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Thursday, September 15, 2016

A nameless radical custom Corvette

What do you do when you have so much free time, metal-working skills, fondness for Morgan modern car design and a 1998 Corvette? Maybe like this would happen. This Warren Scaife's custom Corvette technically not have a name yet, but we're not sure it needs one. A name will not help people better understand what they're looking at when they ask the owner "What's that?"
A nameless XL Stainless Custom Corvette by Warren Scaife. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1dy3W7)
But Scaife's thingking to pinned one or two of the 'XL' badges on it, so the car could better fulfill its intended purpose; ie to act as a rolling billboard for his fabrication company, XL Stainless. So what is it? In short, it is a custom-built 1998 Corvette equipped with a 665-horsepower supercharged V8 engine, which has a custom leather interior and hand formed aluminum body inspired by the Morgan LIFEcar concept.
Left side view of XL Stainless Custom Corvette by Warren Scaife. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1dy3Ra)
All of this started, when business slows down in early 2009 due to the recession, and Warren Scaife, owner of Barrie, Ontario-based, XL Stainless fabrication, found himself with way too much free time and nothing to do with it. That's when he had the idea to create a project for himself that will double as an ad for his business and the radical, head-turning custom car.

XL Stainless specializes in the manufacture of stainless steel pharmaceutical machinery and equipment, but around eleven years ago, Scaife decided to break back into the automotive fabrication, where he had got his start.
Interior view of XL Stainless Custom Corvette by Warren Scaife. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1dy3TX)
This car will be a calling card for the automotive side of his business, and would hopefully turn him a profit when he decided to sell it, too. He chose a Corvette as the donor car (specially a 1998 Virginia rear-end victim that have been written-off) because he figured the car's high performance reputation would help when looking for a buyer for the finished product.
Engine view of XL Stainless Custom Corvette by Warren Scaife. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1dy3TX)
Design inspiration comes through the then-new Morgan LIFEcar concept, a car with its not-short wheelbase and a pontoon-style fenders, does not exactly lend itself to adaptation through a Corvette.
Rear side view of XL Stainless Custom Corvette by Warren Scaife. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1dy3TX)
Then Scaife moved the Corvette's front suspension cradle forward 21 inches. He widened the car's rear end and relocated the engine, shock mounts and tilted the radiator forward instead backward. A rear spoiler was originally in the plans, as were Lamborghini-style scissor doors, but both felt too off-the-shelf to him. The gloss black on the car was supposed to be matte or satin, but a mix-up on the painter’s part left Scaife settling for the shinier stuff.
XL Stainless Custom Corvette inspired by the design of Morgan LIFEcar concept. Look at how similar both of them. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1dy3W7)
And then the drivetrain. Both engine and transmission got a full rebuild and were crammed full of almost every aftermarket performance part you could ask for. A stroker kit and supercharger gave the 383-cube V8 some 665 horsepower to work with, and the automatic transmision and low rear gears help the Corvette pull 160 km/h (100 mph) in second while returning 10 L/100 km (23 mpg) highway, according to Scaife.
For all of this, he has spent nearly 2,500 work hours and cost about $80,000. But the result was not in vain, and I think he has managed to build a very nice car. What do you think? *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | AUTOFOCUS]
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