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Automotive Traveler Magazine: 2011 04 Chop Cut Nu-Build Part Three Page 1

Chop Cut Nu-Build, Part Three

No matter how well you plan, something always happens at the last minute! Edward Peghin, series director of SPEED's Chop Cut Rebuild, walks readers through the public unveiling of Corvette Specialty of California's modern-day Grand Sport.

In the previous issue of Automotive Traveler, I ended Part Two of this series on the Corvette Specialty of California GS with a throw to the car's much-awaited unveiling at the 2010 Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association show in November.

Well, we had just one more thing to do prior to testing it before the public. We had to test it on the dynamometer. The CSOC GS generated about 550 horsepower at the wheels on the first go. Pretty impressive, considering it had not even been tuned. Mike and Laurent Bensaid, the sibling team behind CSOC, were clearly serious about building a car that would be both beautiful and powerful.

Dan Woods, host of Chop Cut Rebuild (seated at right in inset photo, with Martin Beckenbach, president of Legendary Auto Interiors), was impressed--and perhaps a little consternated. When pitted against the Charger, the second vehicle build featured on the show, the 'Vette might blow it completely off the track.

The SEMA show floor was busy and exciting. The smell of new car parts permeated the air. It turned out to be the perfect venue for unveiling the CSOC GS, and for garnering attention for CSOC's first line of customized (i.e., "redesigned") vehicles. Mike and Laurent had the privilege of being hosted at the ARMO booth. Our crew spent a full day with them there, and the public reaction to the GS was ecstatic.

Two weeks later, I took the crew to Phoenix for the taping of Pinks All Out. The CSOC GS and the Hemi Charger were to compete in a best-of-three-races competition. Well... the race was not to be. The tow vehicles were lined up ready to race when the Charger was pulled from the track because of a fluid leak.

Bradley White of the Charger build team, Hot Rod's Speed and Custom of Norco, California, quickly repaired the problem. As Woods drove the car for a quick test run, something really bad happened. Through some freak mishap, the Charger developed transmission problems and ultimately would not be ready to race at all that day.

Undaunted and never succumbing to failure, Woods declared, "In two weeks, we race at Autoclub Speedway in Fontana." And so it was. And the winner?

Edward Peghin is the producer/director of Chop Cut Rebuild, which airs on SPEED Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. EST.