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1966 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe - Quarter-Mile Missile

A Big-Block, Mid-Year Corvette For NHRA's SS/T Competition.

Bob McClurg Dec 1, 2000
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In this age of custom fiberglass "re-pop" body shells, it's kind of refreshing to see a "for real" Corvette still competing in NHRA's highly touted Super Street class. Since they were first offered with V-8s, Corvettes have been known for being great-accelerating machines. Even in the doldrums of the early "smog era" (the mid-'70s into the early '80s) a new production Vette, while slower than many of its predecessors, could easily show its taillights to almost any other new car on the road. But most Corvettes that went racing took advantage of the cars' real forte, handling, and competed on road courses rather than the quarter-mile. Organized drag racing is a competitive venue where Vettes continue to be rarely seen.

One of those rare sightings is this '66 Corvette coupe, owned by Forney, Texas, racer Mike Adcock. Mike's a rabid Chevy guy, and has been a drag racing fanatic since he attended a street race in Dallas at the tender age of 13. Owning a Corvette race car had been a dream since his high school days. Several years ago he saw a show-quality mid-year coupe racer, and after a three-year quest, bought it in February 1999. "I had wanted to build a Corvette gas-class-type race car for NHRA's Super Street category, and this car seemed to fit the bill quite nicely."

It was a good car, but not as good as Adcock wanted, so he commissioned famed race car builder Joe Smith Race Cars in Dallas to "back half" the car. Smith fashioned-up one of his Super Gas-style subframes (complete with "funny car-type" rollcage,) out of 4130 chrome-moly tubing, and equipped it with a Koni four-link and a 4.88:1-geared Dana 60 rearend. Up front, Smith and Co. set up the Vette with dropped spindles and another set of Konis, along with a complete Strange Engineering four-wheel disc brake system. Rolling stock on the Vette consists of a set of 15x5.5-inch and 15x14-inch Weld Racing wheels, sporting Goodyear Eagle rubber.

Powering Mike's Missile is a Gary Bunch-prepared four-bolt-main GM big-block, punched out to 468 ci. The Rat utilizes a set of Bow-Tie heads and an aluminum intake topped with a Barry Grant fuel system and a Dedenbear-equipped Holley 1050 Dominator throttle-stop carburetor. A Crane valvetrain and a Jackson gear drive make for solid internals, while an Ed Hamburger starter gets things cranking, an MSD crank-trigger ignition lights the fires, a Dedenbear water pump keeps things cool, and HPC-coated Joe Smith headers channel out the waste.

Backing all of this up is a TCI Powerglide utilizing a TCI torque converter and a Hurst Quarter Stick shifter. Adcock utilizes a full array of Auto Meter instrumentation, including an Auto Meter "memory tach." The Vette's safety equipment is from the Simpson Safety folks.

Mike, his brother Dennis, and his teenage son Gary painted the Vette in PPG black topped with multiple shades of yellow, red, orange, and white. To date, the Vette has recorded a best of 9.00-flat at 143.00 mph at the Texas Motorplex, as well as winning numerous Best Appearance awards at events like the Dallas Super Chevy Show and the NHRA Topeka Heartland Nationals. This '66 is truly a rare sight-one beautiful and very fast "Genuine Chevrolet" Corvette for the quarter!

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