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Snake Skinner Package

Rob

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1990 Corvette ZR-1
Modifications include:

  • Kevlar composite hood
  • Plexiglass rear hatch
  • Wheels, bellhousing, roof panel frame and mirrors are cast magnesium
  • Brake rotors and frame rails are aluminum
  • Air conditioning, sound deadening, spare wheel, and exhaust resonators were removed
  • Curb weight, less than 3,000 lbs
  • LT5 Engine: intake manifold modifcations include, porting, and no secondary port throttle plates, and wilder cam profiles. Approximate hp: 450 hp.
 

Hib Halverson

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71 04 12 19
If we are talking about the real "Snake Skinner" which is the lightweight ZR-1 built by GM at John Heinricy's request back in the early 90s...that car did not have an aluminum frame nor did it have aluminum brake rotors.

The engine also had headers and no cats along with a 3.90:1 axle ratio.

I drove this car on three different occasions and reported on it for several different magazines.
 
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Rob

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Thanks Hib,

The information in my post above comes from Motor Trend, May, 1992, pg. 34: "Brake rotors and frame rails (behind the rear axle center line) are aluminum". :)
 

Hib Halverson

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71 04 12 19
Motor Trend's information was inaccurate or at least lacking of all the facts.

No brake rotor has a friction surface of aluminum although some may have aluminum hubs. I don't remember if the Snake Skinner had aluminum hubs. What it did have, like all ZR-1s had, is aluminum brake calipers.

Some and perhaps all ZR-1s have an aluminum frame extension (GM calls it a "bar, rear bumper") that started just past the rear axle centerline but that's hardly the same as saying the Snake Skinner "frame was aluminum." The Snake Skinner's frame was the same, production, frame of welded steel stampings.

My belief is the Action Center is better served if the technical data it posts is as accurate as possible. I wouldn't consider Motor Trend the final authority on Corvette technical issues.
 

75corvette

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Always a pleasure reading your posts and articles Hib, ESPECIALLY '' The Corvette Endurance Epic''. You certainly don't pull any punches. You tell it like it is. Looking forward to future articles and posts.
 
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Rob

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1990 Corvette ZR-1
Well....I agree regarding accurate information at the CAC since that is my ultimate goal for this site. However, given the only available resources at my disposal, if it's published in a magazine, it's better than nothing, and if it is incorrect, then it will hopefully generate some good conversation among Forum members where the truth(s) will eventually come out. ;)
 
D

Djohn01

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Motor Trend

A journalist's primary responsibility is to "Protect the record." Nice catch Hib. We help each other with this...

Doug Johnson
Vettes Online Magazine
 
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Bob Eyres

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So what did Henricy do with this car? I assume it skinned a few snakes at the time. Was it involved in any magazine "shootouts"? What were the results? Qtr. mi. times and speeds? Hibster, what were your "driving impressions"?

This looks like a great project for the museum to clean up, tune up, and do a few exhibition runs at the next "Gathering" in Bowling Green. Nostalgia Drags!
 

Hib Halverson

Technical Writer for Internet & Print Media
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71 04 12 19
Bob Eyres said:
So what did Henricy do with this car? I assume it skinned a few snakes at the time. Was it involved in any magazine "shootouts"? What were the results? Qtr. mi. times and speeds? Hibster, what were your "driving impressions"?

Well, my first and most long-lasting impression of the Snake Skinner was my first ride in it at the GM Milford Proving Ground with John Heinricy driving. I think this was sometime in the winter of 1992, but I can't remember for sure. We waited until around 4pm when the Ground's security staff was changing shifts then went out to MPG's 4 mile straight and John put his foot down. I saw 188 mph on the IP before he lifted so we could get stopped by the end of the straight.

A couple of years later I drove the car at the Desert Proving Ground for a Road&Track Corvette Annual road test. There were a couple of other times I drove the car, too, at various media events. Each time I was seduced by the combination of its light weight, 425hp and then later 440hp LT5 and the sound of it's no-cat exhaust.

This looks like a great project for the museum to clean up, tune up, and do a few exhibition runs at the next "Gathering" in Bowling Green. Nostalgia Drags!

The car currently is on loan to the NCM. I'd gladly do the driving is they wanted to clean it and tune it up for me.
:)
 

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