Deciding on a project car can be exhausting because there are so many different platforms to choose from, all of which have their own distinct advantages and disadvantages. And after you finally pick one, you need to find the perfect candidate, which can also come with its own set of challenges. Things like the year it was built, color, mileage, interior, options, price, location, and availability can all play a factor when looking for the perfect car. As you know, some vehicles are easy to find, while others are not.
Like most of us, Greg Schroll, a Business Owner/Finance Manager, was introduced to cars at a young age, thanks to a toy car that is all too familiar. He said, “I started with Hot Wheels on the kitchen floor. From there, it just progressed naturally. I have always loved cars and going fast. I would say it is in my blood, but no one in my family shared my affinity for racing or cars.”
Schroll grew up in southern Alabama, and if you’re from the south, it should come as no surprise that his first vehicle wasn’t a car, but instead a truck — a 1994 regular cab short bed Chevy Silverado, to be exact. In a typical 16-year old fashion, he immediately modified the Chevy with Flowmaster dual exhaust, a Hypertech chip, and K&N air filter, with a flipped air lid, no doubt. Schroll said, “After one week of owning it, I came home with a loud dual exhaust system, and my dad gave me a puzzled look. I tried to explain that it was just so cool and made the truck so much faster, but he didn’t understand. However, he saw how much it meant to me and fully supported my hobby.” And even though the truck felt fast at the time, Schroll admits, “In retrospect, it’s probably good that my first vehicle was so slow, or I probably wouldn’t be here today.”
Scholl purchased his first car in his early twenties, a 2003 Ford Mustang Mach 1. The Mach 1 only received bolt-on modifications at first, but a ProCharger and supporting mods made their way onto the Ford. The end result was 490 horsepower, which equated to consistent 10.90’s down the 1/4-mile. “That was my first true taste of drag racing. I attended a lot of races at our local track. That car surprised a lot of people and took home quite a few trophies,” Schroll admitted.
I have always had a thing for the CTS-V’s. To me, it is the best of both worlds: the powertrain of a C7 Z06 wrapped in Cadillac luxury.
After the magic of the ProCharged Mach 1 had withered away, Schroll moved on to a 2008 Corvette Z06. Unfortunately, the engine dropped a valve shortly after he purchased it. It was at this point he connected with the Vengeance Racing crew. The broken Z06 received a built 440 cubic-inch engine and cranked out an impressive 612 horsepower. Even though this is Schroll’s “most fun” car he’s owned, he moved on to a 2015 C7 Z06 that was again built by VR, which made 1,000 horsepower with the stock blower and some giggle juice. After running a best of 177 mph in the 1/2-mile, Schroll decided it was time for his next build, which brings our story up to date.
Finding The Perfect Candidate
In 2020, Schroll went looking for a new ride and searched the United States for the perfect candidate. Schroll said, “I have always had a thing for the CTS-V’s. To me, it is the best of both worlds: the powertrain of a C7 Z06 wrapped in Cadillac luxury. Having previously owned a 1,000 horsepower C7 Z06, I felt it was time to step it up a notch and put that kind of firepower into a luxury car.”
To say Schroll had a particular car in mind for this build would be a vast understatement. He was on the hunt for the third variation of the CTS-V, also called the V3, with quite the shopping list of options. He needed the vehicle to be a white exterior with a black interior, Recaro seats, a sunroof, and low miles. To make matters even more complicated, the V3 had to be in pristine condition.
“When I was shopping, there were only two CTS-V’s in the entire country that fit all of my criteria,” Schroll explained. “One was in Texas, the other was in Idaho. The Texas car was an easy decision, and it was not only much closer to me, it also had the benefit of never spending its time up north, so no worries about rust or road salt. Upon further discussion with the dealership in Texas, I found that the previous owner was a non-smoking older gentleman. So I was confident it was a solid car that had been babied. I knew what was in store for her, and I wanted to be the first to break her in properly.”
Vengeance Racing To The Rescue
By this time, Schroll had already made the call to Vengeance Racing to get him on the books for a ported blower, heads, cam, and a complete exhaust system. So only two weeks after taking delivery of the Cadillac, the CTS-V was in the hands of VR, and the team wasted no time getting to work.
Vengeance Racing extracted the LT4 from the Cadillac and shipped it off to Late Model Engines (LME) for the rebuild. While LME kept the factory block and crank, they scraped the rod and pistons for a set of Callies Ultra Billet connecting rods and Wiseco forged pistons. A Vengeance Racing custom grind stage 2 Cam Motion camshaft also replaced the factory GM bump stick. The factory LT4 heads were superseded with a set of MAST Motorsports units to help the supercharged mill breathe, along with a 103mm Nick Williams throttle body.
With the engine back at VR, the team dropped the new LME powerplant into Schroll’s CTS-V. They also installed a Driveshaft Shop aluminum shaft for the CTS-V and axles to ensure all of the newfound power wouldn’t find a weak link in the driveline. Surprisingly, the stock torque convertor would be reused along with all of the factory suspension components. The only other significant change on the car, for now, would be the addition of a set of tires and wheels. Forgestar 19-inch wheels with Toyo 888R tires would be used on the streets. But when things get serious, 17-inch Weld S71 beadlocks with Mickey Thompson Street R tires get the power to the ground with 18-inch Weld Alumastars on the front. Other modifications include Kooks headers, X-pipe, B&B muffler, and a Cordes Performance 5-gallon tank cooling system in the trunk.
It’s Go Time
“The car went straight from Vengeance to Street Car Takeover in Atlanta. This was the first time at the track with the new combo, and we experienced some transmission issues. We only made one pass that weekend and the car went a 9.9 a 141 mph with the transmission slipping. This was my first ever 9-second pass,” Schroll explained.
After the SCT event, the Cadillac went straight back to Vengeance, and that’s when the guys decided to get a bit more serious. VR removed the eight-speed transmission and shipped it over to RPM Transmission for a much-needed high-performance overhaul. Schroll said, “The car was fast, but the intake air temperature (IAT) was quick to get hot, and the car would start pulling. Since we were spinning the stock blower for all it was worth, we couldn’t keep it cool. We then decided on a Magnuson 2650 blower and a trunk-mounted ice tank.”
With the new supercharger, transmission, and ice tank in place, the VR-built CTS-V cranked out 1,000 horsepower to the wheels. And while you might think all of the mods would affect the car’s drivability, that hasn’t been the case, according to Schroll.
Smiles Per Gallon
“It’s tough to express in words how a 1,000 wheel horsepower CTS-V drives and handles. The incredible thing about this car is its manners. It drives like stock until you put your foot into it. Vengeance Racing is second to none and has done an excellent job designing a package for this car that drives perfectly when you want but will also get rowdy as hell when you put your foot down. It can be whatever you want — comfortable enough to get your grandmother to church, but then after you drop her off, hit the ¼-mile and rip off a 9-second pass.”
While Schroll doesn’t race in any particular class, street/daily driver is his favorite. And who can blame him? With 1,000 horsepower on tap and all of the creature comforts one might need, this is a daily driver we can certainly get behind. Not to mention, this Caddy can cruise effortlessly at 75 mph while getting an absurd 24 miles-per-gallon.