1984 Chevy Corvette - Bonneville Missile

The World's Fastest Corvette

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If Bobby was disappointed with his bad luck he didn't show it for a minute. Instead, he immediately turned his attention to the other car he and his crew brought to the meet, a '28 Ford roadster. "Of course, we come out here to try to set records," he said philosophically. "That's the whole idea, to beat the other guy fair and square. Myself and my crew, Larry and Brad Stansbury and Bob Creitz, are all Oklahoma boys and we love to beat the California boys. But in Bonneville having fun is far more important than setting records. There are no prizes or money involved and that's what makes this sport the best. Money would just ruin it. We're here to have a good time, learn all we can about going fast, and share the good times with everyone else who comes out here to run. We're proud of this Corvette, proud of everything it has done and everything it will do. And you can mark my words, we'll be back again!"

Vemp_0008_07_o 1984_chevy_corvette Right_side_speeding 2/10

Safety First! Understandably, the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA) has devised a comprehensive set of safety standards that all competitors at the Bonneville Nationals must conform to. Because of its demonstrated performance potential the Corvette must utilize special tires designated for ultra-high speed. Twenty-four-inch front and 30-inch rear Mickey Thompson super speedway tires are more than up to the task. The rear tires, which are speed-rated to 575 mph, are mounted to special steel rims manufactured by Taylor Made Wheels in South Gate, California. These rims are custom fabricated from 1/4-inch-thick steel plate to ensure structural integrity under the most demanding conditions. Up until this point the Corvette has used production GM steel rims in the front, but car owner Bobby Moore plans to replace these with Taylor Made racing rims in the near future.

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"We haven't had any problems with the stock rims," he points out, "but the tech inspectors recommended switching over, and given that we're planning to go faster and faster with this car we think it's a good idea to follow their advice."

Inside the car, a fully re-inforced and gusseted rollcage is installed in accordance with SCTA specifications. Besides providing tremendous driver protection, the cage also imparts much-needed rigidity to the car's chassis.

Because the Corvette's body is fiberglass, and because it goes more than 175 mph, a full arm and leg restraint system is used in addition to the typical five-point driver harness found in almost all race cars. The arm and leg restraints prevent the driver's limbs from extending past the rollcage structure, thus minimizing the likelihood of serious injury in a crash.

Fire is a very real danger in any race car, and the Moore & Stansbury Corvette has two onboard fire extinguishing systems, just in case. The first, with a 5-pound capacity, is designed to control a fire in the engine compartment. A larger system, with a capacity of 8 pounds, is intended to protect the driver by directing its Halon charge into the cockpit.

While going fast is the primary function of a Bonneville racer, slowing down is something it must also do well. To accomplish this the Corvette, like almost all Salt Flats competitors, is fitted with rear brakes and a parachute system.

Maintaining directional control on the unpredictable salt surface is a precarious pursuit at best, and the application of front brakes would almost certainly send the car into a spin. Because of this, they're simply left out of the equation altogether. And since rear brakes alone are usually inadequate, the primary stopping tool is the parachute system. The Moore & Stansbury C4 is equipped with two Deist parachutes. The first, called the high-speed chute, is 8 feet in diameter. As the name implies, it is deployed at high velocity-over 230 mph in this case.


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