For those of us who weren't there, the idea of American muscle cars running the streets as brand-new daily drivers is nothing but a fantasy. Ken Johnson remembers it as a reality, as he was just starting to notice cars in the thick of the era. His first move toward owning one was to collect as much literature on them as possible. That meant collecting pamphlets from the local dealerships and car-related magazines. Now he still has the 30-year collection of his favorite books, including Popular Hot Rodding.
He raced a '68 Hemi Roadrunner back in the day, but breaking parts was getting too expensive to maintain the car, so they parted ways. He really wished he had an alternative car to his mundane transportation ride, so in 1990, he bought this '69 Corvette. Ken had no intention of upping the power or doing anything radical to it. Little by little, that changed. What started out as a simple cam swap turned in to an all-out drag car with a street side. He had Neil Clayton of W.O.T. Inc., a competitor in the Engine Masters Challenge, build him a streetable, max output small-block to push the car. It was good enough to get the Vette halfway through the 10s at the dragstrip without sacrificing the stocker look he was going for.
By The Numbers
1969 Chevy Corvette
Ken Johnson, 56
10.47 at 127 mph in the quarter-mile