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James Andrews' 1994 C4 ZR-1 contains the engine used by John Lingenfelter at Road And Track's 1998 "Fastest Street Legal Cars in America" high-speed shootout.

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ZR-1 Corvettes are low-key, but when you nail the loud pedal - look out!

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1994 Corvette C4 ZR-1 - Jim Andrews' treasured tribute to John Lingenfelter
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By Society Staff – reprint with permission only

In 1998, the late great John Lingenfelter personally prepared a Corvette C4 ZR-1 for the "Fastest Street Legal Cars In America" high speed shootout sponsored by Road and Track magazine. He was asked to bring a C5, which he did, but the C5s were very new then, and he actually wanted to win the event, so he asked the promoters if he could bring a C4 ZR-1.

The shootout featured such significant cars as the McLaren F1, Ferrari 550 Maranello, Ruf Porsche CTR 2, Hennessey Viper 600 GTS, and Toyota Supra Turbo, as well as the two Corvettes that John prepared. Mario Andretti drove all of the cars.

The C4 that John prepared performed amazingly. The car was naturally aspirated with the 32 valve LT-5 engine specially prepared with 415 cubic inches. As mentioned, John wanted to actually win the event, and he almost pulled it off. The ZR-1 clocked a top speed of an incredible 218 MPH, which was an amazing feat. It finished just a click behind the $1.5 million McLaren.

Which brings us to the featured car owned by James Andrews.  Jim’s car was owned by high-speed junkie Sryantha Weerasuria, whom everyone calls “SW” for good reason. Anyway, SW owns Elite Motorsports in Austin Texas, has held many high speed records in mile events, and currently is running 1400 H.P. Lamborghini Gallardos with times approaching 250 MPH in the mile. SW purchased the engine that was in the 1998 high speed shootout car from Lingenfelter Performance and had them install it in Jim’s 1994 ZR-1.  The job was completed in July 1999.  

The most amazing part of the story is that the car was engine dynoed at 688 hp, but it is still very streetable.  It can be driven with the air-conditioning running, and it does not overheat.  Jim  drove it from Wichita, Kansas to the Bloomington Corvette show in Champaign, Illinois last year.  That’s an about 1200 mile round trip, and the car averaged 23 miles per gallon on the highway at 75 mph, with the a/c on.

Twenty years later, Lingenfelter 415 ZR-1's are still relevant in terms of performance.  They are quicker 0-150-0 than a new C6 ZR-1, although the C6 has a smaller displacement at 378 cubic inches.

One more interesting fact about Jim’s ZR-1 is that, in September 2002, John Lingenfelter signed the intake plenum on the engine now installed in Jim’s car.  In October of that same year, John had his infamous accident while drag racing at Pomona, California, which put him in a coma from which he never recovered, and he died fourteen months later in December 2003.  Thus, Jim’s intake plenum could be the very last piece of equipment that John signed, and although he never met John Lingefelter, it is very special to him.

Great shot of James Andrews' ZR-1 exposed

On display at the National Corvette Museum.

The interior is all business - roll cage included

Even with the roll cage it is pristine.

The 415 cubic-inch LT-5 engine. John Lingenfelter's signature is visible just above the center of the photo at the left end of the intake plenum.

Another view of the engine with John Lingenfelter's signature at the top left.

This shot shows the roll cage in detail.

Great looking, even from here.