It’s a Canadian fact! The revolutionary new C7 Pro Mod Corvettes out there all have roots that are based from North of the 49th……..
When racing fans everywhere are enjoying the sleek lines and impressive performances from all the new C7 Corvette Pro Mod cars this season — they are also looking at some serious Canadian content.
The reality is that this innovative body type is both the vision and the finished product of a concept that began in rather unsuspecting rural Strathroy Ontario’s Cynergy Composites and in particular within the mindset of it’s owner and founder Tim Hodgins.
Hodgins’s reputation and history within the development of many Pro Mod car replicas as well as other key carbon fibre components seen everywhere in drag racing, is already well known. But for sure his latest project surrounding developing the C7 Pro Mod body option is the most involved and high tech approach yet.
The C7 is truly revolutionary – it is in fact the first Pro Mod body ever to be developed using both CAD (Computer Aided Design) and CNC (Computer Numerical Control). According to our information, it is only the second time that has ever been used for drag racing (Mopar and FCA used CAD when developing their new Pro Stock and Funny Car Dodge Dart bodies).
Tim’s project also used other Canadian aspects including expert graphic input from artist Stu Wotypka from B.C. (ID Motorsports Design) and legendary independent automotive designer Paul Deutschman from Montreal. Deutschman was tasked with creating the virtual solid surfaces of the CAD (Computer Aided Design) master model so it could be expertly machined by CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machines located at Modelage de Simon in Sherbrooke QC.
The process from concept to reality was very long and involved, requiring very significant investment in both time and funding.
After completion of the two dimensional concept design rendering a highly involved 3D model was programmed. That was eventually loaded into a CNC machine which then over a 6 week period cut the first version body in wood. After some additional checks and measurements the first “splash mold” was created which was an important incremental step for validation. In total about 1200+ man hours were involved to get to that point.
Hodgins has formed a very close relationship and alignment with reputed Tim McAmis Race Cars (located in Missouri) and in fact McAmis and his Velocity Composites purchased part of Tim’s company (the complete portfolio of Cynergy’s doorslammer/ProMod body molds). That move has going forward provided Cynergy Composites with the latitude to now focus on more custom/contract composite work (i.e. COPO Camaro Carbon Fibre hood contract for GM’s NHRA Super Stock contingent). Cynergy Composites exclusively licensed Tim McAmis and Velocity Composites to be the sole producer of the C7, to make it easier for chassis builders and racers to obtain the bodies. The final production tooling mold is at TMRC / Velocity Composites and that’s where the ultimate carbon fibre versions, licensed for sale (to all builders) originate from.
For Hodgins, whose Cynergy Composites Company has emerged from rather humble beginnings dating back to 2002, the C7 project has been a very tasking journey.
“For sure this was all very hard and demanding,” Tim reflected. “This was absolution of the concept of setting a goal high and then seeing it through. It’s very rewarding to come up with a vision and then to make it a reality — it’s for sure the most satisfying project I’ve been involved with so far.”
Tim (along with a variety of racers we have spoken with too) perceive and accept the C7 Corvette as not only a truly cutting edge and efficient race car choice — but also literally as a piece of race car art. While many of the other rival Pro Mod class cars out there might be a bit unidentifiable at times – there is no mistaking the C7 as being a Corvette.
“All along I recognized that the Chevrolet Corvette is GM’s flagship car,” Tim added. “The C7 challenges and races head to head with Ferrari and Porsche on the world wide stage. Needless to say GM did their homework – so there was no need to try to reinvent that wheel for drag racing. When we set out to do this an important objective was to make sure we maintained the actual look of the Corvette. That was difficult at times because you have to fit it around some established Pro Mod chassis configurations — but that’s where the CAD really helped. I’m so very pleased with that final product – because it really does look like a Corvette.”
And what else could be more Canadian then Hockey? Another interesting dimension is that Cynergy Composites stays in close touch with the NHL’s carbon fibre hockey stick technology – and that affected the C7 Pro Mod too.
“Outside the military and aviation markets, the NHL is at the leading edge of the reason why composite materials get better and better every year,” Tim revealed. “Their manufacturers are always chasing and developing better resins for hockey sticks and they spend a ton of money in that R&D. We always keep in touch with that and it for sure rubs off in our race car body business.”
In his career to date – Tim Hodgins can already lay claim to many or most of the premium Pro Mod class car bodies out there. Prior to the C7 he pioneered the designs for the ’67 Camaro, ’68 Firebird, ’69 Camaro, ’70 1/2 Camaro and the GT Shelby 500 bodies — which all frequent Pro Mod racing entry lists at any sanctioning body you choose. Going forward — Tim’s path of continuation will undoubtably include even more deep innovation.
“For sure I want to keep pushing the envelope and technology on this,” he concluded. “I’d like to add in virtual wind tunnelling and some more finite analysis (FEA). I like to make these cars even faster and safer using both toughened impact resistance and fire retardant resin systems.”
One of Tim’s most satisfied C7 customers to date is Pro Mod class racing star and former NHRA World Champion Troy Coughlin, driver of the Ohio-based turbocharged Corvette which is sponsored by giant performance parts worldwide distributor Jegs.
“In my mind there is no doubt that with the way this C7 body was developed – we are looking at the probable future for drag racing,” Troy said. “Both Tims’ (Hodgins & McAmis) have really worked some magic with the precision of this body – I think they’ve already set a new standard.”
(Post & Photos by Bruce Biegler)
Visit Cynergy Composites: HERE
Visit ID Motorsports Design: HERE
Visit Velocity Composites: HERE
Visit Jegs.com : HERE