Gregg Hartley had never owned a Corvette until he spotted this '98 at a South Florida dealership. In it, he saw the potential to fulfill a dream he'd had since he was 10 years old. Between the ages of 10 and 12, Gregg's uncle lived with him and his family. As we all know, that's a very impressionable age. This uncle also happened to own a '60 Corvette, and Gregg recounts that he was always clamoring for a ride. At the time, he vowed to have his very own Corvette one day, and when he saw this one in 1999, he knew the time had finally come.
The low-mileage, Torch Red convertible with automatic transmission was bone stock when he bought it, but there were a couple of things Gregg wanted to do with it. Starting with the external changes, he wanted the car lowered to 26.75 inches in the front and 27.25 inches at the rear. He wanted to keep the stock wheels, but have them matched to the Torch Red body. He was having trouble finding someone willing to paint the wheels until he ran into Ernie Francis of Breathless Performance Products at a show. Ernie agreed to paint the wheels, which led to some other modifications Gregg decided he needed.
So, Breathless Performance transformed the stock '98 into the customized powerhouse Gregg enjoys today. They treated the Corvette to a Vortex Rammer air induction system, a new MAT sensor, and an upgraded MAF housing. The results? The dyno showed 408 hp at the flywheel, making for one very happy Mr. Hartley; and he boasts 105.2 in 12.93 in the quarter-mile on Goodrich drag radials.
Since we shot these photos, Gregg has also added non-pop-up headlights and EradiSpeed slotted rotors. But here's the best part: Gregg's '98 is also a satisfying daily driver. He says, "Corvettes represent the cutting edge of American cars, and it's always been the cool thing to have." Maybe that's really the best part. If there were ever any doubt, Gregg can now be completely assured that he is indeed "cool."