It seems unlikely, but if anyone who reads this Corvette site were seriously considering adding Ford’s new nostalgia-heavy Mach-1 Mustang to their collection, Classic Auto Mall of southeast Pennsylvania would like to direct your attention towards something that makes the king of 5.0 ‘Stangs look only about 20% as cool; the Mach 5, but you might know it better as the Speed Racer car.
Speed Racer, or Mach GoGoGo, was a Japanese media franchise centered around an 18-year-old automobile racer originally named Gō Mifune, who was known as Speed Racer, and his signature white and red mount, the Mach 5. Speed Racer started out as a published work in 1966 but was adapted into an anime television series with a 52-episode run between 1967 and 1968. In the United States, it is estimated that more than 40-million viewers consumed the series during its original run in the ‘60s and ‘70s. A second series entitled Speed Racer X (Mach Go Go Go: Restart) aired in the US on Nickelodeon with a 34-episode run in 1997. In 2008, the creators of The Matrix, the Wachowskis, brought Speed and his Mach 5 to the big screen in the cult film that shares its name with the original series.
A member of that cult fandom recently found themselves in possession of a 1979 C3 and, as Classic Auto Mall says, “a bunch of extra fiberglass and plenty of time on their hands.” After mixing those three elements together, they gave birth to the spectacular Mach 5 tribute car that CAM is currently offering for $86,900. The doors, hood, and parts of the fenders are original to the ‘Vette, but the rest is either custom made or borrowed from other classic cars (like the early ‘60s Cadillac tail fin/lights). The tri-cone nosed body is painted exactly like the animated Mach 5, featuring a stylized red M (for Mifune Motors, the family business of the “Speed” family) on the hood and a yellow five inside a red circle on each door, all over a field of white, in an homage to the flag of Japan. Inside you’ll find a complementary red hue slathered on everything.
The chassis and powertrain come straight from the 1979 donor Corvette. That means a 3-speed auto and the base “L48” 5.7L V8 that made all of 195 horses when it was new. So, even though this car says “speed racer” across the back and has been upgraded with an Edelbrock intake manifold and four-barrel carb, the next owner of this custom Corvette won’t be winning many races or making much speed. What they will be doing is causing a stir and making people smile everywhere they go. If you are looking for a unique show car, are a regular at Comic-Con, or a collector of vehicles from pop culture, this Mach 5 might be perfect for you!