The annual Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show is the world’s biggest automotive aftermarket trade event held annually in Las Vegas. Needless to say, to be part of it is no small feat. After all, an exhibitor gets to display products and services to a global audience—or to at least 60,000 industry professionals (the show is not open to the general public) from more than 100 countries.
One such exhibitor is Car Porn Racing’s Angie Mead King (formerly Ian King), who partnered with California-based Gi Automotive to bring a heavily modified sixth-generation Chevrolet Corvette from her humble shop in Taguig to the entertainment capital of the world.
King has labeled the C6 Corvette as the Black Manta, and if the name sounds familiar, that’s because it was actually first shown at the 2015 Manila Auto Salon.
Using a 2013 Corvette as a donor car, King first tapped the services of renowned digital automotive rendering artist Jon Sibal to redesign it. King then had her Car Porn Racing crew strip the vehicle of its fiberglass skin and replace it with a wide body made entirely of carbon fiber. This added an additional 12 inches up front and 14 inches at the rear from the car’s stock measurements.
King’s shop also distributes the AirRex air struts and the AccuAir air suspension system locally, so it’s no surprise to find these fitted underneath the Black Manta. After all, a car like this needs these components to safely navigate Metro Manila’s potholed roads.
King has also swapped the show car’s 6.3-liter LS3 V8 engine with a supercharged LS9 engine, and tweaked it further to boost the mill’s output from 638hp to a whopping 800hp.
The Black Manta is shod with 20-inch gold and chrome DPE wheels wrapped with Toyo tires that measure 305mm up front and 345mm at the back. Keeping the car in control are Johnny O’Connell signature sway bars from Pfadt Race Engineering together with the car’s stock safety and stability systems. To keep the vehicle’s noise level down in the city—yet allow it to open up on the highway—a custom remote-controlled Varex active exhaust system has been fitted as well.
To finish off the Black Manta’s aggressive look, King chucked the stock C6 headlights for a pair from the current-generation C7 Corvette.
The Black Manta’s interior likewise underwent some changes, with most of the plastic components now clad with Alcantara, while the stock bucket seats have been replaced with a pair from Recaro.
For SEMA, King had to alter the car’s hood to accommodate the larger LS9 powerplant, redesign the rear wing and diffuser, and resculpt the body. To further differentiate it from the matte-black car at last year’s Manila Auto Salon, King gave the updated Black Manta a glossier finish and added satin camo, silver and gold accents.
Speaking of the hood, the car wouldn’t be complete without the popular Victoria Court logo. The motel chain, as you know, is owned by King’s family.
King and Gi Automotive want to prove that this isn’t just a show car—that it has the muscle to match its aggressive looks—by putting it through some time-attack and top speed runs in 2017.
“I’m so happy to be able to finally share my passion project on the global stage,” King said of the car prior to its international debut. That’s Angie Mead King, doing the Philippine car scene proud both here and abroad.