Car Feature: The Art of a Blown C7

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photos by: Rick Seitz

Art Miller Currently Holds the Title to the Quickest ProCharged, Stock Long-Block C7

The new C7 Stingrays are likely one of the most popular cars of this decade, so far. People are buying these cars up faster than dealers can get them on the lots. Drivers are in love with them, and this admiration is well earned. The C7 is the most well-rounded American made street car of our time and we feel that’s largely the appeal.

As the Stingrays are quickly finding homes, some of the buyers are ready to overhaul them as soon as they can. Shops are now competing with each other to get the C7s to the next level, and test every limit. That being said, when you take a car to the max, you’re going to lose a lot of its Corvette charm. What if there was a good compromise? One Ohio business owner has found the perfect balance for his C7.

Art Miller is all about the palatable, yet powerful, street cars. His 2014 C7 Stingray Z51 is one of the fastest blower-only stock long-block examples out there. However, looking at it from the outside, you might not get quite that impression. This stock-looking Vette runs like a race car, and Art drives it everywhere.

“Building a car is more than bolting on go-fast parts. A true street car should be nice looking, have full interior, a well-running engine, and be able to be driven anywhere.” – Art Miller

A lot of people looking to lay down some serious times at the track will tow their car in, especially if it’s a bit of a drive away. They worry about it getting hot on the way in, as well as it being so extremely built that they’ll need to tow it to get it home. Art didn’t want a car like that.

Recently, Art drove two hours to the Flashlight Drags, won the street car event, left the track, stopped for grub and drove home. During the Spring and Summer months, Mr. Miller is often caught using his blown C7 for the daily grind, while a matching black SVT Raptor handles the bad weather days of Winter.

 

Obviously, this C7 is largely stock in appearance. Over its 7,000 mile lifetime, it’s got two appearance upgrades, a Z06 front grille and side skirts. The beefy 305/35/20 Mickey Thompson drag radials out back might clue some off to it not being stock, but that’s about it. Its interior is also stock – GM did such an excellent job with the C7’s cockpit so why change a good thing, right?

A D1 ProCharger system running 8-psi. of boost accounts for most of the performance characteristics. It’s also got a few other goodies like a custom-ground camshaft and valvetrain by Hutter Performance — Hutter also handled the tuning with the help of HP software.

The fuel system is upgraded simply with Z06 fuel injectors and Z06 fuel pump. It has an aFe cold-air Intake and American Racing 1-7/8” long-tube headers to open up the intake and exhaust tracts in the name of increased performance and a much-improved soundtrack. Otherwise, it’s largely left alone, aside from a set of Driveshaft Shop axles that had replaced the stockers after failure. These few mods add up to a very impressive 640 horsepower from a Mustang dyno, although the track times trump everything. It goes to show that you can get a lot out of your car if you pick the right selection of hardware.

If you ask Art, he’ll tell you that, “building a car is more than bolting on go-fast parts. A true street car should be nice looking, have full interior, a well-running engine and be able to be driven anywhere.” He doesn’t think that a street car belongs on a trailer; it should be built to endure track and road time without worrying about mechanical failure. He also believes that a street car should be able to leave a car show for the track, and win awards at both.

The formula seems to be working pretty well for Art. He takes his C7 to the track, turns off the electronic aids, takes over shifting, and lays down a scorching 10.16 E.T. in the 1/4-mile. That’s reaching 135.42mph with a 1.52-second 60-ft. His times would put him on the CorvetteForum.com C7 Fast List at the #10 spot, if he submitted the info to the site.

Oddly despite all of this, Art Miller considers himself to be more of a Mustang guy, and while he’s impressed by the Stingray, he jokingly refers to it as a ‘beater’ car. He currently also owns a 2010 GT500 that pumps out over 1,100 horsepower and 1,300 lb-ft. of torque. He also used to have a 1992 Fox Body Mustang GT that covered a 1/4-mile in 9.71 seconds at 143 mph. However, this isn’t his first Corvette, Art traded in a 2008 cam/nitrous bolt-on Vette that ran 10.7 at 132 mph in the quarter for the 2014.

So you might be wonder what Mr. Miller has in store for 2016 – and we’d be happy to tell you, if he were willing to let the cat out of the bag. He did, however, relate that he had done a few more modifications since our original shoot and write-up, and will be attending several half-mile events, including WannaGOFAST‘s event in April of 2016. Art also wanted to thank his wife and family: Dena, Kyle, and Carter. As well as Hutter Performance and Stratton Chevrolet.

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TECH SHEET:

  • CAR:  2014 Corvette Z51
  • OWNER: Art Miller
  • ENGINE BLOCK: Stock; LT1
  • CRANKSHAFT: Stock; LT1
  • PISTONS: Stock; LT1
  • CAMSHAFT: Custom-ground by Hutter Performance
  • CYLINDER HEADS: Stock; LT1
  • COMPRESSION RATIO: 10.4:1
  • INDUCTION: AFE cold-air induction
  • POWER ADDER: D1 ProCharger
  • BOOST: 8-psi.
  • IGNITION: Stock
  • EXHAUST: 1-7/8” American Racing long-tube headers
  • FUEL DELIVERY: C7 Z06 fuel pump and injectors
  • OILING: Stock
  • TUNING: HP Tuners; by Hutter Performance
  • CHASSIS/SUSPENSION: Stock
  • REAREND: Stock; Driveshaft Shop axles
  • WHEELS: Stock; OEM 19- and 20-inch
  • TIRES: Mickey Thompson 305/35/20 drag radials (rear)
  • HORSEPOWER.: 640
  • BEST 1/4-MILE ET: 10.16 at 135.42 MPH
  • BEST 60-FT.: 1.52 Seconds

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