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
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