Detroit-made "Race Car for the Street" Takes Center Stage During Charlotte Motor Speedway's Pennzoil AutoFair
Most race fans imagine themselves driving a sleek, 200-mph race car during their boring commutes to work every morning, but Bill Phillips turned that fantasy into a reality. The machine of his dreams, a screaming yellow SuperLite SL-C, will be displayed prominently during the April 5-8 Pennzoil AutoFair Presented by Advance Auto Parts at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
If Phillips' low-slung racer looks familiar, it is because Superlite Cars - the Detroit-area company that designed and produced it - fashioned the SL-C to recall vehicles from the 1960s-era International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) GTP series. Superlite and its sister company, Race Car Replicas (RCR), produce component kits that allow buyers to drive clones of iconic competition cars such as the Jaguar D-Type and Ford GT40. The cars' bodies are fiberglass with embedded, color gel coats that require no paint. Most of Superlite and RCR's chassis are aluminum monocoque designs with custom billet aluminum suspensions, and everything is TIG welded for strength and a cleaner appearance.
Such component kits are popular with do-it-yourselfers, and they come with everything needed to complete the project except for the engine and transmission. Phillips chose to install a 6.2-liter, 376ci General Motors LS3 V-8 engine and a Getrag G50-20 6-speed manual transaxle into his 2,600-pound coupe. The V-8, which sits behind the passenger compartment and powers the rear wheels, produces 460 horsepower.
In all, Phillips spent three years and an estimated 2,600 hours building this road rocket. He could have finished the job much sooner, but he added a full leather interior, reengineered the cooling system to take advantage of the car's aerodynamics, and created trunk space under the pivoting front body panel.
During all four days of AutoFair, the Superlite SL-C will occupy the center of the Showcase Pavilion, where it will share space with a "100 Years of Chevy Trucks" display, a dozen cars from movies and television, and unique creations that have been featured on Velocity's "ToyMakerz."