It would be hard to blame you if you didn't believe Kurt Schwamberger's '01 Mallett Z06 Corvette is a street car. We probably wouldn't have believed it either if we hadn't encountered it in the middle of the 2004 Hot Rod Power Tour.

Kurt admits the Torch Red car is often trailered to events, but when it made the trek from Stanwood, Michigan, to Arlington, Texas, and back, it proved itself roadworthy.

Kurt bought the car new from Berger Chevrolet in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in August 2000. The 3,925th car produced, it's probably one of the first Z06s. In 2002, he began to get the itch for higher performance and started talking to various tuners. At the '03 Corvettes at Carlisle, he met with Chuck Mallett at Mallett Cars and sealed the deal.

"I chose Mallett due to his reputation, workmanship, and willingness to work with me on what I wanted, not just a package," Kurt says.

A carbon-fiber hood, performance suspension components, wheels and tires, a custom cam, and a high-performance cooling system are just some of the goodies the Mallett team added to Kurt's Corvette.

"I wanted to get as close to 450-500 rear-wheel horsepower as possible without add-ons, and we achieved 445.2 with the cats on," Kurt says. The setup was not only powerful, but handled like a dream on the road course. While it is street driven some, it's ideally suited for autocrossing. "It has more than lived up to my expectations," assures Kurt.

One of the car's most distinctive features is practically indistinguishable. "Speed Lingerie is a good product, but my oversize tires were cutting into the bra on hard turns," Kurt says. "A friend of mine in St. Louis told me what he did to his 50th Anniversary Corvette." 3M makes a cellophane-like coating for the Corvette nose that protects like a bra, is removable, and is practically invisible.

"It was hard finding someone who had [applied it] to a Corvette," Kurt says. "3M ended up sending someone from Detroit to Grand Rapids to do the installation at Prestige Auto." While it is removable, you don't want to take it off unless it's absolutely necessary, because it costs $1,400 for the installation. "But," Kurt says, "those are the things we do to protect our paint."

Kurt says he's going to take this car off the road to focus on showing, a strategy that includes a new interior and paint job. "I've been autocrossing it since the Power Tour, but it's going to become a show car now," he says. "We've taken Best of Show at a few shows, but now we're going to paint it and show it."

Perhaps you can improve on perfection. Kurt is certainly going to try.

The PackageMallett Hammer standard package features:* 5.7L, 346 ci, 475hp sequential fuel-injection V-8* Custom Mallett camshaft* Custom-ported Mallett LS6 heads* Mallett stainless "D"-port headers* Mallett custom billet shifter* Penske/Mallett 7500 Series nonadjustable shocks* Leather seats with "Mallett Hammer" graphics* Mallett serial-number plaque* Mallett Hammer body graphics* Display plaque and vehicle registry at NCM

Additional Options:* 6.1L Stroker kit* Carbon-fiber valve covers and radiator top support* Two-point short harness bar with five-point Simpson harnesses* LUK Gold Series high-performance clutch with lightweight flywheel* Custom computer programming with dyno tuning* Engine oil cooler (liquid-liquid)* 427-style hood* High-flow catalytic converters with X-pipe* Preferred equipment Group 1 (wheels, tires, brake pads, DOC package)* Four-core high-capacity radiator* Flexible stainless brake lines with PFC carbon-metallic pads* Stainless PRT high-performance muffler* Transmission oil cooler* Rear-wheelhouse mini-tub* Mallett twin five-spoke, three-piece forged wheels (9.5/12x18) polished* Michelin Pilot Sport performance tires (275x38-18, 335x30-18)* Performance front/rear stabilizer bars