Stick Shift Corvette 1/4-Mile Record Beaten!

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OK, so it’s not completely all Corvette any more, but technically it still is ‘Vette, and the numbers don’t lie.

Records are records whether you like it or not, and our good friend Cleetus McFarland¬†and his team just set the fastest ever 1/4 mile time in a stick shift Corvette. While they beat the other record by a decent margin as well, the run didn’t come very easy, and problems early on almost had the team packing early.

One of the limiting factors of Leroy, Cleetus’ now infamous C5, was tire size. Fourth gear was just about at the rev limiter while going through the time trap which was holding back some really decent numbers. Two options were possible to fix that: either raise the rev limiter, or go with a taller tire for a pseudo change in gearing. They picked that later option with a 28 inch tire, which also gave a slightly wider footprint.

As with any change, there’s always something down the line that gets affected, and in this case, it was the clutch. Earlier runs in the high 8’s had over heated the clutch to the point that it was slipping badly at low-speed, even though it would bite at higher RPM. At this point, Cleetus was ready to pack things up for the day. There was little point in trying to launch a car with a slipping clutch, but he and his team decided to let the Corvette cool down and go for one last run.

They set the record. In a big way.

Trapping 8.483 at 163.47 miles per hour puts this ride deep into the stick shift world record. While some may argue against Leroy being a Corvette, the truth is, it’s still a Corvette. We have a feeling the battle won’t be over with that run, however.

Patrick Morgan is an instructor at Chicago's Autobahn Country Club and contributes to a number of Auto sites, including MB World and 6SpeedOnline.

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