C4 Corvette Hack: Watch the Pre-Roadkill Creation of ‘Vette Kart’

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In 2010, Hot Rod Magazine cut up a ratty old Corvette to test weight-savings theory. That car would later become an icon of the Roadkill fleet.

If you’ve seen the Motor Trend show Roadkill, you likely have seen occasional appearances of a “Corvette” with hosts David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan. They call that skeletal C4 the “Vette Kart” and it showed up in Episode 35 after sitting out in the weeds for four years. When the duo dusted it off, most of it had been hacked up already. But how did it get that way?

C4 Corvette Vette Hack: Before Vette Kart

That Roadkill episode showed a few seconds of the original “Vette Hack” by Hot Rod magazine in 2010. Freiburger and Finnegan spearheaded that along with BangShift.com’s Chad Reynolds and longtime Hot Rod editor Rob Kinnan. And you can watch that whole video on the HOT ROD Network’s YouTube Channel.

The quartet started with a beat up early C4 that they yanked out of the California desert. Everything on it was pretty ratty, but the original Crossfire Injection 350 still ran. With a few hours booked at an empty Figure-8 track at Irwindale Speedway set up, they removed weight piece by piece.

In total, they hacked almost 900 pounds from the C4. On a 30-second lap, that chopped out somewhere around 2.5 seconds. That’s almost 10 percent of a lap just by removing weight!

However, going faster, especially when there are turns, seldom comes as simply as a weight-loss program. Lightening the car changed the suspension geometry, they discovered, since the neutral point changed. That meant positive camber in the front. After hacking the back end off, they suddenly found no grip on the rear, too.

Eventually, Roadkill solved many of those problems, primarily with bigger and better tires. A full roll cage served as a tube-frame chassis, functionally. That stiffened the (remains of the) chassis, as well. For good measure, they also put in a mildly built 350 into the “Vette Kart” because, why ruin good momentum? Or, as they say on the show, “Because Roadkill.”

In any case, enjoy the “Vette Kart” before it assumed its ultimate form.

Eric Rood is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum and LS1Tech, among other auto sites.

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