The C3's powertrain is as simple as a boxful of claw hammers, and just as effective. The concussive force in this case comes courtesy of a monstrous big-block Chevy inhaling a snootful of nitrous oxide through an NOS Pro Fogger system. A dragstrip regular, owner/driver Steve Haynes ratcheted up the nitrous throughout the day just enough to keep the Vette comfortably out in front of the competition. The strategy proved a winning one when the second-fastest car in attendance-a ProCharged '71 Dodge Challenger-eviscerated its transmission in a vain attempt to keep up with Haynes' screaming red C3.
Impressive though it was, the Vette's winning time of 8.741 seconds was nearly five tenths slower than its previous best e.t. of 8.29. The problem wasn't with the car, but rather with the Atlanta Dragway track surface, which had lost its top layer of traction-enhancing VHT to a vicious rainstorm the previous night. "I was getting some tire spin on the top end at around 150 mph," reported Haynes after one pass, "so I thought I'd better call it a day."
Perhaps not unexpectedly, there was some minor puling from a few (non-Corvette-driving) competitors who felt the mountain-motored '73 violated the spirit of the event. That's too bad. After all, Haynes' car met all of our criteria, did everything we asked of it, and still covered the field by a good half-second. Factor in that Haynes regularly pilots the C3 to cruise-ins near his home in Mechanicsville, Virginia, and you have a car that is the very essence of the street-driven super-Vette. Until next year, anyway.