c5 corvette
The "Trixie" C5

Meet “Trixie” she is a 2001 Corvette coupe that got her name from Speed Racer's girlfriend in the old cartoon series.  Trixie belongs to Frank and Gail Cahall from Delaware. She was bought as a completely stock, low mileage car in 2012 mainly because Gail had wanted a Corvette since she was 5 years old. Original plans were to leave the car stock, but those intentions kind of got off course because Gail had deep roots in the car show community and Frank had deep roots in the drag racing community. First came “Let’s put some stripes on her.” Next was “Let’s put a cam in her.” The “cam change” evolved into the engine and drive train sitting on the shop floor and the body on a lift.

c5 corvette

At that point there was no turning back so Frank and Gail decided that they would turn Trixie into a rolling advertisement for both of their businesses. Gail owns American-Powerhouse which is an online store that sells automotive accessories and Frank owns Cahall Performance Transmissions which is a shop specializing in performance transmissions.

A plan was put together and Gail ordered all the parts through her business and Frank handled the transmission and drive train work. Frank choose one of his “Pro Race” 4L60Es that was backed up by a 9.5” 3200rpm Pro-torque stall   converter.
c5 corvette

Gail and Frank did the engine build themselves. Fank tells us that "there’s nothing more sexy than watching your wife torque main bolts". This was a “learn as you go” experience as it was their first attempt at an LS based engine. 

The C3 was envisioned primarily as a show car. The Cahall's didn’t really want to go overboard with the build and kept the mods rather conservative. The stock crank was used with forged H-beam rods and forged pistons. A moderate COMP 232-234 grind and a set of ported 241 castings were also installed.  To up the ante a 250 horse ZEX wet nitrous kit topped off the engine. The nitrous kit was Gail’s Valentines day present, kudos to Frank not many of us could get away with that one. Frank say's that you "Gotta love a woman that sells car parts, builds engines, and would rather have nitrous more than flowers".
c5 corvette

While Trixie’s drivetrain was out, some other changes were also being made. A custom designed interior with a purple suede theme was installed.  The interior colors were tied into the custom stripes. Frank and Gail also pulled the engine compartment apart and painted or wrapped many of the parts. The fiberglass RK Sport fuel rail covers were painted in House Of Kolor “Pavo Purple” and then sent out for the finishing touch. The “Trixie” pin up from Speed Racer was painted her on one fuel rail cover and her name was put on the other.

Aside from the cosmetic changes other more serious mods included upgrades to suspension, brakes and drivetrain. A set of OBX catted long tube headers and an OBX axle back exhaust were also installed.  A new set of chrome C5 wheels were also added during the reconstruction. The fronts match the originals 17”x8.5” size but the rears are a deep dish design that are an inch wider, resulting in an 18”x10.5” .  A set of Hoosier drag radials are bolted on the rear for quarter mile trips.

c5 corvette

The last phase of the build included a dyno tune. The cars first pull registered 386 hp at the rear wheels on motor, through a stalled auto. The car has been tweaked and is now pulling 429 hp .

Frank and Gail must have done something right as they took a “Best In Show” trophy at the very first event that "Trixie" was entered in.  The Cahills really enjoy hearing the positive comments and compliments they get on the car. Frank tells us that
'it’s nice to know that others appreciate the thought and creativity that went into her". The other nice part about this experience is that the car gets driven. The car is used on a regular basis as as an everyday grocery getter.
c5 corvette

At a recent trip to Cecil County Drag way the car returned a very respectable 12.2 @ 113 MPH with a soft launch. Their goal is to dip into the 11's after a 3:90 gear swap and into the 10's when the proper amount of nitrous is dialed in.

The Vette Nuts

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