by Keith Cornett
What’s been called the ?World’s Fastest Six Cylinder Corvette? will be crossing the block next weekend at Mecum’s annual Fall Premier auction in St. Charles, IL. This iconic drag racer beat up on the competition from 1962-1971 with Earl Britt behind the wheel. Britt operated Earl’s Pizza Palace in Sioux Falls, South Dakota when not setting ET records and winning multiple NHRA championships.
The Pizza Man was the 99th Corvette built in 1954. Over the course of its racing career it set 9 world records in NHRA Modified Production. Speculation is that the car claimed more NHRA points between 1967 and 1969 than any other car. In 1967, it took the E/MP class at the Indy Nationals and then went on to beat Dick Landy’s factory Dodge team at the 1968 Winternationals at Pomona, California.
A modified 292CI GMC inline 6 cylinder engine with 3 Weber side draft carbs rests between the front fenders. The motor turns a custom B&M automatic 3-speed transmission bolted to a Positraction rear-end.
The best official elapsed time for The Pizza Man was a 12.17s pass at 118 mph. There was also an unofficial 11.97s run in 1970. That’s in the ballpark with a modern C6 Z06 and not too far behind a new ZR1.
According to the auction listing, The Pizza Man is currently in ?excellent as-raced condition, even wearing the rare Firestone Drag 500 front tires on which it last raced and the rubber marbles kicked up onto its quarter panels by its 7-inch Goodyear racing slicks.? It still sports the original Polo White paint and carries a Black fiberglass hard top. Racing stickers and The Pizza Man logo adorn the nearly 60 year old body. Aside from all of that, it’s just one mean looking old Corvette drag racer.
The Pizza Man 1954 Corvette will be offered for sale next weekend at Mecum’s 2012 Fall Premier auction (http://www.mecum.com/auctions/auction_detail.cfm?AUCTION_ID=FP0912) as one of more than 1,000 cars expected to consign. It’s scheduled to roll across the red carpet at 3:40pm CST on Saturday October 27th. You can catch the auction live on Velocity or via webcast on Mecum’s website.
We’ll take a look at some of the other Corvettes available in St. Charles in a few days. Meanwhile, we’re going to head out and grab a large pepperoni and sausage pie. All this talk about pizza has made us hungry.