1962 Chevrolet Corvette Is an Unlikely Gasser, Flexes Meaty Hoosier Tires

When the gasser craze hit in the 1960s, racers turned to all sorts of unlikely vehicles to transform into dragsters. All of a sudden, beefed-up Willys Americars, Chevrolet Bel Airs, and Ford Anglias were hitting the drag strip with skinny front tires and meaty rear wheels.

Unlike the weird-looking Willys Americar, the Corvette wasn’t very popular in this series. Chevy’s sports car spent more time racing against the Shelby Cobra on road courses across the country, but some Corvettes eventually found their way to the drag strip. This 1962 roadster is one of them.

Converted into a full-blown gasser sometime in the 1970s, this Corvette ran quarter-mile sprints until 1984, when it was retired and parked in a heated garage. The Roman Red convertible remained in storage until 2019, when it was sold to a new owner. The car was returned to active duty, but it hasn’t been driven much, and it’s now looking for a new home.

Apart from the drag-spec wheels and the big bulge on the front hood, the car looks like a stock 1962 Corvette. And impressively enough, 90% of the Roman Red paint is still original. If this is true, we’re looking at an amazing survivor, much more so given that it spent at least a decade on the drag strip.

The white soft-top that provides a striking contrast with the red paint is a new addition. And it’s one of those elements you wouldn’t expect to find on a full-blown race car. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t drag race a convertible unless it comes with a sturdy roll-cage.

Speaking of which, the interior of this gasser is as stock as they get. It comes with an aftermarket Hurst shifter, but the cabin feels more like a restored classic than a race-spec vehicle.

There’s no word about what powered this Corvette at the drag strip back in the day, but now it features a street-spec 6.5-liter V8 engine. As you might have already guessed, it isn’t an original C1 engine. The first-gen Corvette was sold with small-block V8s only, with the biggest coming in at 5.4 liters.

But the 6.5-liter big-block is a true Corvette engine. It’s been sourced from a 1965 car and pumps out 375 horsepower. It’s not exactly powerful for quarter-mile duty but a bit more potent than a 1962 “fuelie,” rated at 360 horses.

Although it’s no longer a full-fledged gasser, this Corvette comes with a long list of upgrades and new parts. There’s a modern intake, new disc brakes, a restored generator, a custom radiator with two fans, a high-performance clutch, and a new gas tank. The Hoosier rubber is also brand-new, while the original Cragar wheels appear to be in mint condition.

If you want a cruiser that looks like a gasser or a solid platform for weekends at the drag strip, this 1962 Corvette is being auctioned off on eBay as we speak. Offered by “retiredklassics,” it sits at $35,000 with less than 24 hours to go. But the reserve hasn’t been met and the “buy it now” price of $62,950 suggests it’s much higher than the current high bid. The seller is willing to trade for a stock 1955 Chevrolet Tri-Five if you have one lying around. 

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