You’ve got to check out this YouTube video from Jerry Heasley and the rumbling music coming from this 1966 427/425 Corvette.
It may take some serious coaxing from the driver to stir this monster of a Sting Ray back to life, but the beautiful sounds emanating from its big block unmuffled sidepipes make it worth the wait.
As Maynard Reed, who left a comment after watching the video, says: “That’s how a Corvette is supposed to sound. Mean!!”
The fellow behind the wheel, Gary Gove, likely feels the same way. He raced this car way back in 1966, and he recently had the privilege of cranking it up again for the first time in 51 years.
“I raced this car in 1966 for Alan Green Chevrolet, a Chevrolet performance dealer in Seattle,” Gove says while strolling down Memory Lane sitting behind the wheel of the car. “We raced it all up and down the West Coast in SCCA A-Production, from Riverside to Seattle to Canada.
“And then today’s the first time I’ve seen the car in about 50 years, so I’m older … the car’s older. The car still looks the same as it did in 1966, whereas I don’t so much…”
When Gove finally gets the car to roar back to life, he relates how the Corvette would pull 170 mph down the back straightway at Riverside, “which made getting into Turn 9 a really fearful event, because your eyes were right at the end of their stalks! And the best way was to turn the car and let it slide because if you just tried to use the brakes, it was just too much for the brakes.
“I love this car – it was fun to race. If you put it in fourth gear, it just started breathing air (shaking his head), and it ran!”
Fast forward to July 19, 2018, and Gove was on hand at the NCRS Nationals in Las Vegas to see his old racer, which is now owned by Joe Scafidi and Jonathan B. White.
Joe recounted how Alan Green Chevrolet was a significant muscle car dealer and wanted to be one of the bigger Corvette dealers in the Northwest back in the 1960s. Gove remembers he drove the car right off the showroom floor and raced it the day after that.
“They raced it in stock form, roll bar, bigger tires, and some wheel well modifications for the first month or so,” Scafidi said, “and then from that point on, they were in contact with GM engineers and started to use GM heavy duty parts.”
Gove says he called a couple of contacts with Chevrolet, who provided the team “with the few things Chevrolet had that helped the car live longer and run better.”
Scafidi says he found the car through a friend who approached him with some photos, and he and partner White brought the car back to Massachusetts.
Gove says he only drove the car for one year in A-Production – “the hot stuff at the time,” he says, “(but) we qualified with enough points to go to the runoffs at Riverside,” he said.
“At Riverside, we were up against 427 Cobras. I was doing 170 mph down the back, and the 427 Cobra was doing 183 and he could leave black stripes on the ground. They were quite a bit lighter. This car weighed 2950 to 3050 depending on the day, and the Cobras were easily 800 pounds lighter than that, plus they had Shelby’s Cobra drivers. I mean, Ken Miles, he was probably the fastest Cobra driver ever, and Carroll Shelby has admitted none of it would have worked, none of it, without Ken Miles.”
Be sure to watch the end of the video when Gove signs a valve cover for the new owners on his old Corvette.
Jerry Heasley / YouTube.com
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