Columbus, OH - In the world of custom automobiles a car comes along every five to ten years that represents a sea change, raising the bar to seemingly unreachable new heights. It happened again in Columbus, Ohio at the Goodguys 12th PPG Nationals when Phil and Jeremy Gerber and the Roadster Shop team debuted their "C1RS" '62 Corvette for customer Barry Blomquist. From the moment the car was uncovered gasps and gawks came over the masses. The performance automotive scene hasn't seen a car quite like this. Both Blomquist and the Gerber's beamed proudly as the car was unanimously named 2009 Goodguys/Air Ride Technologies "Street Machine of the Year."
Designed by the Roadster shop and artist Eric Brockmeyer, Blomquists's "C1RS" Corvette is a striking blend of hand formed aluminum and carbon fiber built in step with today's F-1 race cars. It also served as the launch platform for The Roadster Shop's new C1 line of Corvette chassis. Mated with Detroit Speed & Engineering suspension components, Brembo 14 ½" 6-piston brakes and one off custom spindle mount Forgeline wheels, the car's ground hugging underpinnings served it well in the mandatory Autocross competition at the Goodguys PPG Nationals (Street Machine of the Year award criteria calls for all participants to log at least 3 laps on the Autocross course). With Phil Gerber doing the driving the 'Vette posted the fastest lap of the event in 32.222 effortless seconds. Onlookers claimed it looked like the car was merely out for a Sunday drive while blowing the doors off the other 31 Street Machine of the Year competitors.
Under the hand-formed hood lies the heart of the beast – a 618 horsepower LS7 by Turnkey Engines producing 640ft lbs of torque. Custom stainless 2-inch primary headers emit a throaty roar and the Bowler T-56 transmission gets it flying in a hurry.
Aesthetically, the cars low, smooth lines give it spectacular curb appeal. Everything on the 'Vette has been changed, massaged, smoothed and redesigned by The Roadster Shop staying true to Brockmeyer's original design. The entire front end is custom formed from sixty-thousandths sheet aluminum including all grills, grille surrounds, front bumper and grille bar. One off headlights with billet trim rings, carbon fiber side louvers, a recessed cove and a completely restyled rear end would make even Zora Arkus Duntov envious.
Being a roadster, the car's interior plays a dominant roll in its overall look and feel. The custom formed seats are adorned in Italian red leather with Alcantara suede accents. The aluminum dash is hand-sculpted to perfection housing Classic Instruments carbon fiber gauges. The waterfall center console was also made by hand and the F-1 inspired foot pedals would make former Ferrari team driver Michael Schumacher feel right at home.
The C1RS Corvette not only won the world's biggest award for a performance Street Machine, it allowed The Roadster Shop team to realize their full potential. "We've had this car in our minds for a long time," Jeremy Gerber smiled. "Our guys at the shop worked tirelessly over an entire year getting this car to Columbus. Barry Blonquist gave us the resources and opportunity to build our vision. We're thankful to win this award for Barry and the Roadster Shop."
The top five finalists for this year's Goodguys/Air Ride Technologies Street Machine of the Year included Nathan Powell, Birmingham, AL 1969 Camaro, Devan Glissmeyer, Salt Lake City, UT 1968 Mustang, Barry Blomquist, Onalaska, WI 1962 Corvette, Bryan Frank, Scotts Bluff, NE 1969 Pontiac Trans Am and Tom Boldry, Kansas City, MO 1969 Dodge Charger.