Lingenfelter is a name that has come to symbolize high-performance.
A Florida car collector and hot-rodder named Bob Hunnicutt has known that first-hand for nearly 30 years.
Back in 1988, Hunnicutt and a famous tuner friend, Jim Formato, decided to upgrade the performance on a stock 240HP 1985 Corvette.
Fortunately for them, John Lingenfelter, winner of 13 National Hot Rod Association titles, was busy just then on an engine package that over-bore the stock 350 cubic inch Chevy small block to 383 cubic inches. With the addition of specially designed Lingenfelter camshaft, pistons, heads, manifold, and other assorted upgrades, Hunnicutt’s stock car became a true powerhouse, with nearly twice as much horsepower and a big gain in torque. In the process, Hunnicutt and Formato had built one of the first now legendary Lingenfelter Corvettes.
After street racing the car for a decade, Bob sold the car. Eventually John Blinn of Austin, Texas wound up with the Corvette in late 2010 and decided to restore and improve it.
On Thursday, Blinn decided to share this piece of automotive history with the public and donated it to the National Corvette Museum.
“It’s a special car,” said John. “I don’t know of another that has all the Lingenfelter modifications on it. I’m getting older and thought it was time to do something with the car.”
John is no stranger to the Museum, frequently visiting there, and is a customer of the NCM Insurance Agency.
Cheers rang out Thursday from on-lookers at the Museum as Blinn drove his special car into the building with his friend, Corky Bell. First, though, they took it around the NCM Motorsports Park track on Wednesday.
“We ran at the track yesterday and it’s a fantastic place. I hope it grows and grows,” Blinn said.
Don’t feel sorry for him, though. He still has a 1994 Corvette ZR-1 with 220,000 miles on the odometer. “I’m a driver,” he quipped, noting that he had driven the ’85 about 9,000 miles since he bought it in 2010.
He’ll still get to see his donation, too.
“I’m always looking for an excuse to visit the Museum,” said John. “I can’t wait to come back and see it on display.”
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