Building a Corvette to show is one thing; building one to drive is another. But building one to show, drive, and run hard is a whole other ballgame. That's the reason behind the Corvette Fever YearOne Shootout, held during the YearOne Experience weekend.
The Shootout consisted of an on-track session at Braselton, Georgia's Atlanta Dragway that followed a 25-mile cruise on the public roads near the track. That prerun was included to give participants a chance to show how their cars would handle the reality of public roads, traffic, and other drivers en route to the track. All cars had to be street-legal and NHRA-legal for the e.t. the car could run. In addition to winning bragging rights and YearOne gift certificates, all Shootout participants also received two passes to the YearOne Experience that allowed them to also cruise Road Atlanta, participate in the 0-100-0 competition, and run in the autocross.
The owners of four Corvettes had shown interest in taking part in the Shootout. Unfortunately, two of them weren't able to make it.
Brent Jarvis contacted us about bringing his killer '59 Corvette from Mundelein, Illinois. Brent claims his car is the quickest and fastest street legal Pro-Street Corvette in the country. This car is capable of running low-seven-second e.t.'s at well over 180 mph in the quarter-mile. On top of that, it's an ISCA show champion. The '59 would've made its presence felt at the strip, thanks to its 655ci aluminum Donovan big-block, topped by a pair of 1,150-cfm Holley Dominators atop a hand-fabricated aluminum manifold, nestled between a pair of hand-ported EPD aluminum heads and breathing out through a 5-inch stainless steel exhaust system. The Candy Purple-with-pearl flames color scheme on the '59's original body--that topped a custom Alston chassis--would have garnered its share of attention, too. Brent is an accomplished racer, and his Corvette has run consistently in the low eights for years. We were looking forward to seeing Brent ravage the competition, but unfortunately, a death in the family prevented him from attending.
Also not able to attend was Gary Box and his '65 Sting Ray Coupe from Westlake, Ohio. We wanted to show you Gary's midyear in action so you could see his incredible dual-purpose machine, with its 555-inch big-block (equipped with twin Dominators on a Holley Tunnel Ram, Dart heads, Wiseco pistons, Crower forged crankshaft and connecting rods, among other hardware that Gary built it with), along with Gary Reese-built chassis and dual-purpose race/road rubber in each fenderwell. Gary has won Shootouts all over the United States and usually runs in the 7-8 second range all day long. His car would have created quite a ruckus at the very least and quite possibly could have won the event. Unfortunately, due to some new NHRA chassis changes that couldn't be completed in time, Gary couldn't make the Shootout, which left us with two C5s--the blue '99 of Joe Underwood (which you can read more about starting on page 46), and Robbie Clark's red '00 convertible.
Once all participants--ours, plus those representing our sister publications Mopar Muscle, High Performance Pontiac, and Vette magazines--arrived at Atlanta Dragway, and after the mandatory drivers' meeting, each contestant vehicle and its driver was photographed by each magazine's photographers, and the cars all received close scrutiny by the event's NHRA tech inspectors.