Affordable Racer: 1977 Chevrolet Corvette Drag Car

By 1977, the C3 Corvette was feeling the pinch. If a buyer strolled into their local showroom, the best that they could hope for was to drive away in a Corvette with 210hp at their disposal. This Corvette has a bit more than that on tap and represents an opportunity for someone to enter the world of drag racing at a very affordable price. It is an unassuming vehicle that the owner has decided to part with, so he has listed it for sale here on Facebook. It is located in Lakeland, Florida, and the owner is asking $6,500 for this classic.

The ‘Vette’s external appearance is very tidy, with the combination of Grey and Red paint having a nice shine. The panels show no obvious issues, while the glass also appears to be good. The only criticism that I have is that the alloy wheels need someone to spend a bit of time attacking them with a high-quality polish. That would make a world of difference to the exterior presentation and should be well worth the effort. The big news revolves around what we find under the hood. Buyers in 1977 could hope for a 350ci V8 that was pumping out 210hp as their most potent choice when new. The V8 was capable of delivering a sub-16-second sprint down the ¼-mile, but only just. What we find occupying this engine bay is a 355ci unit that has received a few tasty tweaks. These include World Sportsman cylinder heads, a hydraulic camshaft, and roller rockers. Getting the mixture into the engine falls to a 750cfm race carburetor bolted to a polished Victor Jnr intake. The bottom-end has been treated to 6″ H-beam conrods, while the spent gases exit via a set of Hooker headers. It isn’t clear what this engine now pumps out, but you can be sure that it is a lot more than 210hp! These ponies head through a Turbo 400 transmission to a 4.56 rear end and a nearly new set of Mickey Thompson radials. There is a tailshaft loop for safety’s sake, while all of the brake hoses have been replaced with braided lines. The package sounds reasonably bulletproof, and the owner says that it can blitz the ⅛-mile in 7.7 seconds. The fit and finish of the engine bay is exceptionally tidy. If this is an indication of the attention to detail afforded the rest of the drivetrain, there is good reason to feel confident about the Corvette’s mechanical health.

The Corvette’s interior has been left mostly untouched, although there have been a few essential additions once again. A 6-point roll-cage and a 5-point cam-lock racing harness take care of safety, while a set of lightweight racing seats add to the feeling of security. A huge, easy to read tach is mounted on the dash, while a reverse-pattern shifter should ensure clean and precise shifting down the strip. The interior looks extremely tidy, and if the Corvette is going to be used exclusively for competition, it needs nothing. Even if the buyer is considering using the car on the street, the interior would still be regarded as fit for that purpose.

Getting a start in motorsport has the potential to be ruinously expensive, and keeping a car on the track has the potential to be just as bad. However, this 1977 Corvette offers an intriguing option for anyone considering taking the plunge. It is an affordable car that appears to have a well-engineered drivetrain combination. Maintaining it at its current state would not be difficult, but the basics are there to squeeze more power and performance down the track if the buyer wants. If you are considering taking the plunge, it is a classic that is worth a closer look.

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  1. Arthell64 Member

    The factory polished alloy wheels did not come from the factory on the corvette until 1980. Before 1980 the alloy wheels came with a dull machined finish but I agree the polished wheels do look better.

    Like 1
  2. Steve R

    A 7.7 in the 1/8th converts to 12.30’s in the 1/4 mile. No need for a roll bar, most likely this is a mild replacement motor that was used to make it more of a street car, or the good engine blew up and this is what they had under a bench in the corner of the shop.

    Steve R

    Like 7
    • phil robinson

      7.7 x1.57 =12.089
      1/8 mile to quarter mile times

      Like 2
      • Rick

        This is not a “survivor”

    • Camaro guy

      Would make a cool street/strip car but but personally I’d put a break away down bar on the drivers side for easier access

      Like 2
      • Steve Clinton

        Or more importantly, easier egress!

        Like 1
  3. Steve Clinton

    How on earth could the driver see where he was going with that hood scoop?

    Like 2
    • Frank Sumatra

      He/She are only going for a 1/4 mile. straight line drive that is over pretty quick

      Like 1
    • Steve Clinton

      it might have been used at the drag strip, but I notice it has a state license plate, which means it could be (or was) street driven.

      Like 3
      • Frank Sumatra

        You have an eye for detail. Point taken.

        Like 2
  4. mainlymuscle

    Change the air filter,and intake, if necessary, to get rid of that abortion of a scoop.Add nitrous,to bring you closer to the numbers where you actually NEED a roll bar,and have fun !
    Where are you ever going to find a 12 second car for $6500 ? And a Vette yet.
    Folks ,you owe it to yourself ,to pick up a helmet,and line up at the lights.
    I street drive a high 11’s stock manual, Z06,and race a 10 flat car,but until you line up against another car ,at the track,you’ll never understand the adrenaline rush that drag racing is.

    Like 17
    • Camaro guy

      Amen to that 👍👍

      Like 1
  5. EPO3

    Whether its a 10 second or a 12 second Vette it’s definitely worth the asking price

    Like 1
  6. Dave

    How do you make an ugly car even uglier? put a giant tick about to pop on the hood.

  7. Jcs

    Clicked right past this one a couple of times, just took a closer look.Very reasonable ask for what you appear to get. Surprised she is not gone, a lot of fun to be had with this one.

    Like 2

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