Dan & Sue Black’s “Georgia Special” 2015 Z06 Corvette
Dateline: 7.8.19 As seen in the October 2018 issue of Vette Vues Magazine – We all come to the Corvette world in our own unique ways. For some of us, it’s a childhood thing that goes back so long that we almost can’t remember not loving Corvettes. And for others, they’ve always been a car guy, and Corvettes came to them later in life.
Dan Black has been a self-described “car fanatic” all his life and over the years has had lots and lots of cars, mostly old “classic” cars. He even learned to drive in a 1928 Ford Model A! The delightful thing about the old classics is that if you are mechanically inclined, you can pretty much figure out how they come apart and how to repair and restore them. Dan learned the in’s and out’s of cars through a lot of trial-and-error, sweat, and skinned knuckles.
Along the way, Dan became a fan of the Chevy 3100 (1/2-ton) trucks produced from 1947 to 1955 and even restored four of the classic Chevy trucks. Dan also owned a ’23 T-Bucket hot rod, and a ’40 Buick Coupe. In 2008 after Dan sold his last 3100 Chevy truck, he decided to do a Corvette. His children were pretty much all grown up and it seemed like it was time for a Vette.
Dan found a 1985 Corvette to make into a project car. Early C4s and cheap and plentiful and you can seriously personalize them without ruffling feathers in the Corvette community. The tired old L98 Tuned Port Injection engine was replaced with a 383 stroker Chevy crate engine and the car was painted Corvette Velocity Yellow. Dan’s restoration skills paid off on the Corvette, as his car won the World of Wheels Show in 2012.
But it was an August drive from Georgia to the Corvettes at Carlisle Show in 2014 that was a game changer. Dan explains, “The car was nice, but the nearly 1,400 mile round trip in our 25 year old Corvette really beat us up. The car rides really rough, so we knew we had to get something newer and the prices of the C5 were just right.” So Dan and his wife Sue bought a 2002 Z06 Corvette that was comfortable, really quick, and fun to drive.
Dan and Sue were already into the Corvette lifestyle and were members of the Corvette Cruisers of Atlanta Corvette Club. In 2014 when the C7s came out, Dan saw club members rushing to Chevy dealers to place orders. Of course, two minutes after the C7 made it’s debut in January 2013, the first question was, “So where’s the Z06?” Since Dan Sue were C5 Z06 owners, they decided to wait.
In February 2017 Dan and Sue bought what we have to call, their “first” 2015 C7 Z06. We use the word, “first” because in October 2017 the car was totaled! A rear end collision caused severe damage to the frame, to the tune of $70,000 worth of damage! Needless to say, the insurance company totaled the Z06 Corvette. We hate to see any Corvette totaled, but it happens. Dan immediately started searching for a replacement Z06 and found the perfect car in Orlando, Florida, but this one was better.
The seller in Orlando was actually the second owner of the the loaded 2015 Velocity Yellow Z06/Z07 Corvette. The original owner was a pain management doctor from California that ordered the car from F.C. Kerbeck in Atlantic City, New Jersey in March 2015. Money was no object, so the doctor ordered nearly every option available, including the Z07 Performance Package. The doctor only owned the car for eight months, but before he sold the car to a man in Orlando, Florida, he had a custom-built roll bar, painted Velocity Yellow installed in the car. Aside from the roll bar, everything else is factory.
When the C7 Z06 made its debut heads spun at the news of the LT4’s 650-horsepower and 650 lb/ft of torque rating. That was a 145-horsepower jump from C6’s 505-horsepower LS7 engine, and twelve more horsepower than the C6 ZR1’s supercharged LS9 engine. That was way more than Z06 fans were expecting from the C7 Z06. But it’s amazing how quickly we can get used to more power. So, what’s an owner of a 650-horsepower C7 Z06 wanting “more” to do? Go get more power!
The awesome thing about GM’s latest LS series performance engines is that extracting more horsepower is not that difficult. The Orlando owner chose to take his Velocity Yellow 2015 Z06 to Redline Motorsports in Pompano Beach, Florida for a Phase 2-C7Z performance package. This performance package includes the following; 1-7/8” Long Tube Stainless Steel Headers, High-Flow cats and 3” Mid-Section with X-pipe; ATI-redline Lower Crank Balancer Assembly;15-percent Overdrive Crank Pulley; HD Drive Belt; Halltech Stinger High Capacity Cold-Air Intake; Brisk Spark Plugs; and Custom E92 Calibration. This package takes the 650-hp / 650 lf/ft torque LT4 engine up to 730-hp / 737 lb/ft of torque.
People sell awesome cars for all kinds of reasons. For whatever the reason was, the Orlando owner decided to put his car up for sale, just at the same time Dan and Sue were looking for a replacement for their totaled Z06. The price was right, the options couldn’t have been any better, and the color was perfect. Dan and Sue Black were back in a Velocity Yellow Z06, with the Z07 package, to boot!
After buying the car, the first thing Dan wanted to address was the car’s paint finish. Yes, the Velocity Yellow’s paint “finish”. Chevrolet has come a long way from the olden days in St. Louis when all Corvettes were sprayed with lacquer in less than optimal conditions. And you have probably heard the news of the Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant’s new $439 Million dollar Paint Shop. Even in 2015, some colors used on Corvettes showed slight orange peal more than others. White is the most forgiving, but the more vibrant colors not so forgiving.
Because this can be remedied, Dan had the paint corrected. The process removes a small amount of the clear coat by using mild abrasive polishes worked into the surface with polishing machines. The finished process levels out the surface, thus removing the slight orange peal. Then, 65-percent of the car was covered with Expel Clear Bra material.
The rest of the car was expertly treated with three coats of Gyeon Ceramic Coating by Al Batthurst of Shiny Fenders, in Grayson, Georgia. This advanced coating is available for painted body surfaces, glass windows, wheels, interiors, calipers, tires, and trim. Dan reports that thanks to the Gyeon coatings, clean up and prep time for showing his Z06 is dramatically reduced.
Another special touch that Dan and Sue added to their Z06/Z07 is the custom airbrushed under hood liner by artist Steve Ray, from Bowling Green, Kentucky. Ray’s rendition of an American Bald Eagle bursting through the hood and the C7 Corvette logo is spectacular, and a crowd favorite when Dan and Sue show their car. And lastly, since the car is equipped with the Z06 and Z07 aero packages, Dan added an Anderson Composites rear diffuser. There is so much race car built into the Z06, and since the C7.R Corvettes have rear diffusers, why not put one on the car.
Dan and Sue Black’s 2015 Velocity Yellow Corvette is essentially completed, but we all know that cars such as this are never truly “finished”. At the Festivals of Speed Car Show event in Alpharetta, Georgia, just north of Atlanta, the car won Best Contemporary Corvette. Every show Dan has taken the car to he has won 1st place.
Here’s what Dan has to say about owning and living with his 730-horsepower Z06, “The car is very comfortable and there’s no comparison to the C4 we owned. We loved the C5 Z06, we really did, but the C7 is totally different. The responsiveness of the car is just amazing. I also have a 1968 SS Camaro with a 540-cubic-inch all-aluminum Merlin big-block with 700-horsepower. But the Z06 Corvette is such a pleasure to drive. So far, according to the car’s computer, the lifetime average fuel mileage is 24.7-mpg. We recently took a 150-mile trip from Atlanta to Birmingham, Alabama, and with the cruise control on and driving at the posted speed limits, the Z06 recorded 36-mpg. I’m satisfied with that.”
We asked Dan about future plans for his Z06 /Z07 Corvette. He answered, “Enjoy the car and let others enjoy the car at car shows.” Sounds good to me. Save the Wave, Dan! – Scott