Who says mid-engined racecars all have to come from Italy or Germany? Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, or even Porsche isn't the end-all and be-all when it comes to a winning mid-engine-designed racecar. American car companies have proven time and again that a fast and successful way to go racing is to hire Lola Race Cars of Great Britain and collaborate with them, or commission them to build state-of-the-art road racers. Ford did so with a GT40 Mk II in 1966 and an Mk IV in '67 to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Then the Gulf Racing team won with the same Mk I GT40 in '68 and '69 despite no financial backing from Ford Racing.
In '84, Chevrolet commissioned Lola Race Cars to build seven Corvette GTP cars GM could campaign in the IMSA race series. The C4 Corvette had just come out, and Chevrolet brass thought that publicity from race wins would promote the all-new Corvette quite well. Like the personal computer industry, racecars become outdated almost as soon as they're introduced. These GTP machines won a few races, but they didn't command center stage for very long. Some 10 years ago, one sold for just under $400,000. The second of the seven GTP Corvettes, chassis #711, will have been auctioned off at the Bloomington Gold High Performance Auction (St. Charles, Illinois, June 15-17) by the time you read this. According to auto racing experts, the vintage race-worthy original may fetch as high as one million dollars. Even if you make the big bucks like some, that's not small change. By paying that much for an old racecar, you've either got a fascination for collecting museum pieces, or you want to vintage race. The original GTPs aren't street legal by any stretch of the imagination.
If you're a fan of the ultra-rare Corvette GTP racecars, you can now pay a fraction of the price and build a Mongoose Motorsports GTP. Better still, you can drive yours in air-conditioned comfort on the highways and byways of America once you've registered and insured the street supercar. Of course, that doesn't prevent you from putting it on a racetrack and running with other replicars in various events across the country. Should you choose to mingle with the Grey Poupon crowd, many of those automotive aficionados would have to look real close to discover your GTP's not an original-if you had tinted windows, because the Vintage Air HVAC controls on the dashboard would be a dead giveaway. The seven cars surely didn't have A/C, not even at 220 mph, as the side windows were fixed.
We met several of Mongoose Motorsports' key employees at the '07 Carlisle Import-Kit/Replicar Nationals. Comparing the Corvette GTP to the company's Grand Sport coupe and roadster, we realized the GTP would blow any sort of '60s racing technology into the weeds. Still, these vintage racing replicars aren't simply for going swift around the twisties. They're more concerned with looking good while doing so, which the Mongoose Motorsports GTP, the Grand Sport coupe, and the Grand Sport roadster all do exceedingly well. Perhaps we could persuade Mongoose Motorsports personnel to let us have some quality time behind the wheel of each of these recreated time capsules the next time we see them. Don't worry. We won't be shy when we ask for the keys. KC
A Corvette LS7 engine with...
A Corvette LS7 engine with a custom-crafted cold air induction system was mated to a four-speed automatic trans built by RPM Transmissions.
B&M's ratchet-shifter enables...
B&M's ratchet-shifter enables sure shifting of the four-speed auto trans. Instrumentation is a combination of Auto Meter and Stack.
On the passenger side of the...
On the passenger side of the dash are the Vintage Air HVAC controls. The race seats are trimmed in vinyl.
No, you're not at the wrong...
No, you're not at the wrong end of a double-barrel shotgun, but if you're trying to catch this car in a race, you might as well be, because you're dead.
| Facts Box || |
| Mongoose Motorsports, LLC || |
| Medina, Ohio || |
| www.mongoosems.com || |
| Vehicle || |
| Year and type/model: || 2007 Mongoose GTP (1986 Corvette GTP replica) |
| Pricing || |
| Price of Kit: || 34,995 |
| Total Price as Tested: || 139,995 |
| Manufacturer Estimate of Hours to Build/Complete Vehicle: || 500 |
| Donor (if applicable) Year and type/model: || None |
| Manufacturer Section-List All Components Included in Base Kit: || Indicate "YES" if this component is included. Include the specifics of the components and who manufactures the component. |
| Chassis || |
| Frame: || Semi-monocoque composite and steel tube |
| Wheelbase: || 106 in. |
| Rearend: || C5 Corvette |
| Rear Suspension: || C5 Corvette w/Bilstein coilover shocks |
| Front Suspension: || C5 Corvette w/Bilstein coilover shocks |
| Shocks: || Bilstein coilover |
| Rear Brakes: || C5 Corvette |
| Front Brakes: || C5 Corvette |
| Brake Lines: || Stainless steel |
| Master Cylinder: || C5 Corvette |
| Brake Booster: || C5 Corvette |
| Steering: || Custom rack-and-pinion and steering column built by Flaming River, electronic power steering |
| Front Wheel Make & Size: || CCW 18x10 |
| Rear Wheel Make & Size: || CCW 18x12 |
| Front Tire Make & Size: || Michelin Pilot Sport 295/30ZR 18 |
| Rear Tire Make & Size: || Michelin Pilot Sport 335/30ZR 18 |
| Body || |
| Paint Included: || Kit-No; Turnkey-Yes |
| Paint Brand/Type: || PPG-Base, clear |
| Windshield/Glass: || Front safety glass/sides and rear-Lexan |
| Top: || Coupe |
| Roll Bar: || Yes, 1 1/2-in. tubing, 1/8-in. wall, full cage |
| Bumpers: || No |
| Grille: || No |
| Lights: || High and low beam, turn, parking, and brake lights |
| Mirrors: || Rear-mount LCD camera rearview |
| Emblems and Trim: || None |
| Fuel System: || CG Z06 |
| Fuel Tank: || Twin aluminum fuel tanks |
| Interior || |
| Gauges: || Auto Meter, Stack |
| Wiring: || Painless Performance Products, Speartech |
| Steering Wheel: || Leather wrapped, aluminum |
| Seating: || Two-seater |
| Upholstery: || Vinyl |
| Material: || Vinyl, wool carpet |
| Drivetrain || |
| Engine Brand: || Chevy |
| Engine Type: || LS7 |
| Water Pump: || Modified LS7 |
| Radiator: || Dual Griffin aluminum radiators |
| Air Cleaner: || Custom cold air induction |
| Ignition: || LS7 |
| Headers: || Custom stainless steel |
| Exhaust System: || Turbo spiral mufflers |
| Transmission Type: || Four-speed automatic built by RPM Transmissions |
| Driveshaft: || None |
| Shifter: || B&M ratchet |
| Air Conditioning: || GM compressor, Vintage Air |
| Battery: || ACDelco |
| Engines Brackets: || GM |
| Accessories: || Flaming River electrical steering |