1958 Corvette Takes on the Tail of the Dragon Hillclimb

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Sportscar Vintage Racing Association President isn’t afraid to use his old Corvette the way it was intended.

Over the weekend, the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) held their annual “Slay the Dragon Hillclimb.” This takes place, as you may have guessed, at the famed “Tail of the Dragon” on the Tennessee–North Carolina border. The hill climb doesn’t take place on Highway 129 itself. But it’s not far from it, where the roads are similar in their flow and form.

Tony Parella and his 1958 Corvette.

If we’re honest, the world needs more hill climbs. It’s why we’re glad that this is such a popular event for the SVRA. Plus, Tony Parella, president of the association, rails his own vintage ‘Vette up the hill. That should tell you just how awesome it is.

Checking the time-sheets, Parella’s 1958 Corvette was the second oldest car in attendance, beating out a 1952 MG TD by a few years. His sprint time was a very respectable 2:21.331. Considering the fastest time at the event was just 20 seconds quicker (by a much newer car), we’d call that a pretty good run for the old timer.

Even more impressive is the fact that Parella’s ‘Vette still sports massive steel wheels and all of its heavy chrome trim. It’s a proper old-school racing car that wouldn’t have looked out of place on a track in the 1950s. We get the vibe Tony’s going for here, and we applaud him for it.

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This is a pretty short video, so stick around for the whole thing. Be sure to crank up the volume and listen to that small block engine roar through the trees. Watch Parella’s quick action on the giant steering wheel, and keep an eagle eye out for a couple wide-eyed, narrowly averted-disasters.

Photo: SVRA/Rick Martin

Bradley Brownell is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum and 6SpeedOnline, among other auto sites.

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