It seems like the best success stories in the automotive business world always start from a home garage and then grow rapidly from a cottage industry into a major presence. And so it went for Summit Racing Equipment, which began with the founder’s quest to soup up his ’67 L71 Corvette Sting Ray to drag race on the weekends.
The year was 1968 and the young engineer sought out wholesale connections to buy speed equipment—discounted below list price—for his 1 of 3,754 L71 Corvette. He shared the good deals with his dragster buddies and before long had to move the burgeoning part-time speed shop business out of his home garage and into the basement of a Stow, Ohio, donut shop.
Summit Racing’s customer base grew fast and at the dawn of 1969, the donut shop location became too small and the next move was to a real storefront in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. Much longer than its 20-foot width, the 1,500 square-foot storefront was located between a Midas Muffler and a pizza parlor and it took only a year to outgrow. The next move, in 1970, was to a much larger location in Akron, Ohio, with the speed shop carrying a line of major brands that included Holley, Mallory, Hurst, and Mickey Thompson.
In 1972, Summit Racing launched an advertising campaign in Hot Rod magazine and with it the company soon took on sales orders from across the United States. Advertising in Hot Rod opened the floodgates. The incredible amount of new business garnered nationwide was fantastic, but with it leisure time became extinct and the ’67 Sting Ray was mothballed in a warehouse.
The year 2008 found Summit Racing celebrating its 40th anniversary. Longtime Summit Racing employees and Corvette aficionados Bill McGhee and Wayne Krinjeck pulled the ’67 Sting Ray out of mothballs and did a top-to-bottom restoration that included punching the 427-inch L71 out to 496 inches.
The body on the original-owner Vette necessitated a lot of attention from McGhee and Krinjeck thanks to an iffy repaint before it was tucked away. The sharp body lines had been rounded off with an orbital sander and required a tremendous amount of fiberglass work before the car could go into its correct Marlboro Maroon, formulated in PPG paint.
It looks like a stock L71 engine, but don’t be fooled. Under its black accented Stinger hood is where McGhee and Krinjeck drove through the Summit Racing catalog with a magnet grabbing all the goodies needed to coax out an estimated 592 horsepower. The basis is a Mark IV block with a Scat forged crank with all of the machine work by Racing Products. The JE Pistons forged 10.5:1 slugs rise and fall under a pair of Trick Flow PowerPort 320 aluminum heads.
The valvetrain starts with a Comp Cams hydraulic roller cam and lifters enlisting Trick Flow chromoly pushrods to actuate roller rockers. Under the re-popped, K&N-filtered air cleaner is a trio of two-throat Holley 500-cfm carburetors modified by Quick Fuel on a stock aluminum intake manifold. The stud kit of aerospace quality fasteners is from ARP. The high-performance ignition system is an MSD 6AL nourished with a Summit Racing brand alternator. The exhaust system starts with GM exhaust manifolds and dumps into Sweet Thunder 3-inch side pipes.
A custom driveshaft from C&U Equipment of Mogadore, Ohio, connects a Muncie M22 four-speed with a Centerforce Dual-Friction clutch set inside a Lakewood bellhousing to a 3.73 IRS rearend with limited-slip.
The four-wheel discs brakes are Vette Brakes and Products discs that feature calipers with stainless steel sleeves and O-ringed pistons, plus a set of semi-metallic pads. The shock absorbers at all four corners are from Koni. And again, right from the pages of Summit Racing’s catalog, is a set of four Wheel Vintiques 16x8 Corvette Rallye wheels mounted on four 245/50/16 Michelin Pilot Sport A/S radial tires.
The interior appointments start unseen to the eye with NASCAR-spec heat insulation laid beneath the black loop pile carpet. The stock ’67 bucket seats are covered in black leather and equipped with N.O.S. date-code stamped factory original seatbelts. The instrumentation features restored gauges in front of a stock, deep-dish steering wheel.
Summit Racing expressed to Vette, “Summit Racing would not have gotten off the ground without the support of our customers. As a company of enthusiasts, nothing gets us more excited than helping our customers bring their automotive passion to life.” Summit Racing has been offering everything gearheads need for what they drive for the last 50 years and Vette wishes them the best for the next 50 years. Vette
Photos courtesy of Summit Racing Equipment