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Z0666

SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES

STORY AND PHOTOS AMEE REEHAL

Avo Aboulian, owner of Toyz Autoart, a high-end car customization shop, built a fully customized Corvette that can ­ and by all accounts does ­ wake the dead.

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rguably, nothing instills more anxiety, trepidation and fear in the hearts of grown men than the unknown. And what is more unknown than the spiritual, the mystical, the diabolical. Does knowledge of such evil things make them less frightening? You're about to find out. Enter Avo Aboulian's brutally powerful candy-apple red widebody Corvette ZO6. It's a lot to say, but it's also a lot of car. Making its home in Montreal, Canada, the mean American machine roars through the

eerie tunnels of Ville-Marie and scours the old cobblestone road of de la Commune. Truly the embodiment of something sinister, Aboulian's 2002 ZO6 is a ride so fierce it keeps Lamborghini owners up at night. Now, Montreal is a beautiful city: old charm with contemporary style, the closest you'll get to Europe without having to cross the Atlantic. Particularly charismatic is the inner district of Old Montreal. Once a little French settlement along the St. Laurent River, Old Montreal is now a vivacious tourism hub by day. By night,

however, it is quite different. Retaining its cobblestone pathways and Gargoyleinfested 17th-century buildings, alongside old fortifications that once surrounded the town, Old Montreal is transformed when the sun goes down. In fact, it's downright spooky; the kind of setting you might expect to run into Aboulian and his Corvette, but also the kind of place you'd prefer not to. Our menacing Z06 could not find a better place to call home. Aboulian's story is a familiar one. It's the same story you've heard many times

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2002 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Z0666

DETAILS

2002 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Z06 SUSPENSION Specter Werkes coilovers and sway bars; Bilstein shocks WHEELS, TIRES, BRAKES (F) Davin Speed 2 three-piece 20x8.5-inch forged aluminum wheels with red carbon fiber inserts and 255/30R20 Pirelli P Zero Nero tires; Baer Eradispeed two-piece crossed drilled rotors; braided brake lines (R) Davin Speed 2 three-piece 22x12-inch forged aluminum wheels with red carbon fiber inserts and 335/25R22 Pirelli P Zero Nero tires; Baer Eradispeed twopiece crossed drilled rotors; braided brake lines EXTERIOR Dupont Candy Apple Red paint over a charcoal base coat; custom widebody including widened rear fenders with integrated brake cooling ducts and modified rocker panels which accommodate the new fenders, a custom front bumper air inlet, a rear bumper cover and molded lower fascia; Euro taillights; rear-installed camera; Specter Werkes flush HID headlight conversion INTERIOR Rudsak saddle leather and black suede, custom headrests, digital boost and fuel gauges I.C.E. Alpine 310 DVD player and voice activated navigation system with XM Satellite Radio; iPod interface; Clarion 6.5-inch display for rear-installed camera; Audison six channel VRX6 420 amplifier, power distributor and capacitor; Hertz component speakers and two 10-inch subwoofers 22 L&E

before but never get sick of ­ guy buys car, guy gets spanked by another car, guy buys new car, tunes it, and spanks everyone. It is a tale of retribution and pride, and it is the tale of Avo Aboulian. He had no quarrels back in the day with his 2001 BMW 330ci ­ back when he was willing to compromise power for refinement. That quickly changed one day when his uncle's 2002 M5 left him in the dust. The humbling experience also left him wanting more power. This epiphany led Aboulian to sell his Bimmer (and his soul), for a new Z06 coupe in April of 2002. Despite the impressive increase in power, shortly after, he found himself looking at the taillights of a different car; this time his friend's turbocharged four-cylinder Nissan 240SX. Ouch! This sort of humiliation did not sit well with Aboulian. What transgressed thereafter is an unprecedented Corvette ZO6 transformation and a tale that is not for the faint of heart. When asked why he chose this particular car, Aboulian states, "What appealed to me was all it had to offer as a stock muscle car." In fact, when the Z06 moniker was re-introduced in 2001, following a long hiatus since its initial introduction

back in 1963, it was considered a very well-balanced sports coupe, one that was ruthless on the track and equally exhilarating on the drive there. Although the '01 Z06 broke ground in many areas ­ including reduced maintenance costs, reduced weight, reduced noise and overall refinement, to name but a few ­ GM engineers wasted no time on further improvements for 2002, so Aboulian got in at a good time. Squeezing 20 extra ponies and 15 ft-lbs more torque out of the 5.7liter V8, plus the addition of better gear ratios and the subtraction of unwanted weight made a noticeable improvement. All this, however, still pales in comparison to Aboulian's own debauchery, which begins under the hood. The adrenaline for this beast is pumped by an intercooled Magnuson Roots ­ type supercharger system with a Lingenfelter computer tuning setup. "The supercharger came with a six psi setting," Aboulian explains, "but with the 8.2 psi setting and the Lingenfelter tuning I can definitely feel the difference, [it's] a much more aggressive setup now." The 100 shot wet nitrous system provides that extra bit of punch on the drag strip, while

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Truly the embodiment of something sinister, Aboulian's 2002 Z06 is a ride so fierce it keeps Lamborghini owners up at night.

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2002 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Z0666

"With the 335 rear tires griping hard, the car really takes off," says Aboulian. "It feels like all-wheel-drive."

an MTI blower cam ensures power on demand when stalking the streets. The ported throttle body and upgraded fuel pump and injectors also contribute to the mayhem. "When I nail the throttle, the tires light up!" Aboulian says. The breathing assembly includes a Vararam air intake system, Kooks 1&7/8-inch long-tube headers paired with a three-inch off-road Kooks x-pipe and a Billy Boat off-road exhaust to further accentuate the big V8 rumble. To say the

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Vette now growls would be an understatement. As Aboulian and I lurked along the busy street of St. Laurent, both the locals and tourists reacted in shock. And as we ripped through long stretches of tunnels, the sound echoing like an apocalyptic roar from hell, the looks on the innocent faces of minivan dads simply trying to get home to see their families said it all. This is a sound that can wake the dead. And it isn't just the roar that instills fear, it's also the way the Z06 looks. Whether crawling in the shadows or resting along the busy curb. Aboulian's friends at Automotion got things started. "We started the project consisting of a custom widebody including modified rocker panels, quarter panels, and rear fascia," Aboulian explains. "All this to house the new Davin three-piece wheels I ordered which protrude over three-inches from the (stock) fenders." The extra bodywork was necessary to accommodate a desired five-inch outer lip on the 22-inch rear wheels. The front lower fascia was then custom molded for the 20-inch rollers, with an added custom air inlet. Lending it that wicked flair were Euro taillights, a rear-mounted camera and a sinister

Specter Werkes HID headlight conversion. Aboulian repainted his car, from an angelic silver scheme to a deep, dark Candy Apple Red over a charcoal basecoat. As mentioned above, the beast rolls on some particularly unique Davin wheels; the only brand for Aboulian, who is the Canadian distributor for the haute-couture wheel brand. Davin Speed 2 threepiece forged aluminum wheels sit at each corner, measuring 20x8.5-inches up front with Pirelli P Zero Nero 255/30R20 rubber and 22x12-inches behind with 335/25R22 Pirellis. For stopping power Baer Eradispeed two-piece cross-drilled rotors and braided brake hoses sit inside each wheel. With all that rubber, the suspension needed some updating and so the stock leaf springs were replaced with Specter Werkes adjustable coilover springs which make use of Bilstein shocks. Specter Werkes, a shop renowned for their Corvette products, was also contacted for their sway bars. "Adding the full coilover setup really made a difference," Aboulian explains, "it's more like a drag racing setup now that shifts all the way to the rear, and with the 335 rear tires gripping

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SPECIFICATIONS

2002 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Z06 ENGINE Supercharged 5.7L V8 (LS6) ENGINE MODIFICATIONS Magnuson intercooled supercharger; Vararam air intake; ported throttle body; upgraded fuel pump and injectors; MTI blower cam; Kooks 1&7/8-inch headers; Kooks off-road x-pipe; Billy Boat off-road exhaust; NOS 100-shot nitrous system ENGINE MANAGEMENT Lingenfelter ECU tuning NUMBERS (EST.) Horsepower: 650 hp Torque: 510 ft-lbs

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2002 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Z0666

SOURCEBOX

DAVIN WHEELS Providence, RI T: 401-273-8041 (USA) T: 514-999-1610 (Canada) W: www.davinwheels.com TOYZ AUTOART Montreal, Quebec T: 514-331-1981 W: www.toyzautoart.com

With all that rubber, the suspension needed some updating and so the stock leaf springs were replaced with Specter Werkes adjustable coilover springs which make use of Bilstein shocks.

hard, the car really takes off. It feels like all-wheel-drive." Following the Corvette's mantra as a proper, well-balanced sports coupe, Aboulian didn't stop at power or handling, he followed through completely, including an in-car-entertainment system and a stunning interior. He replaced the stock black leather Z06 interior with a custom leather and suede design. Included in that transformation ­ performed by Automobilia, a local tuner shop ­ is the removal of the factory embroidered headrests which read ZO6. A more personalized message was used instead, which reads "Toyz Autoart," the name of the customization shop Aboulian runs. The I.C.E. is extensive and all the work was performed by Qualitech Audio, including an Alpine 310 DVD player, a 6.5-inch

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Clarion display for the rear-camera, an Audison six-channel VRX6 420 watt amplifier, power distributor and capacitor. Hi-end Hertz component speakers and two Hertz 10-inch subwoofers were also used. Several extra gadgets were added for this audiophile including XM Satellite Radio, a voice-activated Alpine navigation system and of course, an iPod interface. Now Corvettes are hardly regulars in MLE and this one constitutes the first ever full-feature. Without a doubt, there are plenty of impressive C5 Corvettes out there, but you'd be hard-pressed to find one as stunning as this Z06. Unleashed last October at Canada's largest aftermarket show, Sport Compact Performance 6, Aboulian and his wicked Vette claimed top honors in the ProElite class. Since

then, they have been making an impact at shows across North America and on the streets of Old Montreal. So if you are ever wandering the cobblestone streets of Montreal, indulging in smoked meat sandwiches and poutine (The Quebec invention of French fries with cheese and gravy) remember, you have been forewarned. For while you may never actually see Aboulian's Corvette, you'll most definitely hear it. MLE

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020-027 F-Corvette

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