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Jack Jenkins' Purpose-Built Corvette

This '64 Has The Heart Of A King

Andy Bolig May 1, 2001

Step By Step

Mid-years are desirable cars. Jack Jenkins takes it one step further with his '64 by adding one of the most exotic engines GM ever installed--the LT5. You could say that this car was "purpose-built" in that it was built to race in the One Lap of America race in 1996. Only two weeks before the race, Jack was test-driving the car and wrecked it severely enough that the entire front end had to be replaced to make it driveable again. With the help of friends Harold Williams and Phil Gibson, he was able to complete the repairs in time to start the race in Watkins Glen, New York, but was unable to finish.

Over the next year Jack and friends went over the car entirely in preparation for the next race, removing "new car bugs" as they reared their ugly heads. They started the race as they had the year before, but this time finished the entire race with only minor damage to the left front while they were leaving Greenville, South Carolina.

With a drive-centered race such as the One Lap under its belt, it's undeniable that this car is definitely a driver. That, of course, is largely attributable to the fuel efficiency and horsepower of the LT5. Each of those 405 horses works its way down to the pavement through a Long-operated Richmond six-speed. Additionally, there is power steering and independent front and rear suspension, but they wisely upgraded the brakes by one year and put a set of '65 power disc brakes both front and rear. The Billet Specialties wheels (17x8 front and 17x9.5 rear) carry BFGoodrich tread and help keep the highway as smooth as possible while putting each of those LT5-provided horses to the ground where they can do the most good.

When Jack pops the hood of his '64, it's immediately obvious that you're looking into the face of a king in chrome-plated armor. But when he tools around his hometown of Easley, South Carolina, the royalty rides discreetly inside.

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