Chevy released information on the 2018 Corvette earlier this week and the biggest announcement was a carbon-fiber-trimmed 65th anniversary edition called the Carbon 65.
That Carbon 65 is only available on the top trims of the Grand Sport and Z06 models and the anniversary edition tacks on $15,000 to the price. It sure looks cool and is probably still a riot to drive, but it got us thinking what a Roadkill-style special edition Corvette would look like. Then it dawned on us that such things already exist, so here are six Corvette specials we can get behind.
Not to be too self-congratulatory, but how do we not start here? This of course started as Project Vette Hack many years ago and Roadkill has turned the skeletal remains of an early C4 Corvette into as much of a road-course monster as anything in the show’s inventory. We also know of at least two Vette-Karts built by fans and we’d like to think the early Vettehack project had some influence over the building of Corvette-powered Exocet kit cars.
Spirit of Le Mans ‘76 Greenwood Corvette
We’ll have more history on the 1976 24 Hours of Le Mans soon, but in short, the French race organizers knew they needed to bolster their shrinking entry list. Five American teams responded with entries to the race, which was held days before America’s Bicentennial. Among them was the “Spirit of Le Mans ‘76” Greenwood Corvette, a 427-powered widebody monster that is one of the biggest-displacement V8s to run at Le Mans (along with the Ford 427-powered GT40s). Despite being a French fan favorites at the race, the Corvette didn’t fare well. The C3 finished only 29 laps before a crash ruptured its fuel tank and forced it to retire. Thus Roadkill.
Dave Schroeder’s (Very) Big-Block Drag Week ’66 Corvette
Toronto native Dave Schroeder has built one of the most extreme HOT ROD Drag Week™ cars. While Schroeder’s car wears the traditional colors of a Corvette Grand Sport road racer, this car is designed around a massive engine—somewhere around 900 cubic inches—with three stages of nitrous. While Schroeder and his co-driver John Ens have had some teething troubles with the the burly Vette, they have gotten it into the 6s at more than 200 miles per hour. Our editor Elana Scherr rode in this car through Toronto with Schroeder a couple years ago; people looked at it like it had dropped into Canada from space.
If you’ve seen Finnegan’s Blasphemi, you know that pretty much everyone here at Roadkill is a sucker for gasser-style drag race builds. They’re A number of drag racers have turned C1 and C2 Corvettes into straight-axle, straightline race cars. Bob Cook’s “Crazy Grandpa” Vette is the right kind of crazy turned up to 11 that we can get behind.
The Dianna and Ripes ‘57 Corvette
HOT ROD Magazine editor John Dianna needed a car for a paint project and along with his neighbor Marv Ripes—who was also an engine builder—they dug up a C1 Corvette with a blown-up engine. With a 283 Small-Block and pearl-peach paint—“It was the 70s. It was all like that. Psychedelic pot-smoking hippie stuff,” Ripes told Roadkill editor Elana Scherr back in 2014—they proceeded to rack up a pile of NHRA class wins. Craig Wood eventually found and restored the ‘57 Vette some years after Dianna and Ripes had sold it. Read more about this magazine-special right here.
Fess up: How many of you have looked at your kids’ toys and thought, “I can make that faster?” (The answer is “All of you.”) From the downhill Barbie-Jeep and Barbie-Corvette racers to gas-powered Barbie Corvette Power Wheels, adults have found ways to make these kids toys into entertaining mini-hoonmobiles.
Who’s got a better one? Something in your garage?