‘Vette Hack 1.0
No matter what anyone tells you, hot rodding has never been perfect. For my money, that’s what makes it so damn interesting. Earlier this week, a single photo of one of my favorite hot rodding oddballs surfaced after a few years of gathering digital dust. In a way, it’s like a **mysterious** chain email, an anonymous Yelp review, or maybe like those leftovers in the work fridge—all cases where the origin is a complete unknown.
Although we may not know who we need to thank for this snapshot, we can zero in on the subject—a drag car that is probably the most modified early Corvette I have ever laid eyes on. By the look of things, the car started life as a ’58-’60 model and was turned into a quarter-mile warrior soon thereafter. At first glimpse, it seems as if the builder simply slipped the ’Vette shell on an existing Altered chassis and hit the strip. But no! It appears as if the frame was custom-made (or modified?) for the application; note the long distance between the high-riding powerplant and the cockpit. That configuration simply wouldn’t fly with a Bantam or T roadster body.
Speaking of the powerplant, the smallblock was outfitted with the best-of-the best circa 1963. Highlights included a 6-71 supercharger, four-port Hilborn, Corvette valve covers and chromed straight pipes that jut out just above the signature side coves. I’ll wager that this wasn’t a low budget build.
Check out the rest of the car. Underneath the nose there’s a chrome CAE-esque tube axle, polished American Racing 12-spokes, hairpin radius rods and a Moon tank feeding the SBC. On the front fenders you can just barely make out a badge next to the pipes, but it’s unclear what it says. Out back, the wheelwheels have been radiused and stuffed with American mags wrapped in whitewall piecrust slicks. There’s seating for one, complete with a tach, black tuck-n-roll and a sizeable handbrake lever. An aluminum tonneau cover and three-point rollbar complete the package.
Love it or hate it, you have to admit that this car is downright unforgettable. It fits right in with my cast of homely hot rods in my previous “Form Over Function” story that was published here on The Jalopy Journal from a few years back. So on this fine Friday, I’ll ask you this: what would you do if you unearthed this car after a 50+year slumber? Would you race it? Bring it back to stock? Roll it right back in there? Take it to a NCRS event as-found and watch chaos ensue? I’m excited to hear your take.
Also: Check out the VW with the piecrusts in the background, as well as the ’Vette’s lack of blower belt.