After arriving at Hot Rod Joe's, the old rusty frame and suspension got rolled out into the back alley. A brand-new Street Shop frame and C4 aluminum suspension was then bolted up to the stock body. The slick setup uses QA1 coilovers at the corners, and retains the factory independent rear suspension. Stopping duties are handled by 13-inch Wilwood brakes up front, and 11-inch factory C4 discs out back. Custom Intro wheels wrapped in Nitto rubber keep everything planted to the pavement. With the chassis thoroughly modernized, next on the agenda was replacing the stock 327 and Muncie trans. Spending time behind the wheel of a Z06 had made Bill a big fan of the Gen IV small-block, so he opted for a 430hp LS3 crate engine mated to a paddle-shifted 4L70E automatic. "This is a great-driving car," he says. "Granted, 430 hp isn't that much, but at under 3,000 pounds the Vette easily scalds the tires and will scare you in a hurry. Plus, it knocks down 24 mpg."

So with the project complete, the question is whether or not Bill's latest Vette has the street cred necessary to hang with the muscle car boys. The answer depends on who you ask. "I had a guy get mad at me at a car show and tell me I was stupid for turning a matching-numbers split-window coupe into a g-Machine," Bill says. "I told him it's my car so I'll do whatever the hell I want. I built this car to drive and enjoy, and there are enough garage queens out there already!"

Bill Bouziden • Lafayette, LA
Type: GM 6.2L LS3 small-block
Block: factory 4.065-inch bore aluminum
Oiling: stock pump and pan
Rotating assembly: factory nodular 3.622-inch crankshaft, rods, and 10.7:1 hypereutectic pistons
Cylinder heads: stock rectangle-port castings
Camshaft: factory 204/211-at-.050 hydraulic roller; .551/.525-inch lift; 116-degree LSA
Induction: stock LS3 intake manifold and throttle-body
Ignition: stock coil-on-plug system
Exhaust: Street and Performance 1.75-inch headers, dual 2.5-inch MagnaFlow mufflers
Output: 430 hp and 424 lb-ft
Transmission: GM 4L70E automatic with Compushift paddle shifters
Rear axle: factory independent rear suspension with 3.73:1 gears and limited-slip differential
Front suspension: Street Shop C4 Corvette control arms, spindles, and sway bar; QA1 coilovers
Rear suspension: stock IRS with custom tubular control arms, QA1 coilovers, and 3-inch aluminum halfshafts
Brakes: Wilwood 13-inch rotors and six-piston calipers, front; stock C4 11-inch discs, rear
Wheels: custom Intro ID 319 18x8, front; 20x12, rear
Tires: Nitto NT555 245/45R17, front; 275/40R18, rear