Yes, that’s correct; The World’s Fastest C2 Corvette, on a Standing Mile.
Photos by Tapio Laaninen
Words by Jemmi Laaninen
The first time I heard about the guy that never stops perfecting his ‘65 Corvette, I didn’t pay too much attention. Who cares? We all modify our cars a bit during winter, there’s always some little ongoing project. What’s the big deal?
2010 I finally got the honor to meet this guy. I was quite blown away by his Vette. By the time the car really wasn’t “straight from stock”, but today.. Today it is really something else.
Kimmo bought this car in 2004. It was a real ‘barn find’, in every sense of the word. It was in awful shape and it was obvious that a complete restoration needed to be done.
So, Kimmo decided to go with let’s do this above and beyond great -mentality. He is the kind of guy who does everything as well as possible, leaving no room for mistakes.
Corvette went through a complete frame off -restoration and chassis got a bit of work done on it too . After all, the point of doing was to make a way better car than it originally had been – a car that can be driven hard.
Vette got finished and had a little pedal to the metal. Kimmo drove his Corvette at Finnish race tracks but also at Le Mans and Nurburgring. But, as all petrol heads know, you can always go a bit faster, work a little harder on it, maybe even break a record or two.
A man’s got to do what man’s got to do. To go even faster. Way faster, actually. Well restorated car was the perfect base to get going from. With several years of experience and development the car got to the point it is now.
Nearly original-looking ‘65 Corvette, a car that can be driven hundreds and hundreds of miles in summer heat (even though in Finland we have like six warm days in a year) air-conditioning on… And a old Corvette, that can eat most of the cars driven in Finland for breakfast. It’s a car that delivers no matter where you drive it; on a street, a race track or a quarter mile.
Lately the pressure of delivering has been pointed towards standing mile. Today the car is 8. fastest car on a standing mile in Finland with the speed of 316km/h (196.3mph). There’s a clear mission for this summer: to break the 200mph line.
And to break that 200mph line there has to be power – lots of it. When you talk about four-digit bhp’s people normally think about big-blocks, ls-engines or having a forced induction of some sort. Kimmo took a different route and went with traditional small-block.
Years of experience of pushing small-blocks to the extreme was a huge help here. Kimmo chose Motown II raceblock from World products, to ensure durability. There’s also K1 crank and h-beams, Mahle pistons, Comp cam custom camshaft (don’t ask for specs, Comp cam is allowed to manufacture it only for Kimmo). You’ll also find AFR 235 Race ported eliminator heads, Edelbrock Victor-e efi intake that Kimmo ported to match those mighty heads, NOS cross hair system and not so traditional Megasquirt 3 as engine management system. The role of trusted transmission went to Tremek T-56, which Kimmo modified to be a bit stronger.
Naturally, here comes the point where you need to do some modifications to create the driveability needed. Here’s a few examples of what’s been done; tubular control arms made from aircraft aluminum, rack and pinion steering, hydroboost, 4-piston billet brakes from Wilwood, QA1 coilovers and heavy duty sway bars.
Also there’s Dragvette 6-link suspension, Vansteel narrowed composite spring and very specific alignment specs for street, track, quarter mile and standing mile – all easily adjusted.
Everyone who has ever driven a C2 knows that this is the car that starts to act like a plane when you drive over 100mph. So, it’s clear that something needed to be done for the aerodynamics too if one wants to go over 200mph.
Kimmo wanted to keep the car looking as stock as possible, so spoilers and other tuning parts were quickly off the list. Well didn’t it happen nicely; one of Kimmo’s friends is a aerospace engineer and one engineer of aerodynamics from F1 team pitched in. These three fellows decided to go with under-car paneling and diffusers – the advantages are the same compared to using spoilers. C6R, F1 cars from Lotus and F1 cars from Jaguar were used as models for this. The final outcome is under-carriage covering aluminum panel, creating the much needed downforce at speeds over 200mph.
Even though this car is perfect in everyone’s eyes, Kimmo will keep on going with his research and development. If you’d see this car in a parking lot you wouldn’t ever believe it goes over 200mph on a standing mile – that’s how beautiful it is. If you find hard to believe that a gorgeous old car like this drives like a beast, you’d better check out a vid from last summer. Just a note here; this summer it’ll go even faster.
Photos by Tapio Laaninen
Words by Jemmi Laaninen