A modern-day sleeper C7 2017 Corvette Stingray with a spooky alter ego
Dateline: 5-27-22 / This story was originally published in the September 2019 issue of Vette Vues – The concept of a “sleeper car” has been around for decades. We’re all familiar with the formula; you take a Plain Jane grocery-getter car and stuff it with gobs of horsepower. It’s a lot of fun dusting off showy performance cars with a four-door Chevy Biscayne station wagon or plane Chevy Nova. Corvettes certainly are not grocery-getter cars, although you can put a lot of groceries in the back of a modern Corvette.
Corvettes have come with 400-plus horsepower since 2005 and are typically driven by older owners that drive their cars with a high level of maturity. Performance model Corvettes, such as the Z06 and ZR1 look like no-nonsense cars; with their extra scoops, spoilers, big tires, raised hoods, and widebodys. They are not sleepers and are hard to miss.
This is the story of a modern day Corvette sleeper; a Corvette that looks like a regular, garden variety Corvette; beautiful, sleek, sexy, but not beast-like. DeWitt Moyer’s 2017 Corvette is a beast; it just doesn’t look like one.
DeWitt Moyer is like most of us; he got the Corvette bug as a kid by going to car shows and watching the street scene. As an over-the-road trucker, DeWitt sees lots of Corvettes. For years, the thought was always there, “Someday, I’m going to get a Corvette.”
That “someday” arrived in 2017 when DeWitt bought the 2017 Watkins Glen Gray Corvette coupe with the 8-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission and the optional ZF1 (Z51) Appearance Package that included; Z51-style 19-inch and 20-inch silver-painted wheels with Michelin Pilot Super Sport run-flat, summer-only tires, and the Z51-style body-color painted rear spoiler.
The base model C7 comes standard with the port-injected LT1 engine, rated at 450-horsepower and 450 lf/ft of torque. That’s considerably more horsepower and torque that the big-block Corvettes from the olden days. As strange as it sounds, and most of you will probably agree, after a while, one gets used to 450-horsepower. But isn’t “more”, better? Sure it is.
DeWitt’s Hunt For More Power
One of DeWitt’s friends owned a C7 Z06 and was having the same problem; he was getting used to 650-horsepower and wanted more. Just like the ZR1 that gets its 755-horsepower from a bigger supercharger and a few other goodies, DeWitt’s friend opted for a larger ProCharger Supercharger and is now packing over 1,000-horsepower. DeWitt got to thinking; it would be a shame for a perfectly good factory supercharger system to sit in a box in his friend’s garage, so he bought the entire setup.
The LT4’s supercharger setup would easily put DeWitt’s stock LT1 into the 600-horsepower range, but the temptation for “more” was irresistible. Compressing modern electronic high-performance engines is not a task for most Corvette owners, so DeWitt hired Vengeance Racing to install the Z06’s LT4 supercharger system onto his LT1 engine, plus a few extras.
DeWitt opted for a cold air intake, a performance cam, and long tube headers with a Corsa cat-back system. On the dyno the completed Z06 supercharger conversion to DeWitt’s LT1 pulled 646 RWH with 698 lb/ft of torque. The calculated horsepower at the crank rating was 770. Vengeance Racing determined that for DeWitt’s car, a methanol system was not needed, as the setup was designed to use premium pump gas.
DeWitt’s Corvette looks like a sleeper; that is until he opens the car’s hood, doors, and rear trunk lid. Under the hood, electric blue accents have been applied to the radiator vent housing; alternator cover; valve covers; the tops of the inner-fenders; various filler caps; and ribbing on the coolant, power steering, and battery covers.
DeWitt has named his Corvette “The Grey Ghost” His ghost and grim reaper theme is wonderfully illustrated with airbrush murals by James Williams at Bad Boy Vette; on the top of the intercooler unit, the hood insulation pad, and the underside of the trunk’s cargo security screen.
The electric blue and Grey Ghost theme continues inside the car’s cabin. From the driver’s seat DeWitt sees a semi-transparent airbrush rendering by Jason McClellan over the main gauges that features a spooky graveyard with tombstones and a grinning skull on the face of the Moon. Trim pieces in the interior have been painted electric blue, including; the inner part of the center grab bar, the shifter surround plate, trim around the forward instrument cluster; the steering wheel controls bezel surround, the outer plates on the seats, the door pulls and electric window button plates. No modifications have been done to the body, except for paint correction and the application of ceramic coating.
Learning to Drive a Beast
To date, DeWitt’s sleeper ’17 Corvette has around 20,000 miles on the clock, which is impressive considering he drives big rigs for a living. To learn how to get the most from his Corvette, in May 2019 DeWitt drove his car to the Ron Fellows Performance Driving School, in Pahrump, Nevada, and took the Level 1 training course that included 250-miles of track time. He’s looking forward to going back to take Level 2. He has also taken his Corvette to the Children’s Charities event at the Atlanta Motor Speedway where he got to do hot laps around the track at 145-mph. DeWitt obviously has a taste for speed.
When you are a long-haul trucker you have a lot of time to think and ponder delicious “pie-in-the-sky” ideas. As we often say, project cars are never really done. DeWitt’s future plans for his Corvette include a bigger supercharger setup that will pull at least 1,000-horsepower, a beefed-up transaxle, roll cage, and bigger rear wheels so that he can drag race the car.
His car has already run 11.40-seconds in the quarter-mile and a 9.0-seconds in the rolling quarter-mile. A widebody kit and a different paint scheme might even happen. When it does DeWitt Moyer’s 2017 Corvette might have to make a return visit to Vette Vues! – Scott
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