Today’s top speed events are quite literally dominated by forced induction rides, most of them over-the-top twin turbo builds that crank out 2000 or more horsepower while reaching speeds well in excess of two hundred MPH in the half mile and creeping up on 300 in the standing mile. As awesome as those numbers are, I will always have a special place in my heart for naturally aspirated horsepower. I grew up a huge fan of the NHRA’s Pro Stock class, an eliminator that remains to this day one of the most competitive classes that routinely has races decided by inches and thousandths of a second.
My fascination with Pro Stock makes this build from Vengeance Racing pretty awesome, as it is also naturally aspirated, while being built around my favorite platform, the GM LS engine. This swoopy C5 Corvette is powered by a 451 cubic inch all-motor LS that spins well over 9,000 RPM to crank out 1,100 horsepower, an insane number considering the engine’s displacement is almost 50 inches smaller than a Pro Stock 500” motor that cranks out around 1500 HP.
Of course, comparing the evolution of years of fine-tuning that’s gone into a modern Pro Stock powerplant to the relatively uncommon naturally aspirated LS powerplant isn’t exactly fair, but there are some parallels, such as the advanced valve train components that allow both to spin such ridiculous RPM’s and survive. I know a lot of the reason PS engines can make such big power without a power adder is the massive valve lift, which puts huge stresses on the valve springs. It seems likely the Vengeance build also features a massive cam with an aggressive profile that pushes the valvetrain to its limits to crank out as much power as possible.
Another cool component of this build is the PPG sequential transmission, a manual-style gearbox with a shifter that works similarly to tho Z-Gate shifter used in Pro Stock. I guess in a way this ‘Vette is sort of like a Jr. Pro Stock car, although the power levels and speeds are nothing that would qualify as “junior” in my book.
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