Brian Hobaugh learned to love cars by going autocrossing with his dad in his mom's Camaro. Of course, dad wasn't satisfied with the Camaro's performance and wound up with a widebody 1965 Chevrolet Corvette. He's still got it, more than 30 years later.
On this week's /BIG MUSCLE, Mike Musto visits Hobaugh's shop and drives the built-for-handling Sting Ray that's been in Hobaugh's family for three decades. The engine is a 364 ci small-block stroker producing 500 hp and 500 lb-ft. The tires? 315/30-18s all around. That's a lot of rubber. The fender flares were done back in the '60s, though widened more recently to accommodate modern, ultra-fat tires.
Naturally, the suspension's been tuned with autocross handling in mind, which makes for a car with so much street grip, a five-point harness is pretty much mandatory. Also, and thankfully, it has the original Sting Ray interior (outside of the steering wheel, I think), which looks period-amazing alongside the original Shinoda curves.
It's certainly taught me to love mid-century Corvettes a bit more than I loved them already. Look for it competing at the Optima Ultimate Streetcar Invitational 2013, this November.