World Record! ‘Leroy’ Becomes FIRST Ever GM Stick Shift Car in the 7’s!
‘Leroy’ is battered and beaten, but not after achieving a world record in impressive style.
Sagas don’t get much more epic than the one surrounding Cleetus McFarland‘s ‘Vette kart affectionately known as Leroy. Bought as a project, this salvage title, fenderless C5 was not really special in any particular way, till McFarland got his hands on it.
After playing around with a few different engine setups, McFarland settled with a twin turbo setup, and since then has been chasing faster and faster ET’s on the 1/4 mile. Developments to that turbo system have yielded impressive numbers through the year, allowing the car to become the fastest ever stick shift Corvette in the 1/4 mile, but as with any victory, once you taste it, your desire for more intensifies.
We join McFarland in his shop after setting the world record at 8.106; a run that lifted a cylinder head in the process. McFarland notes the unique urgency of the re-build, saying, “we need to get this car together fast, because we know there’s a couple other folks who are trying to do what we are doing, to get the first GM stick shift car in the 7’s.”
This set off an epic night of trials, failures and drastic action to get below an 8 second run. All of the magic would take place on August 20th, at Bradenton Motorsports Park.
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After a full cylinder head rebuild, it’s not surprising to see that on their first pass, a slight boost leak was found. This was quickly addressed, and another pass was made, but this one spelled a lot more trouble. What was first suspected to be a slipping clutch due to much higher boost ended up being even more problematic than imaginable. A cylinder head gasket had failed again, and the slipping was caused by coolant spilling in front of the rear tires at over 160 miles per hour.
It looked like their night was done, with an over-night rebuild and a try the next day, but then a last-ditch idea came up. Run the car without coolant. It seemed like an impossible task for the highly tuned engine, and it could have spelled the end to that entire motor, but for a world record, it was worth it.
McFarland’s video is a bit on the long side, but it really is an incredible chronicle of every low point and hi point they went through that night to set a surprisingly fast 7.8 second pass.