothing big, just kept it simple. The car drove and looked awesome.
I found myself itching for more and started thinking about how to scratch the itch. This started around the end of last summer. I was hearing about the Z28/ZL1 and initially just planned on getting one of those. I own an allocation for a ZL1 and may still do that, but for now decided to go in a totally different direction.
My logic for that is as follow. I figure the ZL1 is going to be a mid-50's price tag. When I looked at almost two years of ownership with my 2010, and only 2800 miles, I started wondering if a $55K car would really be necessary. This car is a hobby for me. It sits in my garage under cover and when I have time I drive it to local car shows, cruise nights and of course Woodward. It does not see rain, snow or even water from a hose. As a result of this I had a thought…
Try to build an SS with more power, while staying safely in the range of the drivetrain that will scratch my itch and save me some money over the ZL1. Not sure that this can be done but I decided to give it a try. I started talking to friends in the Camaro community and many of the local performance shops. I also reviewed a lot of build threads here on C5. Living in Detroit there is no shortage of knowledgeable performance shops.
After much review I decided to stay with a naturally aspirated build initially with the goal of gaining 100 RWHP over stock. I want this car to sound like a performance car should sound. I know there are plenty of supercharged SS cars running around that make much more power than what I will end up with. My issue is that you can’t really hear them when they pull up. I want to hear it. I may add a supercharger later but have somewhat of a budget initially. I ended up deciding to go with Livernois Motorsports after much discussion with Rick LeBlanc. Livernois is relatively close to me (on the other side of the Detroit area but still close). I took several trips to the shop and met the team there. I can say that Rick, Andy, Dan and the team run a very nice and reputable business. There is no shortage of people on the board here that can vouch for that. That is always a big factor in my decision process is to talk to people that have paid for services that I am looking for. Livernois kept rising to the top of those discussions.
While speaking to Rick I mentioned to him that I may just want to start with a new car instead of performing this work on my 2010. Rally Yellow was not my first choice of color and if I am going to do this I want it to be something I am willing to keep. Black was my choice. After reviewing this with Rick he suggested I speak with Becky Doyle over at Rodgers, again in my area just on the other side of town. I had seen Becky on the board here but had never met her. That's really what I love about this hobby. It gives you a chance to meet other great people just as enthusiastic as you are about your hobby. What a great hook-up. Becky, Joe, Gerry and the whole gang at Rodgers are wonderful to deal with. I am so glad to have met them.
Yes, I ordered my 2011 from Becky at the end of February and they took my 2010 on trade. SUPER service. Top notch. My 2011 is the first vehicle I purchased from Becky but will not be my last.
Where we are today..... My car arrived at Rodgers last week on April 7th. I paid for it yesterday and Becky and I took it for a 7 mile test drive. This was after Rodgers' service department installed the Pedders 1” drop springs and alignment kit and performed a 4 wheel alignment. The car looks awesome and drives great. Man, does the drop kit make the look of the stance! I couldn't be happier with how it looks and ride. The Pedders kit is worth the money...
After the short test drive I left the car at Rodgers. Rick and Andy picked it up with their enclosed trailer today. Here is what we decided on...
I am going to go with Livernois Head and Camshaft Package with their 2RMax camshaft. All of the cylinder head work is performed in-house with 5 axis CNC and CNC valve job machine. State of the art stuff. Other components going on the car are ported intake and throttle body, Kooks Signature Stepped Coated Headers 1 3/4 to 1 7/8, Kooks High Flow Catalysts, Corsa Cat-Back Exhaust System, Roto-Fab CAI and a Livernois Custom Chassis Dyno Calibration. The car will be base lined before the work starts. Here are a few pics to get things started.