Put together a group of crazy engineers, a totaled ’86 Corvette barn car and a challenge that most would walk away from and you’ve got the makings of a great story. The Cheaparral J2J “Sucker Vette” is the result of over 3,000 hours of hard work and advanced engineering skills and now it can be yours as the Corvette is being offered on eBay with proceeds benefiting the United Way.
A group of engineers at Proctor & Gamble got together and built this one of kind of custom Corvette to compete in the $2007 Grassroots Motorsports Challenge. The Challenge pits competitors in a number of events in a car that must cost less than $2,007.
The Cheaparral team found their 1986 Corvette parked in a nearby barn and purchased the wreck for $1,400. They then had to put their creative talents to work in keeping the costs to under the $2,007 spending limit. After the Corvette was made road worthy and twin turbochargers were added for power, the engineers decided they needed a little something extra to give them more of an edge in the autocross competition.
The solution came in the form of an M1 Abrams tank cooling fan that was mounted in the passenger seat and powered by a snowmobile engine. The fan evacuates 10,000 cfm of air from underneath car which generates 1,000 lbs of downforce and allows the Corvette to pull 1.3g on a skidpad. The concept is similar to racing legend Jim Hall’s Chaparral 2J vacuum enhanced “sucker” car from the 1970 Can Am Racing series which served as inspiration for the Cheaparral “Sucker Vette”.
The Cheaparral team competed against 50 others at the Grassroots Motorsports Challenge in Gainssville, FL and won every category including the autocross, concourse, best-engineered award, top finishing team and the 2007 Challenge Overall Champion award.
Following the Challenge, the Sucker Vette has been featured in a number of magazines and at car shows including the Corvette Homecoming event in Bowling Green. The Cheaparral recently made a trip out to the west coast to Jay Leno’s garage where the noted auto enthusiast proclaimed the Corvette “cool”.
The ebay auction of the Cheaparral “Sucker Vette” will benefit the United Way of Greater Cincinnati. The Corvette features the signitures of Jay Leno and Jim Hall who both had the opportunity to give the “sucker Vette” a drive. Bidding started at the team’s investment of $2,007 and the auction runs through December 11th.
For more information on the Sucker Vette including a ton of videos, check out the Cheaparral.com