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Roadfly Magazine
Issue Seven
Table of Contents

Past Issues Index
Roadfly Magazine
G. Gordon Liddy
Issue Seven
May 27, 2003
G. Gordon Liddy
Credit Card Rewards Programs
Frozen Rotors
Bentley Continental GT
Porter Cable Buffer
Coming Next Issue
Jay Leno
Hot Rod Tour
Paint Film
Porter Cable Rotary

American Made: G. Gordon Liddy, continued.

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R: Which cars catch your eye today?

GGL: I like the new S-series Mercedes-Benz with the all-wheel-drive system. I'm also attracted to just about any Ferrari, but have a soft spot for the Testarossa because of my involvement with "Miami Vice".

One of the episodes of Miami Vice that I was in was the episode where Don Johnson gets his new car - previous to that they had used a Corvette that was made to look like a Ferrari. They even dubbed Ferrari sounds over the sound of the Corvette. When the time came to replace the Corvette, Don demanded they buy a real Ferrari, which they did, but it was the wrong color. So they spent another few thousand dollars having it painted white.

R: What are some of the characteristics that you look for in a car today?

GGL: Power and handling.

Roadfly: Your Corvette ZR-1 is often the topic of discussion on your nationally-syndicated daily talk show. For the benefit of our readers who may not be familiar with your ZR-1, would you mind telling us a little about it?

GGL: Chevrolet decided in the late 1980s to build a "King of the Hill" Corvette, and were going to go all out to achieve that status. They had a relationship with Lotus, so they approached Lotus with their idea for the car and said, "We would like you to design the engine."

Lotus took on that job and came back and said, "Here it is." General Motors took a look at the design and said, "That is a great engine, but there's only one problem - we can't manufacture that engine." So, they checked around and discovered that Mercury Marine had a lot of experience with manufacturing motors with aluminum blocks and cylinder heads. They contracted with Mercury to build the motor and Mercury came up with a revision to the motor that took it from something like 375 horsepower to just a little over 400 horsepower.

It had double overhead cams, four valves per cylinder, two fuel injectors per cylinder, and Mercury set it up so the power was controlled with a switch. With the switch set to one position, the engine developed full power, which was pretty formidable. However, if you turned the switch to the valet setting and removed the key from the switch, the engine would develop approximately half of its power.

The ZR-1 was a powerful vehicle, but it wasn't powerful enough for me. Luckily, I knew John Lingenfelter was the number one tuner in the world of Chevrolet V8s, so I had the vehicle flat-bedded to him and he did a marvelous job of extracting even more power from the 5.7 liter engine. It now develops over 520 horsepower and 469 pound-feet of torque at the rear wheels.

I'm still not sure that it's powerful enough, so I'm planning to take the vehicle to my friend Pat Goss so that he can fit a supercharger to the motor. The vehicle is very tractable now, and with the supercharger it should remain tractable, even though it will be producing nearly the same amount of horsepower as the early World War II fighter planes.

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