This Gearhead Story comes from within the Xceleration Media/Gearheads4Life team. Our Digital Editor, Elizabeth, has been a gearhead since she was kid, and her excitement has never dulled. When it came time for her to buy a car, she knew exactly what she wanted, because she had wanted it since she was 12-years old and the commercials started about the newly redesign F-Bodies in 1998.
When she got the car, it wasn’t the plan to modify it or race it, the intention was just to enjoy the mid-range modern muscle car, but that didn’t last. After taking it to the track and seeing what it was capable of, she was inspired, and hungry for more! She competed for the micro-record of fastest LS1 bolt-on car, and spent many years chipping away at 10ths in the 1/4 mile.
After people started swapping LS engines into anything they could, she shifted focus and put an aggressive cam in the engine. A set of heads and tune were also added to the car with the great foundation thanks to the bolt-ons. After that, a high stall torque converter made her question her love for the 4L60E, and when the transmission finally succumbed to many years of racing and abuse, she decided it was time to hang up the helmet and enjoy her car, so a T56 6-speed manual took the place of the automatic.
In the last few years, the focus has been more on modernizing the handling and comfort of the Formula. The suspension is the main focus of the upgrades, with nearly every component upgraded. Although she didn’t see much utility in splitters and wheels while it was a drag car, now that it’s getting some road race and autocross time under its tires, it makes sense to have these upgrades on the Formula. The brakes have also been upgraded to handle the stresses of this new phase.
Since she was raised by a top fuel driver, this car connects Elizabeth with her roots and her dad who passed a few years ago, but he loved to weigh in on the modifications, for better or worse. This car has been with Elizabeth since before she was an adult, and she spent her time at the track, instead of partying with friends her age. There’s an undeniable closeness between her and her car, which is characteristic that defines what it means to be a real gearhead!
Project Vendetta is also a part of an ongoing feature on our sister site, Power & Performance News, check out the car in more detail, as well as an extensive explanation about the car’s racing days here.