Chevrolet didn’t make a C4 ZR-1 Roadster, but Metalcrafters of California got the job done and today, Michael Beal of Connecticut is still enjoying this unique high-performance Corvette!
For most Corvette fans, there was “that day” when a Vette stole your heart. For Michael Beal, it was the jewel-like LT-5 engine that powered the C4 ZR-1 Corvette. The beautiful LT5 engine may well be one of the most underdeveloped engines in Corvette history. While the numbers don’t look impressive by today’s standards, when the first 375-horsepower ‘90 ZR-1 was finally unleashed, heads spun faster that the rear tires of the new beast. By ‘93, Corvette engineers tweaked here and there and bumped the LT-5’s power output to 405-horsepower. It is worth reminding readers that in March 1990, a race-prepared, Morrison Motorsports ZR-1 shattered records at the 7.71-mile Bridgestone Tire test track in Texas with an AVERAGE 24-hour speed of 175.885-MPH!!!
And least you think this was a stripped down, lightweight ZR-1 – no, no. FIA rules mandated that the car carry spare parts incase of a breakdown. Consequently, the ZR-1 was carrying an additional 300-pounds of gear! And, to add a little “sauce for the goose” for the story, the track was just three lanes wide and had no guard rails! One of the team drivers was the famous Kim Baker. You’ll get to learn a little of what Kim is up to these days in the below story. There’s also some insight as to how much red meat Chevy engineers left inside the LT-5.
Too bad the ZL-1/LT-5 didn’t arrive two or three years sooner. Too bad Chevrolet didn’t make a roadster ZR-1. Apparently, ZR-1 fans asked the same question, and a few did something about it! Below is Michael Beal’s delightful story of how he came to own one of the few ZR-1 Roadsters, and his meeting with Corvette legend, Kim Baker. Here’s Michael. Continue reading “Michael Beal’s 1991 ZR-1 Roadster!”