The Witt Kitt Barn Find Update!

Back in March of 2018, we featured one fantastic barn find, which you can read about here. A 1957 Corvette that had been used as a drag car by Larry Witt back in the ’60s. After a few years of racing, it went into storage and didn’t resurface until reader Mike G found it sitting in a barn! A 1964 Corvette project came up that kept him from getting the Witt Kitt finished, but he’s back to work on it and wanted to share his progress. It looks like he’s already done a huge amount of work, but there’s still a lot left to do here.

Once the Corvette arrived at Mike’s shop, he got to work removing the body. As you can see, the chassis was quite rough and was in need of repair. It was stripped down, cleaned up, painted and fresh suspension components installed.

Here’s the chassis prior to reassembly. If you think it’s looking great here, wait till you see it with the engine installed!

Now that’s an engine! This small-block V8 features all the usual upgrades that you’d expect to find on a ’60s dragster, but that beefed-up suspension is definitely modern and is going to be a huge improvement over the original components. While we like to see period correct parts on a car like this, modern suspension and brake upgrades are always a welcome sight. They might not have that vintage look, but they work better and will make this a safer machine to drive!

With the engine built and the chassis together, Mike dropped the body back on and mounted it up. He still needs to wire the electronics and install the interior, but he’s finally approaching the end of this project! Personally, I love that he left the body alone, the old stickers, logos, and patina are what makes this one so special. It’s going to be one wild machine and Mike should be proud of what he’s already done here! I look forward to seeing it once he has it finished up and back on the road. In the meantime, be sure to check out all the photos of the build below. Our thanks to Mike for the update!

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Comments

  1. Maverick

    Great work. Looks good.

    Like 8
  2. banjo

    Mike is a friend of mine. I love seeing the progress on this whenever I get a chance to visit. He has done a TON of work, and has done it to high standards. P.S. the 64 project that sidetracked him is pretty awesome too!! He’s rumbled past my place a few times with it rattling the windows!

    Like 5
  3. bobhess bobhess Member

    Kudos to Mike on the suspension upgrade. Assuming it’s going to be used in Vintage drag racing events it’s a very smart move. In the late ’90s we were road racing at a track where Vintage race cars were part of the event. There was a ’63 C2 roadster there built in the ’70s that to me looked a little more fragile than I would have driven. Next race weekend approaching a turn at a little over 100 mph the left front suspension broke sending the car sideways into the barriers and over onto the course worker stand. Killed the driver and one of the course workers. No substitute for safety.

    Like 5
  4. Michael l Morrison

    ruined it putting that front end under it. what next ? im guessing some sort of ls

    Like 1
    • piston poney

      better to change the suspension, then something on the suspension break and the car get crashed and ruined, or kills somebody.

  5. Tommy C

    What, no Econoline front axle?

    Like 1
  6. Moe Moe Member

    Cudos Mike.
    This ride will be Sic.
    Nice Job.

    Like 2
  7. Juke

    Although when I was about 20 a friend drag raced a 57 Corvette named Snurd and I was the official photographer, I now really dislike the motor sticking up out of the hood. If it were mine, I’d keep the paint as is, but I’d run a modified 283 or 327, put on a regular hood, put on some American mags and run it on the street.

    Like 1
  8. John Oliveri

    No brainer on the upgrades, unless it’s gonna sit in a museum, safety first, brakes etc

    Like 1
  9. Mike G

    Hi Everyone, Thanks for all the comments. Car is going to be use for cruise night, shows, and for fun.
    I’ll never put a LS in it. Safety is first. Larry had a ’60 Corvair front end on the frame. Remember early corvette used what ever they had to raised their front end. (Oak blocks, I-beam and straight axles)

    Like 2
    • JoAnn Cline

      Hi Mike, Larry was my husbands cousin.. he has a few pics and a 1968 registration paper. HE has a picture before decals and he wants to know if you would like them.
      If so let us know at jcinoh@yahoo.com
      Thanks

      Like 1
  10. bobhess bobhess Member

    Mike… Looks to me like all your front suspension mods are bolt-on. If you had to keep the purists happy you could bolt the Corvair unit back on couldn’t you? Nice save on this one. Lot of these old race cars got junked. Saved a few of them myself so appreciate your work. Should have seen this car when we found it. Four years of work….

    Like 1
  11. Mike

    Hi Bob, Beautiful Porsche. How bad was it ? First of I still have Larry’s chassis in the yard. Yes, the Corvair front end could be put on the car. Larry welded and bolted it on. If you could a look it Larry’s Corvair front end, It’s scary. I wouldn’t drive the car. I don’t know how it stayed together, launching the car @ 9000 grand, and doing 10.8 @128 mph. God bless him he never got hurt. I used a ’62 chassis on my car. I built this car for me, sorry purists. I could take the blocks out, drop the front end and now it’s more drivable for the street. Didn’t crush it, Restore it.

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