Tuesday, April 22, 2008

No More Horsepower

A while ago, I had the opportunity to drive a 400 hp Corvette owned by a friend who attends our church. I must admit that I wasn't comfortable pushing the car at all. So, I really don't know how powerful it was. However, the owner does know, and decided that 400 hp just wasn't quite enough. So, after failing to sell the car on the internet, he decided to seek the counsel of Mallett Racing in Berea, Ohio. The goal was to bump the car up to 600 hp.

Adding 200 hp may seem like an insurmountable step for most cars. But Mallett has quite a bit of experience modifying engines. In fact, they've recently come out with a 750 hp upgrade for the Z06. Can you imagine? With all of this in mind, my friend consulted with Mallett about converting his car. Unfortunately, the requirements were more than he was willing to do. Mallett Racing was willing to do the job, but required the installation of a completely new engine at the cost of around $30,000. That's a bit beyond just about everyone's budget that I know. So, the job didn't get done.

But the question remains: Why couldn't they use his low mileage (30k) engine for the upgrade? Apparently, Mallett was concerned that the lower half of the engine would not be able to handle the additional power. They wanted to be sure that a heavier crank and pistons were installed before beefing up the top end. The more I think about that, the more it makes sense. What company would be willing to take the risk of having to replace a customer's engine when it can be done right the first time.

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