To back up that claim, the car has a full subframe chassis utilizing a Watt's linkage and a four-bar setup with coilover suspension at each corner. It's also been channeled and sits a few inches from the ground. The engine has been offset and moved backwards to help achieve a 50-50 weight distribution, and the car weighs in at a mere 2,117 pounds.
Power comes from a 350ci Chevy that pushes out 530 hp and almost 495 lb-ft of torque. The body is custom-made from fiberglass and features a built-in hoodscoop to accommodate its air cleaner. Despite being almost all custom built, the Vette still retains its original doors and windshield.
Although it's still in its first season, Bernie's flamed-and-silver '59 has seen action on most UK circuits and managed to finish a very respectable 12th (in a field of 70) after encountering mechanical problems at Spa in Belgium. After seeing this car on the track at Snetterton recently-where it left many of its modern rivals in the dust-we think it's only a matter of time before its driver lands on the podium. It just depends on who's behind the wheel: Bernie, his son Simeon-who's been racing the '58 for the last seven years-or his other son Adam, who just moved over from MG racing.
In addition to competing in the Heritage Grand Touring Car series this year, the Chodosh family is in the process of building another '59 Corvette. This one will be historically correct, with drum brakes all around and a 283 under the hood. The Chodoshes are building this car so Bernie and his sons can compete at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and the Classic Le Mans Series.
We asked Bernie if there's anything else he'd like to do with the cars. He thinks for a while and says, "One thing I'd like to do is take the Vettes over to the States and show just how fast they are. But to do that, I'd need sponsorship. Hey, do you know anyone who'd like to give me some money?" he laughs.
We hope Bernie gets that sponsorship. One thing's for sure: The Chodosh family will give anyone a good run for their money-on either side of the pond.