Remember John Mazmanian’s 11-Second 1961 Corvette?
Rod & Custom Magazine Called John Mazmanian’s Car One of the “Hottest ‘Vettes in History”
The legacy of the Corvette is filled with record-breaking runs.
Some are fairly well known to fans of the American sports car, while others spend decades staying under the radar. The story of John Mazmanian’s 11-second ’61 Corvette falls somewhere in the middle of that pack. But it’s definitely an important part of the Corvette’s racing history, as detailed in a recent Super Chevy report.
In fact, in an October 1962 issue of Rod & Custom magazine, the car was described as, “one of the hottest ‘Vettes in history” because of its drag strip runs.
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Mazmanian’s Corvette first gained the attention of racing fans after winning its class at the first Winternationals in 1961. The car set an AA/SP class speed record of 109.96 mph. A year later, Mazmanian, also known as “Big John,” returned to Winternationals and set another record in the C/SP class with a record run of 113.84 mph in his Kandy red Corvette.
Still determined to get more out of the C1, Mazmanian eventually wound up cracking 129 mph and 11 seconds in the Modified Sports Class. That came after mounting a different block to the car with a Hilborn injector and a GMC 4-71 blower.
Of course, that new block wasn’t just any ordinary block. It was a 283 bored to 316 cubes, with an Iskenderian Polydyne 505 camshaft, Cragar intake, Joe Hunt magneto, and Jardine headers. All told, Mazmanian’s C1 reached a total output of roughly 600 horsepower.
Rumor has it Big John put an estimated $10,000 into the ‘Vette to earn those wins. Although, he claims that the amount was actually closer to $6,000. That was a lot of money back then. But hey, you get what you pay for, right?