Lew Stitely's 1953 Corvette: "The Tijuana Taxi"
by Keith Cornett
Let’s kick off 2012 right with a morning burnout courtesy of Lew Stitely’s 1953 Corvette gasser dubbed the Tijuana Taxi. This classic first-year Corvette was doing its thing out at Beaver Springs Dragway in PA and the video features several awesome burnouts, dry hops and a nine second quarter-mile run!
According to DailyItem, the 1953 Corvette started is racing career in Texas in 1958. Lew picked up the Corvette in 1974 to use it as a parts car for his 1954 and 1955 Corvettes. Plans changed and the ’54 and ’55 Vettes were sold and so Stitely turned his full attention to the 1953 Corvette.
The Tijuana Taxi is currently running an alcohol-powered 393 small block Chevy from Seth’s Engines and burns about four gallons each quarter mile. The Taxi consistently runs in the 9s and Lew’s best time was 9.38 at 144 mph.
Stitely has retired from his Department of Public Welfare job after 35 years and now he races the Taxi full time. When asked why he continues racing the classic C1 gasser, Stitely says “This car let’s you escape, and go back to when times were good and pure. That’s what I grew up with. These older cars are truer to the history of the sport of drag racing. They remind me of how it was racing 40 years ago.”