Rick Hendrick knows Chevrolet. His Chevy roots run deep. He started racing with a 1931 Chevrolet nearly 50 years ago. He was a Chevy dealer 35 years ago. He owns the most successful Chevrolet racing team in NASCAR, Hendrick Motorsports, with five-time champion Jimmie Johnson and four-time champ Jeff Gordon among his drivers. But despite all that Chevrolet DNA, he recently learned something new and in his own words, “I’ve been blown away.”
Rick took part in the Corvette Engine Build Experience and got an inside look at how the engines go together for the LS7 and LS9 Corvettes. He bought a Corvette Z06 Carbon Edition and added the Engine Build Experience package so he could build his own 7.0L 505-horsepower LS7 engine that will go into his new car.
The Corvette Engine Build Experience is an available option for buyers of new Z06 or ZR1 models. Buyers go to the GM Performance Build Center (PBC) in Wixom, Mich. and under the supervision of a skilled engine builder gets to put together the pieces that make up one of the most exciting engines in the auto industry. The engines are all tested and certified before they leave the PBC and they carry a full warranty.
Rick thinks building your car’s engine is the ultimate event for a Corvette owner. He says, “To be able to experience it I think you’ll have a whole new level of appreciation for your car.” Since he owns the number one NASCAR race team it means a lot when Rick says, “The attention to detail is just as good as what I’ve seen in race engines.”
Rick says, “I’m a die-hard Chevrolet guy … and this engine is just light years ahead of anything I’ve ever worked on.” He owns Chevrolet dealerships around the country and he says, “I don’t know how they sell the car for this price with this much detail, because I know how much we (Hendrick Motorsports) spend in a normal race engine to get it ready to go to the track. The quality of the parts and pieces and the checks and balances that are going into this engine, I’m amazed. The motor should cost about what the car costs.”
After nearly a half-century of owning, driving, racing and selling Chevrolets, this was the first time Rick saw the inside of an LS engine. “When you see it come together in stages you know why it’s such a great piece.”
He feels very confident about what Chevrolet is producing and what he’s selling. “We have the best warranty out there and when you see the product you know that GM can afford to put that kind of warranty on the car. The cars are the best we’ve ever had.”