Sure, you can build your own engine, but will someone else warranty it? Buy a Chevrolet Corvette Z06 or ZR1 and not only will it come with a warranty, but you can fly to Michigan and build the engine for your car.
It's the latest effort to get Corvette buyers even more involved in the ownership of their cars. Check the box marked "PBC" -- for GM's Performance Build Center in Wixom, Michigan, where the engines are hand-assembled -- and a Chevrolet concierge will contact you to arrange the details. You'll need to provide your own travel to the metro Detroit area, but they'll help you find lodging and food and arrange local transportation.
Once you're ready to get your hands dirty, you'll head over to the Performance Build Center and, under the watchful eye of one of GM's professional engine builders, build the naturally aspirated 505-horsepower 7.0-liter V-8 for your new Z06 or the supercharged 638-horsepower 6.2-liter V-8 for your new ZR1. When you're finished, you'll affix a personalized nameplate next to the builder's name on the engine and send it off to Bowling Green, Kentucky, to be installed in your car.
"In a way, this is a dream program for a Corvette customer. I would have jumped at the chance to build the 427 in my '67 'Vette, and that didn't have half of what goes into one of these modern precision engines," said Tom Stephens, GM's vice chairman of Global Product Operations. "Today's LS7 and LS9 Corvette engines are pinnacle achievements in engineering, and to personally involve our customers in their final creation shows the depth of Chevrolet's commitment to make lasting connections with the customer."
The experience doesn't have to end there. If you've got enough time off saved up, you can opt for several other Corvette programs, such as a tour of the Corvette factory in which you can see your personal car traveling down the assembly line. Once it's finished, you can have it delivered at the National Corvette Museum next door. Of course, if you've purchased a ZR1, you're also set up with a complimentary trip to the Bob Bondurant Corvette Driving School in Arizona or the Ron Fellows Corvette Performance Driving School in Nevada.
"Corvette owners are some of the most passionate - and most involved - enthusiasts in the industry," said Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president of Chevrolet marketing. "The Corvette Engine Build Experience offers customers an unprecedented opportunity to participate, hands on, in creating the car."
Of course, this little crafts project isn't free. If you want to build your own Z06 or ZR1 engine, you'll of course have to buy the car first, then throw down an extra $5,800 for the PCB program, plus whatever you spend on travel and lodging. In addition to building your own supercar engine, you'll also get a five-year/100,000-mile transferable powertrain warranty on your work, just as if you'd bought the car off the lot.
What do you think? Is $5,800 plus expenses worth it to build your very own Z06 or ZR1 engine?