Corvette buyers ordering a Z06 or ZR-1 Corvette can pay $5,800 for the privilege of flying to Michigan and building the motor with their own two hands. Critics have panned this: Viknesh Vijayenthiran at Motor Authority, for example, is perplexed why anyone would pay for a motor twice. I, on the other hand, completely understand it, and if I were in a financial position to buy a new Z06 or ZR-1, I’d check the option box to put the motor together myself. There’s just something significant about being their for the birth of your car’s motor: if I have to explain it, you’re not going to understand.
If you’re attending this year’s SEMA Expo (you lucky bastard), you can’t actually build an LS-9 motor yourself, but you can watch one being built up in the Chevy booth. Experts from GM’s Performance Build Center will do the honors live, and will be on hand to answer questions. I’m sure they’d appreciate questions like, “what’s the weight of the titanium connecting rod in the LS-9 motor”, or “what’s the torquing sequence for the head bolts”; I doubt very much they’ll want to discuss the intermittent miss you have under hard acceleration in your Cobalt SS.