1968 Corvette Shades of Smokey
This '68 Corvette didn't have a great start in life; Gary Harlan's brother-in-law Bill Hedekin originally bought it back in 1972 as a rolling chassis after it had been stolen, joy-ridden, and then relieved of the big-block and four-speed. Nowadays the drop-top would likely have been restored, but at the time a thrashed three-year-old Vette looked like perfect fodder for a fun track car. Hedekin took the opportunity and turned it into a slalom and SCCA solo car with all the trick parts from Dick Guldstrand. He removed the body and reinforced the frame to eliminate factory weak points, then reinstalled the body and fabbed up a full 'cage designed for protection-soft top be damned.

Hedekin eventually lost interest, parked the car in 1978, and removed all the good suspension parts, and the Vette sat for roughly 20 years. Harlan saw it as the perfect basis for the street-legal road race car he wanted to build and eventually persuaded Hedekin to sell it to him. This time the '68 got a full Vette brakes package with composite monoleaf springs and a two-tone paint scheme. The new livery is Harlan's way of paying tribute to his favorite racer of all time -Smokey Yunick.

To date, Harlan and his wife have taken the Vette on many cruises, including all the way to South Dakota for the Black Hills Corvette Meet where it handily won the C3 class autocross. It's also averaged a tick under 125 mph in the Silver State Classic Challenge several times, placing Second and Third in its speed class.

By The Numbers
'68 Chevy Corvette
Gary Harlan; Klamath Falls, OR
Overall Finishing Position: 29 out of 55

Type: Chevy 383ci small-block
Block: GM, bored to 4.030
Oiling: Moroso blueprinted HV pump, B&M cooler, Moroso 8-quart road-race pan
Rotating assembly: Eagle 3.75-inch crank, 6-inch Eagle H-beam rods
Cylinder Heads: CNC-ported Brodix Track 1 with Manley 2.05/1.60 valves
Camshaft: COMP Cams solid roller, .639/.630 lift, 258/258 duration at .050
Valvetrain: COMP Cams Pro Magnum 1.52:1 rockers, COMP Cams springs and timing chain
Induction: Brodix SP1 intake with Barry Grant 750-cfm Race Demon
Exhaust: Hooker Super Comp headers with 17/8-inch primary tubes and 4-inch collector, Hooker glasspack mufflers in side pipe
Fuel system: Barry Grant Mighty Sumo fuel pump and regulator, modified stock fuel tank
Ignition: MSD dual pick-up distributor with twin MSD Blaster coils and MSD Super Conductor wires; MSD Digital 6 primary box, 6AL backup
Cooling: Be Cool aluminum radiator and electric fans
Output: estimated 550 hp
Built by: Bill Hedekin and Gary Harlan
Transmission: TKO five-speed with Lakewood scattershield and Centerforce Dual Friction clutch
Rearend: stock Corvette IRS built by Tom's Differentials with 3.73 gears and LSD
Front Suspension: Vette Brakes 420 lb/in composite monoleaf with 1¼-inch sway bar and custom-valved Bilstein shocks
Rear Suspension: Vette Brakes 420 lb/in composite monoleaf with ¾-inch sway bar and custom-valved Bilstein shocks
Brakes: Vette Brakes 11.25-inch discs front and rear with Hawk blue pads
Wheels: 17x11 American Racing Torq-Thrust II, 4¾ backspace front, 4½ rear
Tires: 315/35R17 Nitto NT05 front and rear