Black Prince – 1992 Corvette – LPE 383

Complete Restoration

Restoration Specialist – J & M Enterprizes, Brooksville, Florida / Motor Modifications – Lingenfelter Performance Engineering, Decatur, Indiana

MY STORY 1992 – 2024

My Love for the American Corvette began in 1964 when I purchased my first new Corvette, a 1964 White Coupe, and over the years, I have also owned a 1974 Silver C3 Convertible, a 1986 Grey C4 Convertible and a 1990 white C4 Convertible.

In 1992 when Corvette introduced the technologically advanced LT1 motor with 300 horsepower, I headed to Bachrodt Motors – the Chevrolet Dealership in Rockford, Illinois and placed a special order for a Black C4 convertible. I named this Corvette – The Black Prince.

On May 8th 1992, the Black Prince was built at the General Motors Corvette Assembly Plant, in Bolling Green, Kentucky, located nearby to the National Corvette Museum.

In 1997 General Motors announced their next generation Corvette – C5. The C5 had major design changes, including a newly developed LS1 engine. During the C5 production run, the LS1 motor would eventually output 405 Horsepower with 385 lb-ft of Torque, which was a substantial increase compared to the Black Prince’s 300 horsepower LT1 Motor. However, I preferred the C4 design lines to those of the C5 and decided it was time to increase the Horsepower of the Black Prince. There were two major Corvette Motor specialists in the USA at this time, Callaway Motors, and Lingenfelter Performance Engineering (LPE). Both are very well-respected Performance Engine Builders, and I decided to send the Black Prince to LPE’s main plant in Decatur, Indiana and have the original LT1 motor modified with their LT1 383ci performance components.

The LPE modifications included a Callies 4340 3.75-inch stroke steel forged crankshaft, JE 2618 forged alloy aluminum 10.8:1 pistons, Oliver 4340 billet steel I-Beam 5.850” connecting rods, Total Seal file fit rings, heavy duty rod & main bearings, the rotating assembly was computer balanced, LPE designed Competition Cams hydraulic roller camshaft with High Tech stainless steel full roller rocker arms – 1.6:1 ratio.  The cylinder heads were CNC ported & polished with stainless steel 2-inch intake and 1.56-inch exhaust valves, three angle valve job, LPE double valve springs, titanium retainers, 10-degree locks & seals and checking spring tensions & heights. LPE ported and polished LT1 intake manifold with a 58 mm aluminum throttle body & LPE engraved throttle body cover, 26 # Injectors, LPE modified air box lid and K&N air filter. In addition, an adjustable fuel pressure regulator, ceramic coated shorty headers, performance cats, stainless steel exhaust by Corsa, accel performance Super Coil, MSD Vented Opti, MSD Super Conductor Plug Wires, AC-Delco Platinum Spark Plug (41-906), AC-Delco ICM, modified (performance tuned) ECM PROM and chassis Dyno tested after installation. The LPE modifications increased horsepower from 300 to 440 crankshaft (rear wheel HP 385) and torque from 330 to 525 lb-ft. These results increased performance, over the C5s 405HP and 385 lb-ft of torque. Other modifications included a Ron Davis Heavy-duty radiator, Flow Kooler high flow Water Pump, the ZF6 received a short throw shifter, drilled & slotted brake rotors and all new hoses & belts. Plus, LPE provided a 2 year / 24,000-mile warranty!

Upon the return of Black Prince from LPE, I decided to completely restore the Corvette from the ground up to match the condition of the newly upgraded LPE motor. To undertake this restoration task J&M Enterprises was selected. J&M, located in Brooksville, Florida, is a recognized specialist in restoring Corvettes. The J&M father/son team first began by disassembling and documenting this restoration process.

During the disassembly, there were a few interesting discoveries. One discovery was finding some stamping marks placed there at the Corvette manufacturing facility. After removal of the convertible’s lid and removing years of dust they found four true Americana symbols – 1) a baseball bat, 2) a hot dog, 3) an apple pie, and 4) the Chevrolet Bowtie logo! As the work progressed, every part on the Corvette was cleaned and set aside or refreshed, restored, or replaced with new GM components.

Then prior to reassembling all the parts – the body was prepped, primed, and treated to a new coat of black paint followed by the final assembly of the interior, engine, and drivetrain. To complete the final look, a set of chromed ZR-1 wheels were installed along with Grand Sport brakes. When the restoration was finished, the Black Prince was better than when new, and now the quarter-mile and zero to sixty performance exceeded that of a C5 or even a C6 (Z06 excluded).

When the J&M Team had completed the restoration, an editor from the Automotive Magazine, “Corvette Enthusiast” was visiting their shop and had seen my restored 1992 Corvette and featured The Black Prince in their magazine’s October 2008 issue.

In 2009, the Black Prince was shipped to France, as I had decided to retire there. I booked passage for the Corvette on a ship that left from the port of Miami, Florida to the port of Le Harve France in December 2009, arriving in Le Harve in March of 2010. Then in June 2010 I married Nathalie Desseaux and we resided in Paris. It was during this time that the Black Prince was retitled and homologated as a French Vehicle, and today the Corvette is registered as a French Collection car.

Then in January 2012 we left Paris, moved to the South of France, and shipped the Black Prince to Nice by rail. Today, we continue to enjoy driving the Black Prince on the many beautiful country roads and attending various weekend car events.

Additionally, when arriving in Nice, a major task was to locate a mechanic that specializes in maintaining American Cars, especially Corvettes, and for the past 12 years, the Services of Daytona Garage in Saint Laurent has performed the annual and mechanical service work and Carrosserie Fechino in Carros the non-mechanical issues to maintain the Black Prince in tip top condition!

The Restoration Process

Lingenfelter Performance Engineering – Motor Modifications

384.3 RWHP – 525 Torque

The Black Prince Caretakers in the South of France

Daytona Garage – Saint Laurent

Fechino Carrosserie – Carros

Magazine Article – Corvette Enthusiast

Details – to be added

Miscellaneous Photos of the Black Prince

Photos – Paul Ricard Circuit

Photos – Collection from Shows and Events

Details –

1992 Corvette – The Black Prince Les informations et les photos
Nom VAUGHN (duck)
Pseudo Facebook +
Adresse e-mail [email protected]
Modèle 1992 Corvette C4 – “The Black Prince”
Type Convertible w/ removable hardtop
Moteur, cylindrée et puissance Modified V8 – LT1 383, modifications Lingenfelter Performance Engineering
Date de la première mise en circulation Vendredi 8 mai 1992 — Bowling Green, KY
Kilométrage actuel 18,346 – après la restauration
Modification dans l’habitacle La couleur extérieure est noire, l’intérieur est gris, sièges sport
en cuir et tapis gris.
La couleur extérieure est noire, l’intérieur est gris, sièges sport en cuir et tapis gris.
Modification Moteur
Modification du moteur effectuée par Lingenfelter Performance Engineering – 383 ci, 440 HP (328 Kw), 384.3 RWHP 525 couples, – se référer à la photo pour les détails de la modification
Modification Extérieure Le Hardtop amovible est original de l’usine


2010 June 21 – Summer in Paris

Only in Paris could there be a Prince on our Special day!

Poem — Black Prince …

Yeah, I have an old car
That’s known as Black Prince,
It’s true I bought him brand new –
And have had him ever since.

Prince came from the factory
With three hundred horses,
Not so much power
For a wannabe tower of force.

Shipped him off to Lingenfelters
Where he gained 140 ponies more,
Now when the pedal’s to the metal
You should hear my Prince roar!

Next came a colt of fresh paint
New saddles stitched in gray leather,
Tim my man from J&M said
“Keep him out of Foul Weather.”

Soon comes a day so bizarre
Prince becomes a media Star,
Laid out in “Corvette Enthusiast”
A tribute to our made-over car.

Then a trip — we sailed by ship
Traveled the sea in a style so hip –
Now we cruise for miles in France
Seeing so many French smiles.

Black Prince is more than a toy
He’s my hero winning road races,
Plus it’s such a grand joy
When driving up to royal places.

As the years keep flying on by
He never fails to give me a high,
But now, our number be three –
Black Prince, a French wife and me!

Yesterday’s Memory – It’s on the Bucket List

My first Corvette – 1964 Coupe / Photo Rock Cut State Park, Winnebago, Illinois