No sooner than clicking on the Hoonigan C5 Standing Mile special video from a couple weeks back did another Corvette clip show up on the popular modifying, drifting, roll and drag channel. The new upload featured a Velocity Yellow example of my favorite ‘Vette, the C6 Z06, so, naturally, I had to watch it before reviewing my assigned fifth-generation vid.
The Z06 video in question stars a 2006 Corvette Z06 that initially sits in beautiful unmolested form in a Hoonigan garage. On the floor next to the first-year C6Z is a mountain of parts that the hosts insinuate were sent to them for free; offering exposure is a huge perk of having more than five and a half million subscribers! Highlights of the aftermarket haul include C8-look headlights (a nice change of pace from the C7 versions that we see all the time these days), a new set of lightweight black wheels in a surprisingly modest 18/19 offset, a carbon fiber roof, and the pièce de resistance; an Edelbrock “power adder.”
While the cameras are rolling, we only get to see the suspension and wheel teardown/upgrade performed before the car was subjected to some stock-motor drifting. Glorious sounds of quad-pipe V8s torturing tires ensue, and even the crew that is accustomed to sliding around in hopped-up metal maniacs has to admit that the LS7 is a beast from the factory. The finished product can be seen in a follow-up video, and it certainly looks “the business,” but this whole thing has us feeling a bit concerned.
Japanese sport coupes of the ’90s and early ’00s make up the bulk of the car market that has interested and defined “Hoonigan types” since those vehicles were new. Along with affordability, these cars were known for being over-engineered, meaning that they took extremely well to mods. Now, the Fast and Furious folks are undergoing an existential crisis. Because of their excessive modding (often done by questionable builders) and the sheer age of their favorite vehicles, supply of “golden-era” Japanese steel is dwindling. At the same time, the few remaining stock examples are seeing an unprecedented Gen-X and Millennial-driven appreciation run. As Hagerty put it, “The ’90s Japanese performance car market is no longer rational.” So, where are tuners supposed to turn for cheap horsepower that is easily “turned up to 11” now? Well, as we learned in the intro of the Hoonigan video, somewhere along the line in their never-ending mission to build supercar-killers, these 20 and 30-somethings all became Corvette people.
The C6 Z06’s secret status as the performance hero that the rising tide of post-COVID used car prices forgot is officially out of the bag. With 505 HP from the factory, the C6Z canvas starts well beyond most of the stuff these guys usually work with. Good examples can be had in the mid-$40k range, and the aftermarket support is off the charts. It really is the perfect starting point for people looking to embarrass a McLaren or two. The problem is, this increased – and well-deserved – attention is likely to make the future used ‘Vette marketplace mirror the current ’90s Land of the Rising Sun import market. Hand-in-hand with entertainment and well-done mods, countless cars are all but guaranteed to be blown up and otherwise destroyed by 1,200-horse fantasy builds. More demand (augmented by frustrated would-be C8 customers and DIY transmission enthusiasts) and shrinking supply mean that prices are sure to rise. All of this is to say, if you are in the market for a lightly-used example of America’s Sports Car, don’t rest on your original Corvette guy (and gal) laurels; you’ve officially got some competition out there!
Hoonigans / YouTube
[VIDEO] Hoonigan’s ‘This or That’ Races a Nitrous-Powered C5 Corvette VS an 800-hp Nissan 240SX
[VIDEO] Hoonigan’s ‘This or That’ Races a 2021 C8 Corvette Against a 1970 Baja Bug
[VIDEO] Hoonigan’s C5 Z06 Catches Fire at SEMA