Like so many success stories, it was one enthusiast’s inability to get parts that made parts procurement so much easier for those who follow in their footsteps. In this case, it was a certain 1967 Corvette that was purchased new by a gearhead. Like so many enthusiasts back then, he wanted to make his fast car go a little faster and through his efforts, Summit Racing Equipment was formed, granting millions of enthusiasts access to a never-ending sea of go-fast parts for their cars.
Through various connections, he was able to procure the necessary parts to put him ahead of the competition, and he did it by getting those parts at a discount. It wasn’t long before all his fellow car-guys wanted the same deal, and he started providing them the parts to make their cars faster as well.
It didn’t take long before word spread who the go-to guy was for speed parts at a good price. What started out with a customer of one, eventually turned into a full-time business, albeit with humble beginnings. Reportedly, the company that would become the “World’s Speed-Shop” had its 1968 beginnings with the first “store” in the basement of a doughnut shop in Stow, Ohio. A year later, an official 1,500 square-foot building in Cuyahoga Falls was secured, residing between a Midas muffler facility and a pizza shop.
Still A Hot-Rod
Of course, it goes without saying that the Corvette which started it all by focusing on aftermarket, go-fast goodies would still be wearing those components. The car is still part of the Summit Racing Equipment family and was pulled out and refreshed by two long-time Summit employees, Bill McGhee and Wayne Krinjeck to celebrate Summit Racing’s 40th anniversary in 2008.
While the car retained its Marlboro Maroon paint and many of the factory components, such as the L71 (427/435-hp) engine and M22 four-speed transmission, there are many components that made it into the mix that aren’t factory. The trans is now held to the block by a Lakewood bellhousing and Centerforce clutch. Shifting is now done through Hurst linkage.
The star of the show, that tri-power big-block is helped to get to its new rating of 590+ horsepower by several means. Now reaching 496 cubes, the additional air is fed via a trio of Quick Fuel-modified Holley carbs, ported Trick Flow PowerPort® 280 cylinder heads, JE Pistons, COMP Cams hydraulic roller cam, and Scat crankshaft. The car continues to thrive in the Summit collection and again, serves as one of the foundational milestones since the company now celebrates it’s 50th Anniversary this year and is represented on the back of the company’s 50th Anniversary T-Shirt.
While some may wince at going through all the effort of refreshing such a prized Corvette and not putting it back to factory, we think that the additional components don’t detract from the car’s character at all. Besides, what else would you expect from a car that spurred the creation a company that has helped millions of enthusiasts modify their rides for more performance?