John’s Z06

John’s Z06

In 2014 John bought a brand new Ford Fiesta ST. With only 1000 miles on his new car he began to go to the track. Enticed by his friend Patrick he became regular at most track days in the Las Vegas, and Southern California areas. He had originally bought the car because that year he also decided that he was going to go to school, and pursue his degree. Throughout the next few years he was able to build a pretty wild fiesta, and manage to graduate from UNLV. During the later part of that time he worked on the weekends at Speed Vegas, one of those drive a race car places that are popping up all over. While working there he had grown to love the C6 Z06 they would use for drift demos. Once he had graduated and gotten a well paying job he stopped working on the weekends at Speed Vegas, and the Fiesta was turning in to an unreliable track car that he was about to throw fists full of money into, because he now had a job that was paying well. He had actually ordered a bunch of parts for the Fiesta with the intention to go crazy with the build… Then one day all of a sudden he said “why am I messing around with cars that are barley able to contend with civics and integras of the 90’s.” He remembered how much he loved the Z06, armed with a good job he decided to start looking into buying a C5 Z06. He soon realized that for only a little bit more he could get a C6 Z06, which was one for the most acclaimed Z06 chassis still to this day. He actually found one that he wanted to get, but because it was a salvaged title the bank was not willing to lend money for a slaved titled car. So he kept searching and managed to come across a perfect candidate. A two owner 2006 Z06, but it was located in San Jose CA. He called the guy, called the bank, and then bought a plane ticket to San Jose, where he bought the car pretty much sight unseen. Literally the first time seeing it other than in pictures was when he met the guy.  The car was a beast, even though his Fiesta had close to 400 hp this car was raw, naturally aspirated 7.0 liters of American bald eagles that were itching to get let loose. After he had test drove the car he had noticed the smell of coolant, but he wasn’t about to go back home empty handed. Besides he had only bought a one way plane ticket! After inspecting the car to see what the leak was it turns out it was a seeping water pump which is a common issue. He bought the car and drove it all the way back home to Las Vegas, without one hiccup. Once back here in Vegas he changed out the water pump and quite a bit of other things as well.

If you’re wondering about the fiesta, well… it was returned back to stock and he sold it to Carmax.  He was also able to return all the parts he had bought with he intent to fix up the Fiesta. Who ever the lucky person was who bought the car from Carmax got a clutch pack LSD, since that was one modification that was more hassle to remove that it was worth so it just stayed on the car. He got the Z06 back in October, and since then he has done some maintenance and some upgrades too. He has even managed to fit a track day in back in February of this year (which was actually more of a shake down of the car). Currently this car is his daily, but the intention is to track it as much as possible. He plans to get some sort of cheap daily because the gas millage on this car is atrocious!

Lets dive into the C6 Z06 and find out what makes this car so great. From the start this car was designed to be a super car, it was built to directly compete with Ferrari’s F430 (which it did,  REALLY WELL) The C6 Z06 came from the factory with an all aluminum chassis which was responsible for its lightness and incredibly stiff chassis, while all other C6 corvettes came with a steel chassis. It also came with the LS7, 7.0 liter all aluminum V8 engine that belted out a whopping 505 HP (naturally aspirated) It came standard with, titanium connection rods, forged steel crankshaft, hyper-eutectic aluminum pistons, which were all assembled by hand. Since this car was designed to be a race car pretty much out of the box,  it also comes with a dry sump set up from the factory.  With all this aluminum you would think it’s a pretty light weight car, and you would be correct in thinking that. Weighing in at 3100 lbs that put it about 300 lbs less than the Ferrari it was set to compete with, and right about the same weight as the Porsche Carrera GT, however the Carrera GT cost almost 5 times as much. To help keep the weight down they made the front fenders out of carbon, and the rear ones of fiberglass. These fenders were widened 3 inches to accommodate the larger wheel and tire this car needed to help it put the power down, and increase the handling. To help the car slow down at race car speeds it was given 6 piston front calipers with a 14 inch rotor, and 4 piston rear calipers with a 13 inch rear rotor. To keep everything cool the car came with a plethora of coolers… front and rear brake ducting, oil cooler, trans cooler, diff cooler, and power steering cooler. To top it all of it was given a rear mounted battery to ensure this car would not only be fast but would handle extremely well too. It managed to blitz the Nurburgring in 7 minutes and 43 seconds! This time was set 14 years ago to which was even more impressive than it would be today,  but even by todays standards 7:43 is still a very fast time.

So do you want one yet? I know I do, I have always loved these cars and I was so excited when I found out that John was getting one. I know what you’re thinking… What about Hondas? do I still love Hondas? Yes I still love Hondas, and always will! But let’s face it, this car comes with everything that we put on our civic’s to make them into race cars, but its STOCK on this car. I don’t want to say that people have slept on this car, but I feel like its not as talked about as it should be. As it ages it continues to be one of the best set up corvette chassis around. Sure the C7’s have tons of power, but in terms of a well rounded car the C6 Z06 is what its all about. Raw, unedited, true thoroughbred race car. When you think of how much money people are putting into civics now days you could almost have a Z06 for that price. Shit for the cost of an FK8 you could definitely get into a used Z06. Yes a Z06 still uses old school technology, like leaf spring suspension and a push rod motor. But all that means is it’s less complicated to fix, and parts are cheaper since the LS engine is so widely used. You can also get coiler conversion kits that remove the leaf springs and really bring the car to life!

On to the Mods list of John’s car:

  • Aldan American Coilover conversion
  • DeWitts radiator
  • Mishimoto coolant lines
  • K&N intake
  • MGW short shifter
  • Hawk dtc-60 pads all around
  • Apex SM10 wheels 18×11 square
  • BFGoodrich rival 1.5s tires 315/30 square
  • Status seats with custom water jet seat rails that he designed himself
  • MOMO steering wheel/Sparco quick release
  • BTR stage 2 cam
  • BTR heads
  • Muffler delete
  • ZR1 spoiler


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