Ride of the Week… Rolling through Malibu in a CORVETTE GRAND SPORT

Originally posted in THE MALIBU SURFSIDE NEWS… Papers available in Malibu

I’m pretty sure I’ve created a monster. Yep, a Godzilla-sized monster. But, with a pleasant and huge smile.

My car show, Wheels and Waves, is quickly becoming a Malibu icon — not because of what I’m doing, but because of you. And you, and you … and don’t forget you. It’s you guys who are driving this thing forward and I’m grateful just to be along for the ride.

And speaking of rides, today’s Ride of the Week lands at the feet of Doug and Marissa Campbell.

As public relations, media and sales professionals for Hillbank Motor Sports, Superformance and Shelby Legendary Cars, these two not only have gas for blood, but have managed to acquire a Malibu level of enjoyment out of them.

I met these guys at the last show and I knew the car they were driving thanks to Jay Leno. But, let’s let Doug introduce us, shall we?

“Today, my wife, Marissa, and I are in a GM Corvette Grand Sport by Superformance,” he begins to explain. “The car was originally built for the Lingenfelter Booth at SEMA in 2016 and is one of our demonstrator cars. It is a continuation of the five original 1963 Corvette Grand Sport race cars.”

So, this means it’s fast. Like, Lingenfelter fast.

“These cars are built new from the ground up to 1963 Corvette Grand Sport Specs,” Doug continues. “The front suspension is modified a bit from 1963 to provide for better driveability, and the cars come with Wilwood power disc brakes.

“You can order the car with a number of options and this one has a lot – power steering, power windows, central locking, touring interior, and air conditioning.

Power is supplied by a GM Performance LS3 with Borla 8 Stack Electronic Fuel Injection as well as some Lingenfelter modifications putting out 525HP through a Tremec T56 six-speed transmission.

This particular car with all the power options and the touring interior weighs in at 2,900 pounds.”

OK, hold on. Did I just die, go to heaven and drive a brand new 1963 Corvette back to Malibu?

But then, Doug hits me again.

“We built the car in 2016 for the SEMA show,” he said. “It is manufactured by Superformance, which is headquartered in Irvine, California, where we have a showroom with about 70 cars including all varieties of Cobras, Daytona Coupes, GT40s, and of course Corvette Grand Sports.

This particular car serves as one of our demonstrator/press cars.”

Wait, press car? Doug tells us why.

“It’s so iconic, and different from any other Corvette you will see on the road,” he said. “Also, the fact that it is licensed by GM and the body is off the original mold from 1963 is very cool.

It gives you the real feel of a 1963 Grand Sport with great build quality and a much better driving experience than the original car. For me, it is the perfect marriage of old and new.”

According to these guys, the best part of this car is the sound. And trust me, I’ve heard it.

“The LS3 pumps out some incredible noises through the side pipes,” Doug said. “I have been driving this car for over two years now and the sound it makes will never, ever get old. Second to that is the view over the hood.

On a Grand Sport, it’s very unique to the five race cars and is a constant reminder that you are driving something very rare and special.

“I am lucky enough to get to drive it to shows on the weekend, which was the case last Sunday when my wife Marissa and I got to drive it up from our home in Newport Beach to Malibu for the Wheels and Waves at The Mart show.”

Hey, wait, pretty sure I’ve been to that show and it’s awesome.

Doug said he loves taking it to shows as he’ll typically run into two types of people: those who know the car well, and those who don’t

“One of my favorite things to do is share what I know about the cars with people and keep that incredible history alive,” he said.

But, of course, Ride of the Week is famous for its best story. And for these guys, it’s a doozie.

Recently, they shot an episode of ‘Jay Leno’s Garage’ for his YouTube channel.

“It was the first time I really had an opportunity to spend time with Jay and it was really cool to see how impressed he was with the car,” Doug said. “The one thing he mentioned over and over again was his disbelief that we were able to get GM to license the car.

“After he did a drive in the car with the owner of Superformance, Lance Stander, we had to take the car back into the studio to shoot some interior shots and video. This was at the end of the day and most people had left.

I was ready to drive the car back out and realized I was essentially alone in Jay’s garage, surrounded by some of the most incredible automobiles and motorcycles I had ever seen.

I hopped in the Grand Sport and drove out the entire length of the garage and all I could think was, ‘I’m driving the Grand Sport that Jay just drove through Jay Leno’s garage. Don’t do a burnout!’”

Well, as cool as Jay’s Garage is (I’ve been there), it’s nothing like mine. I have hundreds of cars. Of course, they are 1/64th scale and still in the package, but I can take them out any time.

Anyway, what do Doug and Marissa see in Malibu? He told me, and now I’m going to tell you.

“PCH through Malibu is some of the most beautiful coastline there is and such a great place to drive,” Doug said. “One of my other passions is surfing, so I love the fact that driving through Malibu combines my passions for both cars and surfing.

You see everything on the road from vintage trucks to the latest supercars, and while all that is going on … you can see people enjoying some pretty awesome waves. For me, it doesn’t get much better than that!”

Want to be featured in Ride of the Week? Send Fireball an email at askfireball@fireballtim.com.