Hot Rod Magazine Feature: Fiberglass And Pump Gas: Steve Hoch Proves That Corvettes Make Good Drag Cars and Can Also Handle Some Light-duty Towing.
Engine: A stout Merlin block has a 4.500×4.250 bore and stroke for 540 ci, and a forged Eagle crank and rods and Venolia pistons squeeze a 10.5:1 compression ratio. The surprisingly streetable Comp Cams solid roller with 0.714-inch lift and 260/270 duration at 0.050 actuates Jesel rocker arms and 2.25/1.88 valves inside the ported-to-the-limit Canfield 310 rectangular-port heads.
Power: It has a dyno-verified 726 hp on the motor and 1,146 hp and 1,080 lb-ft of torque with an NOS annular plate system spraying a 400-shot.
Transmission: It’s a TH400 with ATI’s clutches (with an extra disc on Second gear) and aluminum clutch drum, a TCI full-manual valvebody, and a Precision Industries “Pink” torque converter that holds the grunt without complaint.
Rearend: Steve credits Tom’s Differentials for the ability to keep the stock Corvette IRS in place with myriad strengthening modifications. A conversion to 12-bolt internals and 31-spline axles makes it stronger, and Tom’s safety bars attached to the differential act like upper control arms to make the setup NHRA legal.
Frame: An eight-point chrome-moly cage stiffens the stock Corvette frame, and a front engine plate keeps everything in line. The Vette weighs 3,500 pounds.
Suspension: The front suspension remains essentially stock with the addition of urethane bushings and Competition Engineering three-way adjustable shocks set at 90/10 proportioning. Travel limiters keep things together when the nose is in the air. The rear features QA1 single-adjustable shocks.
Brakes: The original Corvette 4-wheel disc brakes brakes are aided by a set of Stainless Steel Brakes calipers. A detachable parachute is NHRA-required since the car can hit 150 mph.
Wheels: Special-offset Center Line Convo Pros measure 15×8.5 in the back and 15×4 in the front.
Tires: When the car gets to the track, it runs on 29×10.50 Hoosier QuickTime Pro D.O.T. rear slicks, while the fronts are Mickey Thompson Sportsman Front 28×7.50-15s.
Body: An Eckler’s rear body kit replaces the stock ’68 ‘glass. ZL1-style fender flares and a 4-inch cowl hood sum up the body modifications.
Paint: It’s still wearing its original Polar White and has only been repainted once since it was new. The blue stripe, though not factory, has been on the car since Steve bought it in 1978.
Interior: The ’68 Corvette’s interior is nicely maintained and is stock with the exception of RJS five-point harnesses attached to the seat brace of the rollcage.