I open the door, strap in the harness—check. I put on my helmet, goggles and gloves—check. I turn on the fuel and ignition, pump the gas peddle twice. No turning back now. I push the starter button and all 500 horses fire to life! This is not the car you choose to sneak around in at night. This is my racecar for the road, a 1958 Corvette. This is not just a car to me but the culmination of years of passion for cars and racing. After months of hard work, blood and sweat building this car, my first race took place in late June at the Mid-Ohio Vintage Grand Prix where I was able to shave 10 seconds off my best lap time of the weekend and placed second in my group.
I found the car online having vintage race history by a well-known former owner. After a few days of emails and phone calls, I bought it sight unseen and it was delivered to me on a cold, early March Saturday afternoon. With cold race tires and two jackets, we took it for a brief and scary ride down public roads outside Dublin.
My goal was to not only have a racecar legal for the road, but something that would truly evoke the nature of vintage racing. When I got the car, nothing about it besides the body was correct for the period the car was to represent. I stripped it down and built it back up as if this were 1958, and I had just rolled this car out of the dealer paying a meager $3,800.
I modeled the car after the late 50s and early 60s Sebring Corvettes using period correct parts such as Stewart Warner Gauges, original steel wheels, and a full original interior under the un-restored hardtop. Modifications for racing were necessary including a custom roll bar, fire suppression system and a five-point safety harness, but were all chosen and installed in such a manner as to blend in with the old. This car was built to be a racecar for the gentlemen racer of the era, a style we emphasize and live everyday at Putsch Racing.